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Duluth Police: Regionwide drug bust nets 35 arrests, $1M in drugs seized

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DULUTH, MN -- Duluth Police are celebrating a regionwide drug bust that ended with 35 arrests and more than $1 million worth of heroin, meth and cocaine taken off the streets.

"Stopping the spread of illegal drugs and drug trafficking into this community is incredibly important," said Mayor of Duluth, Emily Larson.

"Operation West Side Moes" began in December 2019 and involved investigations in Virginia, Hibbing, Hermantown, Chisholm, Duluth, Superior, Esko, Rochester, St. Cloud and other cities across Minnesota.

Duluth Police say the arrests dismantled a significant drug trafficking organization.

"You feel that we've been successful as a law enforcement agency but the fact that we have to do something like that, that's hard for the community," said Lt. with the Duluth Police Department, Jeff Kazel.

Lieutenant Kazel adds this will lower opioids circulating in the community and hopefully, allow the DPD to get addicts help, "we have lots of programs that we have set up."

Hoping it will cause a ripple effect said Lt. Kazel, "if we can reduce the demand, we won't be a target for people to come here to sell, right now we are a target."

Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken said the work was carried out in partnership with dozens of law enforcement organizations around the state.

Briggs LeSavage

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