'Operation Brownstone' Nets 24 in Heroin Bust

By KBJR News 1

June 7, 2012 Updated Jun 7, 2012 at 8:33 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- An operation conducted by the Lake Superior Drug & Violent Crime Task Force aiming to combat the increase of heroin use has reportedly arrested 24 people in their investigation.

On Thursday, 'Operation Brownstone,' named after brown powder heroin, the type seen most in the Twin Ports, made 14 arrests of over 24 people of the investigation, the Task Force says.

Two more subjects were already in custody before the operation started; eight others were arrested for unrelated warrants during the operation, for a total 24 arrests.

This operation was an effort to combat the recent increase in heroin trafficking and abuse.

Charges are pending but include, 3rd and 2nd Degree Sale of Controlled Substance, 3rd Degree Sale of Heroin, 3rd Degree Sale of Synthetic Narcotic, 3rd Degree Sale of Opana, 5th Degree Possession of Controlled Substance and 1st Degree Sale of Methamphetamine.

The Task Force worked in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Marshals Service and Duluth Police Department.

Before 'Operation Brownstone,' the Task Force saw successs from their other investigation, "Pills in a Box," targeting the prescription opiates, Opana and Oxycontin.

After the completion of that investigation, 27 defendants were indicted in Federal Court and 26 of the defendants have pled guilty to charges.

No one was reported harmed during the sweep, and no one resisted arrest.

The ages of those arrested ranged from 16 to 56 years of age.