The Criminal Division of the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office is responsible for charging and prosecuting all levels of adult crimes that occur in the county, including all felonies, as well as gross misdemeanors, misdemeanors and county ordinance violations. The Criminal Division prosecuted 3,336 cases in 2016. This included 2,165 felonies; seven homicides; 72 sexual assaults; 269 domestic assaults; an additional 287 assaults and 729 felony drug cases. The Duluth criminal prosecutors, led by division supervisor Gary Bjorklund, are members of several multi-disciplinary teams and team members for several specialty courts. The multi-disciplinary teams include First Witness, the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault (PAVSA), and the Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT.) These specialty courts are considered some of the most successful specialty courts in the nation and are model courts which other specialty courts from around the country routinely visit to learn the newest and best practices in dealing with difficult offenders. Prosecutors provided training to numerous stakeholders in the criminal justice system. Training was provided to law enforcement in the areas of new laws, report writing, search and seizure, testifying in court, and domestic violence investigations. Prosecutors also provided training to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), sexual assault victim advocates, and corrections officers. The Criminal Division’s goal is to continue to provide excellent support and services to all of our fellow stakeholders in the criminal justice system. Training sessions are scheduled throughout 2017 and the division will continue to work closely with various partners to ensure that offenders are held accountable. The division continues to establish policies and procedures to help move criminal cases more quickly through the court system. It works closely with judges and defense attorneys to make certain that this happens. One collateral benefit of moving cases quickly will be to alleviate some of the over-crowding issues at the St. Louis County Jail. The Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force and the Boundary Waters Task Force were combined this past year into a single task force which includes law enforcement agencies from Northern and Southern St. Louis County, Carlton County and Lake County, as well as from the City of Superior. Prosecutors work closely with Task Force investigators to identify and aggressively prosecute major drug dealers, especially heroin dealers, who are bringing these dangerous drugs into our area. Sometimes cases that initially appear routine can become extremely complex with far ranging implications. One such case involved Dennis Yellow who was charged as being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm after what started as a routine traffic stop. The gun was found in a men’s jacket in the car he was driving. Testing revealed that the gun contained a mixture of DNA from at least four people. Yellow could not be excluded as being a contributor to the DNA mixture while a large percentage of the world’s population could be excluded. The trial court heard three days of testimony from experts for the prosecution and the defense on whether the DNA mixture testimony could be used at trial. After extensive written arguments were filed, the court found that the DNA complex mixture evidence was foundationally and scientifically reliable. The defense motion to suppress the evidence was denied. The decision has potential statewide and national implications on the admissibility of this type of evidence. Prosecutors from around the country have cited this court order when seeking to have DNA mixture evidence admitted at trial. CriminalDivision/Duluth Gary Bjorklund Criminal Division Head – Duluth Duluth Office: Jessica Fralich Jon Holets Chris Pinkert Nate Stumme Rebekka Stumme Kristen Swanson Vicky Wanta CRIMINAL DIVISION Patty Wheeler Victim/Witness Director Duluth Office: Anne Fisk Lori Ulvi Virgina Office: Michael O’Bryan Hibbing Office: Elaine Lee VICTIM / WITNESS DIVISION Duluth Adult Division 218-726-2323 1-800-450-9777, Ext. 2323 Duluth Juvenile Division 218-726-2034 1-800-450-9777, Ext. 8158 Hibbing 218-262-0158 1-800-450-9777, Ext. 8158 Virginia 218-749-7101 1-800-450-9777, Ext. 7101 2016 ST. LOUIS COUNTY ATTORNEY’S ANNUAL REPORT 6