The St. Cloud Times reports that while different parts of Minnesota have seen increases in heroin-related crimes, the drug of choice in Central Minnesota is still meth.
The number of felony drug cases in Stearns County increased 35 percent between 2012 and 2013. There were a total of 560 felony drug cases filed during that period and 11 of them were heroin cases, which is about 2 percent of the total cases. However, 38 percent, or 214 cases, of the 560 drug cases involved methamphetamine.
This shows that the biggest drug problem that is occurring in Stearns County is meth and it has been for a while. There are some cases where individuals relapsed in their meth treatment and turned to heroin. Other than that, it is not the primary drug of choice in that particular community.
Law enforcement has also encountered drug-related child protection cases, chemical dependency commitments, and juvenile criminal cases.
In Morrison County, a number of drug dealers were prosecuted after individuals who bought drugs from them died from heroin overdoses. When a person overdoses, law enforcement works backward to find out who the supplier is and determine when the victim obtained the drug from that supplier and when. If the supplier is able to be identified, third-degree unintentional murder is a possible charge.
Although it is true that overdose victims ingest the drugs by their own free will, it is also true that they would have never obtained the drugs if it had not been for the dealer. Everyone is aware that illegal drugs are dangerous and that they can be lethal. The prosecution looks at the fact that death is always a reasonably foreseeable consequence of doing drugs.
Prosecutors hope that they are discouraging the sale of heroin in the Twin Cities and other drugs by prosecuting the cases aggressively.
In July, another effort to combat drugs in the Twin Cities and it will start with Morrison County. It will be a drug court that has a goal of keeping the public safe and try to break the cycle of addiction. It has been found that when individuals are charged with drug crimes and sent to prison, they may still have access to drugs in prison and that means they never break the addiction. When they get out of prison, they may go back to what they were doing. Drug courts focus on rehabilitation so that individuals can get back on their feet and have a much better future in store for them.
Basically, prosecutors will be working on both ends of the matter. They will be prosecuting the dealers in order to have them put in jail and then, at the same time, reducing the number of drug users through court intervention that is designed to rehabilitate rather than interfere with the progress that a person can make in their life.