In 2017, there were a record number of synthetic drugs seized in Minnesota. This forced law enforcement agencies in the state to create a number of new procedures regarding how drug cases are handled. These laws have redefined the ways in which law enforcement officers in the state of Minnesota charge drug crimes. Due to many significant changes, it is important that individuals who are charged with drug crimes in Minnesota obtain the assistance of a seasoned Minnesota drug crimes attorney.
How Law Enforcement has Changed
There are several reasons for these new drug enforcement measures, which include:
- Some synthetic drugs are so powerful that law enforcement agents must be careful about accidental contact with the drugs. This caution is critical because small traces of these drugs have the potential to kill a person. As a result, some crime investigators have even begun to send drug samples to laboratories rather than testing at the scene of a crime. Handling material in such a way, however, creates substantial Fourth Amendment issues regarding how the evidence in question is treated.
- Law enforcement officers are also now attempting to stay up to date with efforts by foreign traffickers to alter the structure of synthetic opioids.
The Danger of Carfentanil
One of the most powerful new drugs is carfentanil, which is 100 times stronger than fentanyl and after causing several deaths, is still in distribution throughout the state. Cases involving carfentanil hit a record high in Minnesota this year, jumping from four in the entire year of 2016 to 25 cases in the first six months of 2017. Once used to treat large animals, carfentanil is a particularly potent drug for humans. The first federal case in the state for distribution of carfentanil recently charged a man with distributing several deadly drugs including furanyl, fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, and carfentanil.
Minnesota’s Synthetic Drug Laws
This substantial increase in the use of drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil in Minnesota has resulted in the state increasing its penalties for buying and selling synthetic drugs. Not only did the state recently add many new controlled substances to its list of prohibited substances, there is also a new law in the state that prohibits any drug that has a chemical compound similar to a prohibited substance. Legislatures in the state of Minnesota, however, continue to urge that because of the great danger of these drugs, the state should create even stricter penalties for individuals who are caught with prohibited synthetic substances.
Obtain the Services of a Strong Minnesota Drug Defense Attorney
Being charged with a drug possession charge in Minnesota can result in a person facing fines, imprisonment, and barriers for the future of a person’s career and education. If you require the assistance of an experienced drug crimes attorney, contact Tatum O’Brien, a partner in O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss at 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 as soon as possible.