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DULUTH - Police arrested 30 people across the Twin Ports this week as part of a major investigation into the trafficking of crack cocaine.
Drugs, money and guns were all collected over the past few days,
however, the most surprising piece of the investigation may be how EBT cards played a role in it all.
The 200-block of E. 2nd St. marked one of the week's biggest busts as police took two ounces of crack cocaine off the streets.
Police say those two ounces have a street value of more than $11,000.
It was just one of the events that took place as police identified more than 37 suspects associated with the crack cocaine trade in the Twin Ports.
Using informants and the help of more than a dozen other agencies, Duluth police confirmed that EBT cards were often being traded for the crack cocaine.
Police say dealers would take in the food assistance cards and apply half its value for the drugs.
"If you multiple the loss here, if $100 worth of crack and you spent $200 on it, it's significant profit gain for these drug dealers get and it's out of our pockets, everyone's pockets," Lt. Steve Stracek from the Duluth Police Department said.
Out of the 30 arrests, some suspects received greater charges for selling near schools and parks.
"As you know that type of activity typically brings violent people into those communities and into those neighborhoods," Stracek said.
Police are still looking for ten suspects related to the investigation.
The arrests will likely mark the end of a 9-month investigation Duluth Police call "Operation Crackdown."
Police are not releasing the names of the ten people they are still looking for, but Stracek said he was confident they would surface in the near future and be arrested.
Because the activities took place across the Twin Ports, suspects will be facing charges in both St. Louis and Douglas counties.