MN counties join national drug-fighting effort

Federal help for MN to stop drug trafficking

MINNEAPOLIS - White House officials are now calling the Twin Cities metro a "High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area."

Because of that designation, five counties will receive federal funding as part of a nationwide program. Those counties are Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington.

Sheriffs from the counties involved, as well as DEA, an assistant U.S. Attorney and the Hennepin County Attorney said right now, it is difficult to investigate drug dealing all the way to the top of the chain, because doing so involves so many national resources.

With this new designation, they will have direct communication with other major cities that are "High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas," and they believe it will lead to more large-scale busts.

"It multiplies our resources because now all these agencies are working together," said Assistant Special Agent In Charge of the DEA office in Minneapolis, Ken Solek.

"We can only prosecute people if the cases are presented well. This is going to give the resources, and this is going to give the dollars, to be able to go after some of the kingpins and the big drug folks," said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

It is still unclear how much more federal money the region will receive, and whether it would mean any new hires.

The biggest impact these law enforcement leaders say the program will have is giving them a seat at the national table when it comes to big investigations.


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