MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) says drug seizures have increased in several major drug categories in 2019.
According to the DPS, Violent Crime Enforcement Teams (VCET) seized a record amount of methamphetamine for the 12th year in row. In 2019, 1,706 pounds of methamphetamines were seized, compared to 1,145 pounds in 2018. Over the past five years, meth seizures have gone up by 642%.
DPS officials say most of the meth coming to Minnesota is from Mexican drug trafficking organization. Four meth labs were seized in Minnesota in 2019, compared to 410 labs seized in 2003.
Heroin seizures also rose in 2019, and officials say a much of it contained the highly dangerous substance fentanyl. Fifty-five pounds were seized in 2019, compared to 24.98 pounds in 2018.
According to DPS, cocaine is also back on the scene. Over 100 pounds of cocaine were seized in 2019.
“After years of declining cocaine seizures, VCETs have significant increase in the last five years,” DPS said. “The increase is due in part to increased production of coca plants in South and Central America.”
DPS officials say marijuana concentrates, like marijuana wax, are also on the rise. Minnesota saw an increase of 62% in seizures from 2018 to 2019.
VCET, partially funded by DPS Office of Justice Programs, are multijurisdictional task forces that investigate narcotics, gangs and violent crime — focusing on high-level dealers and suppliers.