Illegal drug use and arrests have stayed about the same in Minnesota according to the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) . In 2005, the number of people arrested in Minnesota for illegal drug use was at its peak at 292 arrests. The last two years this number has decreased steadily from 272 in 2006 to 258 in 2007.
In 2007, marijuana and cocaine were the most drugs seized in Minnesota by the DEA. Twenty-five meth lab incidents were also reported last year. The DEA reports that in Minnesota, Mexican traffickers that include both Mexican groups and street gangs such as the Latin Kings control the transportation, distribution and bulk sales of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and black tar heroin. Independent African American gangs mostly distribute crack cocaine.
The DEA also found that in outlying areas of the state, independent Caucasian groups and outlaw motorcycle gangs distribute methamphetamine in small quantities. Other drugs and pharmaceuticals such as OxyContinÂ® and VicodinÂ® continue to be a problem in Minnesota. Primary methods of distribution are illegal sale and distribution by health care professionals and workers as well as â€œdoctor shopping. Club drugs including MDMA (ecstasy) are most prevalent in Minneapolis’ gay population, and to a lesser extent, among young people at raves and nightclubs in suburban areas.
Mexican drug trafficking organizations ship marijuana into the state. Hispanic street gangs control the distribution at the retail level. However, marijuana is also available from local cultivators.
Local law enforcement agencies and the DEA are fighting illegal drug use and crimes. The DEA has posted their Most Wanted Fugitives for Federal Drug Crimes.