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DEA Opens New Office in Duluth to Combat Drug Trafficking

Sep 05, 2019 06:48AM ● By Editor

Two DEA agents will be embedded with the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. |  Photo: Alicia Tipcke/WDIO

From WDIO-TV - September 5, 2019

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is opening a Post of Duty (POD) office in Duluth in an effort to bring more federal resources to investigate drug crimes in northeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

The new office was announced Wednesday by city leaders and Richard Salter, the special agent in charge of the DEA's Omaha division, which oversees DEA operations in the area. 

"Joining an existing, well managed and successful drug task force provides us a force multiplier in terms of man power, intelligence sharing and investigative resources for all participating agencies in this task force," commented Salter.

It's the 11th DEA office in the Omaha Division, which serves Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and western counties of Illinois and Wisconsin. The closest locations to Duluth are in Minneapolis and Fargo. With the addition of the Duluth POD office, the DEA has 240 domestic offices in 23 Divisions throughout the United States, and 93 Foreign Offices in 69 countries. 

Now, two DEA agents will be embedded with the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. Salter says the partnership will bring more law enforcement and federal prosecutorial resources to the area to help dismantle criminal drug trafficking organizations.

"Methamphetamine continues to flow into our state in massive quantities, with high purity and cheap prices, but law enforcement is fighting back. Partnerships such as this allow us to better adapt and to respond to the changing drug trafficking trends throughout the state and throughout the country," said First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota W. Anders Folk.

Additionally, the initiative will add two federally deputized officers to the Lake Superior Drug Task Force. Duluth Chief of Police Mike Tusken said last year the Duluth Police Department alone saved over 90 lives after administering NARCAN or other life-saving actions to people suffering from drug overdoses.

Salter also expressed his gratitude for the support of local law enforcement, and anticipates that this partnership will continue to fight the destruction associated with illegal drug trafficking.

The DEA agents will begin work as soon as they are hired. No one has been recruited yet.

To read the original story and see related reporting, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.

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