Macalla Lee Knott, 30, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, laundering money, and running a criminal enterprise on March 23 in a North Dakota court. Knott is originally from Saint Cloud, Minnesota, and has been living in Mexico since early 2020.
Federal prosecutors said that Knott directed the sales and distribution of narcotics such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and fentanyl from the Sinaloa Cartel to buyers from the upper Midwest. Federal investigators seized over 110 pounds of narcotics. Two other women from Minnesota were arrested in connection to Knotts' drug enterprise.
Following another incident Last month, Minnesota state troopers pulled over Cortez Ananias Willaims near the Minnesota-Iowa state border. Willaims was under watch by a drug task force for over a year, being suspected of trafficking activities involving Fentanyl and other drugs. Officials were able to track him through his phone and, using an informant, the task force was able to track him delivering drugs cross-country. When Willaims was arrested he was carrying over 4.4 kilograms of Fentanyl pills and almost 100 grams - about 3.53 oz - of cocaine.
Williams' first court appearance was on March 14th, when the judge ordered him to be detained until his hearing on March 16th.
On the D.E.A. website, they classify Fentanyl as a synthetic opioid, with enough potency that one kilogram could be enough to kill half a million people.
During a press conference last week, Minnesota GOP lawmakers pushed for legislation that would implement harsher penalties for crime, including Fentanyl possession. Minnesota House minority leader Lisa Demuth said, “We want to prioritize the rights of victims to stop crime, and we don’t want to give any more ground to the offenders.”
There were 1,286 drug overdose-related deaths in Minnesota in 2021, a staggering 22% percent increase from the 678 drug-related deaths in 2020. In 2021, the Minnesota Department of Health also reported that Minnesota Indians were ten times more likely to die from a drug overdose than white Minnesotans, and black Minnesotans were three times more likely to die from a drug overdose than white Minnesotans. From 2020 to 2021 there was a 22% increase in non-fatal opioid overdose cases.
With rising opioid death and overdoses, the Minnesota Department of Health urges communities to look after the most at-risk communities - the elderly, minorities, and the lower class.
Article edited by: Alexa
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