The Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force was started in 1988 under the supervision of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Since the task force’s formation, its members have included counties and agencies in the Northern Minnesota area, including at different times throughout the 26 year history: Becker County, Beltrami County, Cass County, Clearwater County, Crow Wing County, Hubbard County, Koochiching County, Lake of the Woods County, Mahnomen County, Ottertail County, Red Lake County, Roseau County, Pennington County, the City of Baudette, the City of Bemidji, the City of Park Rapids, the City of Warroad as well as the Leech Lake Reservation, White Earth Reservation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
As of 2018, the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force is made up of the agencies of Beltrami County, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Cass County, Hubbard County, Koochiching County, Leech Lake Reservation, White Earth Reservation, the City of Bemidji, and the City of Park Rapids. There are currently 12 full-time Narcotics Agents assigned to PBDTF.
The current boundaries of the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force encompass over 8,000 square miles and the population of over 71,000 people. The region served is made up of some of the poorest communities in the state. It is mostly rural and remote, made up of small farm towns and one urban area: Bemidji.
Because of the unique nature of this population, the federal government has stepped up its efforts to enforce the laws regarding drug trafficking, violent crimes, and gangs with the formation of the FBI Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force. The Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force works very closely with, and shares Agents with the Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force.