Drug Seizures on the Rise
- Drug seizures for Minnesota’s Violent Crime Enforcement Teams increased in several major drug categories in 2019.
- VCETs, which are partially funded by the Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs (DPS-OJP), are multijurisdictional task forces that investigate narcotics, gangs and violent crime. VCETs have increased their efforts to identify major drug traffickers, focusing on high-level dealers and suppliers.
VCET Drug Seizures
|Hashish or Marijuana Wax (Pounds)||27.49||34.72||74.4||
Record Amount of Methamphetamine Seized
- For the 12th straight year, VCETs seized a record amount of methamphetamine (starting with 68.47 pounds in 2007).
- The 1,706 pounds of meth seized in 2019 is a 642 percent increase over the last five years.
- At the height of the meth lab problem in 2003, there were 410 labs seized. In 2019, there were four labs discovered in Minnesota.
- Most of the meth is coming from Mexican drug trafficking organizations.
Marijuana Concentrates Seizures on the Rise
- The production of marijuana concentrates continues to grow: Minnesota has seen a 62 percent increase in seizures from 2018 to 2019.
- Much of the product is being imported from states that have legalized marijuana.
- Investigators are finding that much of the heroin being seized contains fentanyl.
- Fentanyl is a highly dangerous substance; a very small amount can be deadly.
o Drug users need to be aware of the serious consequences of taking substances because what is actually in the drug is unknown.
- VCETs are seizing pills, liquid and powders containing fentanyl or other synthetic opioids.
Cocaine Back on the Scene
- After years of declining cocaine seizures, VCETs have significant increase in the last five years.
- The increase is due in part to increased production of coca plants in South and Central America.