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Minnesota man caught with $1.75M in crystal meth

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A Minneapolis man is facing felony narcotics charges after police discovered about 25 pounds of suspected crystal methamphetamine – about $1.75 million worth – in his vehicle during a traffic stop outside of Chicago, according to release from the Cook County Illinois Sheriff's Office.

Roberto Ortiz, 22, was arrested after being pulled over for multiple traffic violations on Sunday, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Ortiz allowed police to search his vehicle. That's when they found what they suspect is crystal meth under the driver's seat and in a box in the back of his Chevrolet Tahoe, the release says. 

Ortiz is being charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, according to the sheriff's office. It is unclear if he had a lawyer.

Since the early 2000s, meth has become an increasing problem in Minnesota and around the country.

The Sunday arrest of Ortiz was notable because authorities came across the drugs as part of a traffic stop. In some cases, large-scale drug investigations have yielded far less meth. In March 2012, 20 people were charged in a meth ring centered on the Twin Cities, which was said to be one of the largest meth busts in the Midwest in recent memory. The investigation led to the seizure of more than $500,000 in Mexico-manufactured meth and damaged a supply chain that was targeting the Twin Cities' Hmong population.

Last January, 20 people were arrested and 818 grams of meth – worth about $50,000 – was seized in central Minnesota after a six month investigation. In August of last year, police seized 18 pounds of meth, worth between $500,000 and $1 million, in an Anoka bust.

In 2012, there were six reported meth lab incidents in Minnesota, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. The DEA seized 3,898 kilograms (over 8,500 pounds) of meth in the United States in 2012.

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