A Large Drug Trafficking Ring Dismantled By Duluth Police & Other Law Enforcement Agencies

Nearly 50 people are now being charged after a year-long investigation focused in Duluth, Rochester, and on the Iron Range brought down this drug operation.

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth Police Department and a string of other law enforcement agencies including the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Taskforce have shut down a significant drug trafficking ring that extended throughout Greater Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Duluth police say this is the largest drug bust in history for the region.

Nearly 50 people are now being charged after a year-long investigation focused in Duluth, Rochester, and on the Iron Range brought down this drug operation.

So far, about 40 arrests have been made.

In the bust, which occurred on Tuesday, authorities were able to seize, more than a pound of heroin and fentanyl, about two and a half pounds of methamphetamine, and two guns.

According to Duluth police, this ring sold an estimated $1 million worth of drugs between January and this month.

Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken says the shut down of this organization would not have been possible without the collaboration of multiple law enforcement agencies.

“It took a substantial effort by each and every one of them, and the sacrifices that go with it to be able to have a day where we made a substantial dent into the supply of poison that are reaching our streets,” said Tusken.

37-year-old Ricky Osborne of Rochester is believed to be one of the ring leaders of the operation.

He along with the others involved are being charged with six felony counts including conspiring and
aiding and abetting to sell more than a hundred grams of a controlled substance.

After commemorating Recovery Month in September, Duluth Mayor Emily Larson says the dismantling of such a large drug organization is important in the fight against addiction.

“Stopping the spread of illegal drugs and drug trafficking in this community is incredibly important. It is making sure we are stopping the flow of what’s coming in and trying to decrease the access people have to these chemicals that can alter their lives and the lives of the people in their families,” said Larson.

Duluth Police say they were ready to take down the organization back in March, but the pandemic put a pause on their plan.

They had to revamp their strategy, which led to the successful end of this drug operation.

The investigation continues as authorities are still searching for about ten other individuals with active warrants for their arrests related to this drug trafficking ring.

If you have any information, you are asked to call the taskforce tipline at 218-730-5750 or dial 911.

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