DEA Omaha Division Stands with Law Enforcement Partners in Effort to Reduce Violent Crime in Minnesota
DEA Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Justin C. King spoke at a press conference at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota August 19, as a member of the Federal Violent Crime Strategy.
MINNEAPOLIS – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Justin C. King joined U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew Luger and leadership from other state, local and federal law enforcement agencies to provide an update on the Federal Violent Crime Strategy that was announced in May. King discussed the known connection between drug trafficking and violent crime, while Luger highlighted recent sentencings offenders faced in Minnesota.
The Federal Violent Crime Strategy was announced in May as an effort by local, state and federal law enforcement partners to address violent crime in the Twin Cities metro area. The strategy expanded capacity within the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute violent crime cases.
During his remarks, King addressed the overdose crisis in America, with an unprecedented 107,622 people dying of drug overdose in 2021. Of that total, 67 percent of those deaths have been attributed to synthetic opioids including fentanyl. Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Two milligrams of fentanyl, small enough to fit on the tip of a pencil, is considered a potentially lethal dose. The DEA is seizing record amounts of fentanyl, much of it coming in the form of deadly, fake pills.
While overdose rates continue to climb, violence often associated with drug-related activity is also rising sharply nationwide. In 2021, the DEA and its law enforcement partners seized more than 8,700 firearms connected to investigations of drug trafficking operations. Data shows that a vast majority of identified criminal drug networks are engaged in gun violence and a majority of these organizations sell fentanyl or methamphetamine.
“We know there is an overlap between overdose hotspots and areas where drug crime is high,” King said. “This morning, the DEA stands proudly with its partners in highlighting the accomplishments of these important efforts that hold those responsible for violent crime and illicit drug trafficking in our communities accountable.”
Representatives from the ATF, FBI, Minneapolis Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and the Minneapolis Police Department also addressed media at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis.