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Police: Drug crime increase in 2009 not cause for alarm

Felony drug-related arrests in Farmington increased by 440 percent in 2009, but police chief Brian Lindquist isn't all that concerned.

Lindquist attributes the increase to a natural ebb and flow. In 2007, the number of drug-related crimes was on the high side. In 2008, it dipped to a mere five felony drug-related arrests. In 2009, the number again spiked, this time up to 22.

Lindquist does not believe Farmington has become a hotbed for drug activity. Often, Lindquist said, the charges come during traffic stops when police find drugs or drug paraphernalia while searching the vehicles. There were several search warrants executed last year in Farmington, and a few of those also yielded felony drug charges. But comparing one year to the next is kind of subjective, he said.

"It's hard to take one year against the next. If you're going to look at the statistical data, you have to look at it for several years. You can't make a logical determination as to why it went up or down," Lindquist said. "It's very difficult to take one year to the next and make an explanation for an up or down change."

Felony drug charges aren't necessarily hard to come by, either. Possession of certain drugs can result in felony charges. Even a trace amount of methamphetamine or cocaine in a pipe will get the owner a felony charge. Being in possession of a certain amount of marijuana brings felony charges. Even being in possession of certain prescription medications can result in felony charges, if the name on the bottle doesn't match that of the person in possession of those medications.

Every so often, school liaison officers will find a student in possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia. It's not often enough though, that it causes concern for local police.

"There's more tobacco violations in the schools than anything," Lindquist said, "but we haven't seen anything stemming out of the schools that has caused concern for me."

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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