|Submitted||Jan. 9, 2014|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Minnesota Data Practices Act, I hereby request the following documents:
Any after-action reports or similar summary reports regarding cases where MPS (whether BCA or other components) have utilized drones in cooperation with the federal Department of Homeland Security.
In the attached letter of January 3, 2014, BCA General Counsel indicated that this had happened in a handful of cases.
I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.
In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I would request your response within ten (10) business days.
I am writing to follow-up to you regarding an inquiry you made to our General Counsel Joseph Newton regarding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. In your response to our initial letter, which I have attached for reference, you asked for after action reports or memoranda regarding our use of these vehicles.
Mr. Newton noted that these vehicles were utilized in a handful of instances where the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) was involved with a particular case. Upon reviewing our case files in which these vehicles were used, they have all been found to be open and active investigations. Therefore, any data associated with them is classified as confidential or protected non-public pursuant to Minn. Stat. §13.82, Subd. 7 as criminal investigative data. While the reports associated with those files are classified as such, I can inform you that the cases involved outdoor marijuana grows on public lands.
It is important to reiterate that the BCA and/or the Minnesota Department of Public Safety do not own or operate any unmanned aerial vehicles. The BCA was involved in a handful of instances where such vehicles were utilized by investigators through our federal partners over public lands.
Please let me know if you have additional questions.
Drew Evans | Assistant Superintendent
MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
1430 Maryland Ave. E
St. Paul, MN 55106
651-793-1108 | Andrew.Evans@state.mn.us<mailto:Andrew.Evans@state.mn.us>