Facial recognition technology is helping to solve drug crimes in Minnesota. As felony drug crimes continue to escalate in Minneapolis and St. Paul, drug lawyers in Minneapolis will see increases in the severity of sentences for drug charges.
Facial Recognition Technology
In 2013, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office began using facial recognition technology, know as Image Identification Technology, to help catch people involved in a variety of drug crimes. The technology works by identifying thousands of points on a person’s face. It analyzes even the smallest details about the shape of a person’s lips, the width of their eyes, and the curve of their eyebrows. After scanning the face, the image is run through a database of known area drug dealers and other criminal suspects. Within thirty minutes, the facial recognition technology locates all potential matches.
Since the technology was implemented, the Sheriff’s Office has received over 80 requests for assistance with drug crimes from other law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Over half of the cases that were run through the facial recognition program resulted in positive identification.
Drug Trends in Minnesota
- Heroin and Opiate Drugs – In 2013, heroin treatment admissions to Twin Cities hospitals accounted for a record-high 13.6 percent, while admissions related to prescription opiates (other than heroin) accounted for another 10.1 percent during the first half of the year. Heroin was noted in 10.6 percent of drug seizures made by Twin Cities law enforcement agencies.
- Cocaine – In 2013, cocaine treatment admissions to Twin Cities hospitals fell in the first half of 2013, accounting for 4.1 percent of total admissions. Cocaine was noted as a primary or secondary drug in 20.6 percent of drug seizures made by Twin Cities law enforcement agencies.
- Methamphetamine – In 2013, methamphetamine treatment admissions to Twin Cities hospitals accounted for 9.4 percent during the first half of the year. Since 2013, methamphetamine use in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area has steady increased. Over the last two years, methamphetamine was identified in 31.5 percent of drug seizures made by Twin Cities law enforcement agencies.
As drug crimes continue to rise in Minnesota, a drug lawyer Minneapolis expects to see more arrests and harsher penalties, especially for repeat drug offenders. A first-degree conviction for selling, possessing or manufacturing heroin, opioids, cocaine or methamphetamine drugs can carry a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, and a fine of up to $1 million, or both.