DOC working to address recent rise in drug incidents at Moose Lake prison

The state’s prison system is trying to get a handle on a recent wave of drug incidents at one of its facilities.

Aaron Swanum, a media information officer for the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC), says 20 inmates at the Moose Lake correctional facility have been caught having or using drugs or drug paraphernalia since Aug. 16.

Five of those 20 inmates were taken to a hospital for emergency treatment, Swanum adds.

DOC staff have reportedly found a variety of drugs being smuggled into the Moose Lake facility, including meth, K2 (spice), synthetic cannabinoids, amphetamines and suboxone.

“We are concerned about what has become a troubling trend and are committed to interrupting the flow of illegal drugs into our facilities and keeping the incarcerated population safe,” Swanum told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, adding the DOC’s Office of Special Investigations has made it one of its highest priorities.

The department is also trying other measures, like reviewing mail, closely monitoring calls and visits as well as other investigative work to solve the issue, according to Swanum. Those found to have been involved are facing unspecified discipline.

The prison is also closing to visitors every Friday until further notice, starting this week, DOC’s website says.

The Moose Lake facility is a medium security prison located just off Interstate 35 about 40 miles southwest of Duluth.