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Minnesota Factsheet   PDF  Print  Email 

State Facts

Population: 4,972,294
Law Enforcement Officers: 9,521
State Prison Population: 12,200
Probation Population: 120,638
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 40

Drug Situation: In Minnesota, Mexican traffickers control the transportation, distribution, and bulk sales of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, and small amounts of black-tar heroin.

Numerous Mexican groups and street gangs such as the Latin Kings are operating in the state.

As a general rule, the upper echelon Mexican distributors in Minnesota transport the majority of their proceeds back to family members residing in Mexico.

At the retail level, independent African American traffickers, African American street gangs, Native American gangs, and independent caucasian groups purchase cocaine, black-tar heroin, and marijuana from Mexican traffickers.

In outlying areas of the state, independent caucasian groups and outlaw motorcycle gangs distribute methamphetamine in small quantities.

Street gang activity in Minnesota has increased dramatically over the past few years.

African American gangs appear to be primarily involved in the distribution of crack cocaine.

2004 Federal Drug Seizures

Cocaine: 15.7 kgs.
Heroin: 11.7 kgs.
Methamphetamine: 24.6 kgs.
Marijuana: 499.5 kgs.
Ecstasy: 624 tablets
Methamphetamine Laboratories: 96 (DEA, state, and local)

Cocaine: The majority of cocaine found in Minnesota is purchased from sources of supply in California, Chicago, and Detroit.

Some traffickers obtain cocaine directly from sources of supply along the southwest border and transport the cocaine to Minnesota themselves.

Mexican traffickers control the transportation, distribution, and bulk sales of cocaine.

At the retail level, independent African American traffickers, African American street gangs (specifically the Gangster Disciples, the Vice Lords, and Crips), Hispanic street gangs (specifically the Latin Kings), Native American groups, and independent caucasian groups purchase cocaine from Mexican traffickers and distribute it throughout Minnesota.

In the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, crack cocaine is controlled by independent African American traffickers and African American street gangs.

Heroin: Heroin distribution and use have not been significant problems in Minnesota, but recent reports indicate there has been an increase in heroin use, especially in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

At the wholesale level, sources of supply include Nigerian/West African traffickers operating from Chicago and New York, African American street gangs with ties to Chicago, and Mexican traffickers operating from the southwest border and from Chicago.

At the retail level, heroin is distributed primarily by Hispanic and African American street gangs.

Methamphetamine Lab Seizures: 2000=123, 2001=154, 2002=242, 2003=301, 2004=96

Methamphetamine: The meth threat in Minnesota is a two-pronged problem.

First, large quantities of meth produced by Mexican organizations based in California are transported into and distributed throughout the state.

Second, meth increasingly is being produced in small laboratories, capable of producing only a few ounces at a time.

Mexican groups, who receive their product from the West Coast, control distribution of the drug. These traffickers typically send meth from California through the U.S. mail, via Federal Express, and by courier.

Club Drugs: Club drugs, including MDMA (ecstasy), Ketamine, GHB, GBL, Rohypnol, LSD, PCP, methamphetamine, nubain, and, to a lesser extent, psilocybin mushrooms, have been reported in Minnesota.

Club drugs are most prevalent in Minneapolis' gay population, and to a lesser extent, among young people at raves and nightclubs in suburban areas.

Prior to its placement in Schedule I in February 2000, Minnesota placed state controls on the possession of GHB. Ketamine ("Special K") use first appeared in Minnesota in 1997 among adolescents and young adults.

Public awareness of the growing prevalence and dangers of club drug use has been heightened by several recent incidents including five deaths involving MDMA, the meth-related death of a teenager, several large law enforcement cases involving GBL, and a police-related incident involving a youth on LSD.

Marijuana: Marijuana remains the most commonly used and readily available drug in Minnesota according to public health officials.

The importation of bulk marijuana shipments into the state of Minnesota is controlled by Mexican drug trafficking organizations.

Hispanic street gangs are the major distributors of marijuana at the retail level.

Marijuana is readily available from local cultivators in addition to the supplies emanating from the southwest border.

In 2002, 5,427 cultivated plants were seized from 15 indoor grow operations, and 1,238 cultivated plants were eradicated from 16 outdoor plots.

Drug-Violation Arrests: 2000=350, 2001=359, 2002=330, 2003=234, 2004=241

Other Drugs: The use of diverted controlled substances in Minnesota continues to be a problem.

The most commonly diverted controlled substances from the licit market are Nubain®, Dilaudid®, Ritalin®, Vicodin® (hydrocodone), OxyContin®, codeine combination products, the benzodiazepines, and the anorectic drugs phentermine and phendimetrazie.

Nubain is a prescription narcotic that has recently emerged in the Minneapolis area. This narcotic is being used by body builders who mistakenly believe it acts as a steroid.

Four deaths have occurred in the Minneapolis area as a result of Nubain® being taken with MDMA and OxyContin® being mixed with cocaine.

According to local addicts, Klonopin® is more readily available than in the past from illegal sources and prescriptions are easily obtained from some doctors. In rural Minnesota Klonopin® has also appeared under its international, non-United States trade name, "Rivotril®," which suggests its importation from foreign sources.

Flunitrazepam, trade name "Rohypnol®," is a long-acting benzodiapine that is typically combined with alcohol or other drugs to produce incapacitation and memory loss similar to an alcohol-induced blackout. Minnesota law enforcement agencies encountered only small amounts of the drug. Its use as a "date rape" drug is not widespread in Minnesota.

DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams: This cooperative program with state and local law enforcement counterparts was conceived in 1995 in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation.

Since the inception of the MET Program, a total of 436 deployments have been completed nationwide, resulting in 18,318 arrests.

There has been one MET deployment in the state of Minnesota since the inception of the program, in Minneapolis.

DEA Regional Enforcement Teams: This program was designed to augment existing DEA division resources by targeting drug organizations operating in the United States where there is a lack of sufficient local drug law enforcement.

This program was conceived in 1999 in response to the threat posed by drug trafficking organizations that have established networks of cells to conduct drug trafficking operations in smaller, non-traditional trafficking locations in the United States.

As of January 31, 2005, there have been 27 deployments nationwide, and one deployment in the U.S. Virgin Islands, resulting in 671 arrests. There have been no RET deployments in the state of Minnesota.

Special Topics: The DEA Chicago Field Division is committed to fostering cooperative efforts among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies within Minnesota.

A task force consisting of two groups and funded by DEA's State and Local Program is located in Minneapolis.

There are four Task Force Officers, representing four law enforcement agencies, assigned to DEA in Minnesota.

There are 23 funded task forces throughout Minnesota receiving U.S. Department of Justice Byrne Grant money.

The DEA participates in the Minneapolis Gang Strike Force (MGSF), which was created in 1997 to combat escalating gang violence in the state and it operates six regional offices.

Currently, there are over 5,000 confirmed gang members entered into the Minnesota Gang Strike Force Intelligence System and 160 organized gangs.

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