Duluth's efforts to combat its heroin problem have resulted in three more arrests.
The Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, along with the Duluth Police Department, were performing narcotics surveillance on Miller Trunk Highway Thursday when they saw three people sell drugs to a 16-year-old girl, a news release says.
The substance tested positive for heroin, and police arrested the three suspects, who have now been charged in St. Louis County District Court.
Lyndsey Lee Bender, 19, of Hermantown, was charged with one count of sale of a narcotic drug, while Matthew Michael Scanlon, 20, of Duluth, and Antonio Deshuan Brady, 27, of Chicago, were each charged with a count of aiding and abetting the sale of a narcotic drug.
Police departments across the state and country have been cracking down on drugs as of late. In 2014, there were 19,203 drug abuse arrests in Minnesota, according to Minnesota Department of Public Safety's most recent Uniform Crime Report. Of those, 573 of the arrests were made by the Duluth Police Department – 120 of them were connected to opioids and cocaine.
Here's a look at how drug arrests have increased in Minnesota in recent years:
It’s gotten bad enough that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled the rise in opioid deaths as an epidemic.