Minneapolis, MN (KROC AM News) - A big drug bust with ties to southern Minnesota may have been the biggest of its kind in state history.

It was carried out Tuesday in Minneapolis by the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force.

Officers seized 170.98 pounds of methamphetamine, believed to be the largest single seizure of meth in Minnesota history. The estimated street value of the meth is nearly $8-million.

The investigation began in January and was based on illegal drug sales in Rice and Le Sueur counties, which are in the jurisdiction of the task force.

Arrested were 33-year-old Fernando Ramos Meza, 34-year-old Peter Martin, 46-year-old Javier Lopez, and 23-year-old Juan Daniel Valdez Mendoza.

Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen commented, “Methamphetamine is still big business in Minnesota and Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) bring meth to major metropolitan hubs like Chicago and Minneapolis then break down the product for mid-level dealers. Eventually, the drug continues to spread and ends up in all communities across the State.”

According to the task force press release:

“ As the supply of methamphetamine has increased, the price has dropped to approximately $4,000 per pound, down from $15,000 to $20,000 just 10 years ago. This seizure alone could sell wholesale for approximately $684,000. When the seized drugs are broken down into $100/gram for street-level sales, the value would be over $7,750,000. According to Statewide Gang and Drug Coordinator Brian Marquardt, this country lost 72,000 Americans to drug overdose deaths and this seizure of 171 pounds of methamphetamine will have a significant impact on protecting the citizens of Minnesota.”

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