Multiple People Face Drug Trafficking Charges After Yearlong Investigation

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: March 08, 2018 08:03 PM

DULUTH - Twelve people face federal drug trafficking charges after a yearlong investigation by authorities. Law enforcement officials met at the Public Safety Building to discuss the charges on Thursday.

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The charges primarily involve heroin distribution. Investigators said the dealing started in Chicago, and worked its way to the Twin Cities, and then to the Twin Ports and Iron Range.

The 12 people indicted are accused of possessing heroin, distributing it, or conspiring to distribute. United States Attorney Gregory Brooker, said the main distributer was 33-year-old Carlos Coleman, who was from Apple Valley.

"Capitalizing on our national heroin addiction problem, defendant Coleman relied on a network of sub distributers to sell heroin throughout Duluth," Brooker said.

The investigation involved law enforcement agencies from almost every community in the region. Investigators said that for years the heroin trafficking network distributed thousands of grams of heroin with a street value of over a million dollars.

Mark Rubin, the St. Louis County attorney, said the collaborative effort was considered key to the success of the operation.

"What law enforcement has put together and we are proud to be part of, is a phenomenal effort. Tremendously courageous and tremendously dangerous so that our children may have peace," Rubin said.

Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken, said that in the past six years, there have been 323 overdoses in the city, including 44 deaths.

"If you're going to fall in the footsteps of these defendants, please know it will be you next. We have the expertise, the determination, partnerships, and focus to interrupt, intercept, and arrest anyone anywhere," Tusken said.

As a national problem, addiction kills 64,000 people every year. 115 people a day.

Authorities are still in the process of arresting more people involved in the drug bust. The 12 current defendants will be making appearances in court in Duluth.



Alejandra Palacios

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