MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A task force is now in place in Minnesota to investigate and crack down on crimes related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as price-gouging, hoarding of essential medical products, scams, and hate crimes.

In a joint statement Monday from Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald, the formation of the Minnesota COVID-19 Action Team (MCAT) was announced. The task force unites local, state and federal agencies to investigate reports of pandemic-related crimes.

“Now is the time for Minnesotans to turn toward each other, not against each other,” Ellison said, in a statement. “The vast majority of people and businesses are doing that: they’re doing right by each other, their customers, and communities, and we thank them. But for those that aren’t — for those who are profiteering off the pandemic or using it as a pretext to attack other people — we’re not standing for it.”

The public is urged to report pandemic-related criminal activity to the task force by filling out this form or calling 651-296-3353.

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