October 10, 2018 10:23 PM
Erica H. MacDonald is no stranger in the halls of the United States Attorney’s Office at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Minneapolis, having working there previously as an assistant federal prosecutor.
But now she’s in charge of the entire office.
President Donald Trump appointed MacDonald last spring, and she was later confirmed by the Senate, making her the U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota in charge of prosecuting federal crimes.
"I think that each U.S. Attorney comes in with their own personality, their flare,” MacDonald said. “We have the same mission of pursuit of truth and justice."
Before being appointed, MacDonald had been a judge in Dakota County since 2010.
She sat down with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS for her first on-camera interview since taking office and shared her top priorities.
"From the time that I left - the time that I was on the bench - and came back there have been changes in the threats facing public safety in Minnesota," MacDonald said.
Narcotics trafficking/violent crimes are on MacDonald’s new priority list, along with cybercrime, national security, child exploitation/human trafficking and crimes impacting Native American populations.
"We have two epidemics in the state of Minnesota - opioids that affects certain populations, and we have meth that is not going away, it's getting worse exponentially," MacDonald said.
On Friday, MacDonald's office filed a criminal complaint in what they called the largest methamphetamine bust in the state history. A total of 171 pounds were taken off the street in Minneapolis in September.
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Last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted a 100-plus-pound meth bust, and also convicted a man it said was the state’s biggest methamphetamine trafficker.
"The amount of drugs we are seeing when it comes to the weight of meth - it has exploded," MacDonald said.
Minnesota was a destination state for meth. Now it's becoming a point for meth distribution, MacDonald said.
Before leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2009, MacDonald prosecuted human trafficking cases. And they remain on her radar in her new role.
"It's something we have to be vigilant about, I've worked with victims," MacDonald said. "The devastating impact these crimes have on the victim and community, again, can't be understated."
Updated: October 10, 2018 10:23 PM
Created: October 10, 2018 05:40 PM
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