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Apr 24th

High-grade marijuana investigations net dramatic numbers

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Sheriff Rich Stanek announces dramatic results from recent Hennepin County Sheriff's Office marijuana investigations.

"We are seeing large increases in the number of local marijuana grow operations and the violent crime that comes along with these drug crimes," Sheriff Stanek says. "This is a real problem. These criminals are spending a lot of money to pull off highly sophisticated marijuana grows - and will do anything to protect them."
Sheriff Rich Stanek announces dramatic results from recent Hennepin County Sheriff's Office marijuana investigations.

"We are seeing large increases in the number of local marijuana grow operations and the violent crime that comes along with these drug crimes," Sheriff Stanek says. "This is a real problem. These criminals are spending a lot of money to pull off highly sophisticated marijuana grows - and will do anything to protect them."

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is proactively investigating larger more sophisticated marijuana growers and organizations. The Sheriff's Office and cooperating task forces are currently investigating many high-grade marijuana and grow operation cases that should yield more seizures in the coming months.

The numbers from January 2006 to the present regarding grow operations illustrate the value of the marijuana seized and guns seized in these investigations.

  • Value of Marijuana Seized: $28,944,000

  • Processed Marijuana (ready for sale) Seized: 333 lbs
  • Plants Seized:6,903
  • Cash/Accounts Seized: $801,694

  • Value of Property Seized:$1,376,600

  • Value of Vehicles Seized: $220,000

  • Value of Miscellaneous Property Seized: $20,000

  • Grow Equipment: $370,000 seized value
  • Guns Seized: 60


*Statistics show the approximate totals compiled from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, the Southwest Hennepin Drug Task Force and the West Metro Drug Task Force

"Neighbors should be very concerned about this problem, because violence is coming hand-in-hand with these marijuana grows," says Sheriff Stanek. "These high-grade marijuana growers are protecting these crops at any cost."

There is a misconception that marijuana is not linked to violence. Through our investigations, we have learned that marijuana organizations are just as dangerous as other drugs. There are huge profits to be made, resulting in greed and crimes of violence. Our investigations are resulting in the recovery of dangerous weapons along with links to assault and homicide investigations.

Most of the marijuana grow operations uncovered are in single family homes, some in upscale neighborhoods. They are becoming more and more sophisticated and better hidden. Some growers purchase a home, use it for the sole purpose of growing marijuana and will pay someone to live in the homes to tend to the plants. Many operations are tied up in mortgage and real estate fraud - and when these homes foreclose, the neighborhood is left with an empty house that can't even be sold because of its water and mold problems. "We cannot decrease the prosecution of these drug crimes," says Sheriff Stanek. "We have to increase the war on these local marijuana grows to keep families safe."

 

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