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Number of pills, drugs seized in Minnesota exploded in 2017

The numbers are alarming.
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Data released by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety on Thursday shows that enforcement teams seized an alarming number of illegal drugs in 2017.

The sheer numbers are astounding: 

  • 214,429 prescription pills
  • 624 pounds of meth
  • 4,323 pounds of marijuana
  • 74 pounds of marijuana wax
  • 42 pounds of heroin

The numbers far and away exceed totals seized between 2013-16 with the exception of crack and cocaine, although cocaine seizures are up significantly from where they were just two years ago. 

Other alarming facts from the DPS:

  • Meth seizures increased for an eighth straight year and was up 281 percent from 2016 to '17.
  • Meth seizures have increased by 701 percent since 2009, when meth seizures was at a low in Minnesota. 
  • Investigators believe the majority of meth is coming to Minnesota through Mexican drug traffickers. 
  • Cocaine use is on the rise because South and Central America is producing more coca plant. 

In a related story, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recently announced a plan that would charge drug companies a "penny-per-pill" and use the money raised to help slow the state's opioid epidemic. 

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