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.