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Here’s what the governor is doing to fight lawlessness in the Twin Cities

The State Patrol made nearly 1,500 traffic stops last weekend to curtail illegal street racing, dangerous driving, and other criminal activity, and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has recovered 128 illegal firearms, 4,187 Fentanyl pills, and made 200 felony arrests

Gov. Tim Walz - Minneapolis
Gov. Tim Walz
Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service
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ST. PAUL – Last weekend, the State Patrol made nearly 1,500 traffic stops in a successful effort to help stop illegal street racing, dangerous driving, and other criminal activity in the Twin Cities.

The State Patrol and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension have stepped up to help out the beleaguered Minneapolis Police Department, which is seriously understaffed.

Those traffic stops last weekend led to dozens of DWI arrests, more than 100 citations for driving without a valid license, and multiple people cited for having illegal fireworks, according to a news release from Gov. Tim Walz, who is spearheading the effort.

Here are some examples of what’s been going on in the Twin Cities:

  • A trooper attempted to stop a motorcycle for speeding. The motorcycle fled, reaching speeds of 130 mph. Airborne troopers tracked the motorcyclist, who eventually took off on foot. The 48-year-old man was arrested, and was found to have a gun without a serial number.
  • A trooper stopped a stolen, unmarked security vehicle, and the driver fled on foot. With help from above, troopers found the 33-year-old man and administered life-saving Narcan due to an overdose. Once safe, he was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant
  • A trooper tried to pull over a vehicle with no plates and illegal tint. It fled on to city streets and ran through a red light. The trooper terminated the pursuit, aviation continued to track the vehicle. When the driver took off on foot, aviation observed the 44-year-old man toss an object that turned out to be a handgun. A Minneapolis Community Response Team arrested the man.
  • A trooper responded to a fireworks complaint. The 25-year-old suspect took off and was chased down on foot. He was jailed on three outstanding Hennepin County warrants.
  • A trooper tried to pull over a speeding vehicle. The driver fled, reaching speeds of 120 mph. The trooper terminated the pursuit, but a Hennepin County K-9 team helped track down the suspected driver – a 38-year-old woman who was arrested for felony second-degree DWI.
  • A 41-year-old man was arrested for fourth-degree DWI, and troopers found an unloaded gun in the driver’s side door.
  • A trooper tried to pull over a vehicle for driving 98 mph in a 60 mph zone. The vehicle fled at a high rate of speed, passing traffic on the shoulder. A trooper initiated a successful PIT maneuver to force the vehicle to a stop, and the 28-year-old man behind the wheel was arrested for felony fleeing in a motor vehicle and driving after revocation.

“Criminals have grown more brazen and more violent,” said the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Drew Evans. “We’re working in collaboration with our local and federal partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to make our communities safer by identifying, arresting and holding these individuals accountable.”
The state law enforcement team has been working to reduce the rise in crimes involving guns, carjackings, street racing and other violent crimes plaguing metro communities.

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The State Patrol significantly increased its presence around the Twin Cities this past weekend by adding 20 additional troopers and aviation resources to designated areas, primarily in Minneapolis, on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon to help stop that dangerous behavior.

“Our goal was to swell resources to combat street racing and other illegal activity over the weekend. The results speak for itself,” said Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol.

The air power helped catch people who fled from troopers. Of the 13 who fled, troopers were able to arrest 10. Airborne troopers observed one person throw an item while fleeing, which was found to be a handgun – one of six guns recovered over the weekend. Troopers also made 45 DWI arrests.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and its partner agencies have been focused on homicides, shootings and other gun-related crimes. Since their effort began in the spring, the BCA and its violent crime initiative partners have disrupted robberies and aggravated assaults, and chased down people wanted on felony warrants.

The BCA team has seized 128 guns, confiscated over 4,000 Fentanyl pills, made 200 felony arrests and opened 98 investigations.

While investigating homicides and aggravated assault and making felony warrant arrests, “the teams are finding illicit, high-powered handguns and AR-15 rifles with body piercing rounds, extended magazines, ghost guns (made from kits) and illicit ammunition in extremely high quantities. These are often coupled with illegal narcotics like fentanyl,” Evans said.

The BCA will continue focusing on the most violent offenders through September.

Last month, Gov. Tim Walz allocated $4 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds towards the state’s public safety efforts. The money helps pay for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to combat violent crime, provide air support, and support victims of crime across the state.

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“I am grateful to the Minnesota State Patrol and the BCA for answering the call to make our state safer for everyone,” said Walz. “I am proud of the coordination across our law enforcement agencies and expect these efforts will continue to be successful.”

A strategy to reduce violence crime

At Walz’s direction, the BCA was asked to develop strategies to address increasing violent crime. The BCA assigned a team of agents and analytical support to create a Violent Crime Reduction Support Initiative which also includes a full time detective from the Fridley Police Department.

This initiative is going after violent crime in Minneapolis and the greater metropolitan area in partnership with local, state, and federal agencies working on gun-related violent crime.

In addition to BCA and Fridley Police Department, the partners include the ATF, FBI, DEA, Homeland Security Investigations, Minneapolis Police Department, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Hennepin County Probation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Last weekend, the State Patrol made nearly 1,500 traffic stops in a successful effort to help stop illegal street racing, dangerous driving, and other criminal activity.

This weekend, July 15 to July 17, a team of troopers will conduct high-intensity patrols on highways in the west metro – focusing on the deadliest traffic violations: speed, lack of seat belt use, distraction and impairment.

Related Topics: CRIMECRIME AND COURTS
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