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drugs in Colorado

Drugs in the United States: Colorado

State Facts
Population: 4,417,714
Law Enforcement Officers: 13,535
State Prison Population: 17,150
Probation Population: 19,188
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 33
2001 Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 206 kgs.
Heroin: 2 kgs.
Methamphetamine: 54 kgs.
Marijuana: 455 kgs.
Clandestine Laboratories: 216 (DEA, state, and local)

Mexican poly-drug trafficking organizations continue to control the majority of the distribution of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and heroin in Colorado. Street gangs with ties to larger criminal organizations in Texas, California, Illinois, as well as Mexico, are deeply involved in all types of drug distribution throughout the state.

Cocaine: Enforcement activities reflect a steady supply of cocaine coming into the metropolitan areas of Colorado. Cocaine is generally sold in ounce and pound quantities, however, trafficking organizations in Denver deal in multi-kilogram quantities supplied directly from Mexico. Crack use is declining but remains available in the larger metropolitan areas of Colorado. It is generally only available in street level amounts of one gram or less in Denver.

Heroin: Mexican black tar heroin is the predominant type of heroin found in Colorado and is available in the major metropolitan areas of Colorado. Mexican brown heroin can also be found to a lesser degree.

colorado methamphetamine arrests Methamphetamine: Throughout Colorado, methamphetamine is available in varying degrees of quality, although the overall purity levels have been dropping significantly in recent years. Generally, locally produced methamphetamine is of a higher potency than that imported from Mexico.

Club Drugs: The market for the category of mostly synthetic substances known as “club drugs” has been saturated in Colorado. “Raves” are not particularly commonplace throughout the state, although they are held occasionally around Denver and Colorado Springs. Violence, pornography, and prostitution often play key roles in club drug trafficking and abuse. Ketamine and GHB have been surfacing frequently and increasingly in the Denver Field Division’s investigations. LSD in liquid form also is readily available in the metropolitan areas of Colorado. It is growing in popularity with the same young, predominately white user population. (LSD on blotter paper is shown at night.)

Marijuana: Marijuana is readily available in multi-pound quantities in Denver and a highly potent form of marijuana called “BC Bud” is surfacing. BC Bud commands up to $500 an ounce and $4,000-5,000 per pound and is smuggled into Colorado from British Columbia, Canada to Washington and Oregon.

Marijuana Legalization: Amendment 20 (effective June 1, 2001) allows use and possession of small amounts of marijuana for sick and dying patients. It provides protection against prosecution under state law, which is where the vast majority of marijuana small-use and possession cases occur.

Other Drugs: Pharmaceutical opiates/opiods are the drugs of choice among drug abusing medical professionals in Colorado. Hydrocodonel (Vicodin) and Darvocet are the two controlled substances most commonly abused, with various forms of prescription fraud and retail diversion being the methods for obtaining them. The diversion and abuse of Oxycontin (oxycodone) is a significant problem in Colorado.

DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams: This cooperative program with state and local law enforcement counterparts was conceived in 1995 in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation. There have been 359 deployments completed resulting in over 14,456 arrests of violent drug criminals as of April 1, 2002.There have been 16 Denver Division Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) deployments in the state of Colorado since the inception of the program: Lakewood; Durango; Edgewater; Avon; Eagle and Garfield Counties; Pueblo; La Plata County; Longmont; El Paso County; Englewood; Jefferson County; Sun Luis Valley; and four deployments in Denver. These deployments resulted in 321 arrests and the seizure of 67.4 pounds of cocaine, 2.8 pounds of crack cocaine, 2.3 pounds of heroin, 2.9 pounds of marijuana, 48.3 pounds of methamphetamine, one pseudophedrine lab, and one methamphetamine lab (Longmont.) Also seized were 71 vehicles, 106 weapons, and over $2.5 million in cash and property.

Other Enforcement Operations: Two significant operations were successfully completed within the past two years. The most recent was Operation Green Clover , an investigation resulting in 68 arrests in Colorado and California, and the seizure of approximately 90,000 MDMA tablets, five pounds of methamphetamine, two pounds of cocaine, 28 pounds of marijuana, and $500,000. Additional indictments and arrests are anticipated. Operation Mountain Express was conducted by law enforcement personnel in Denver, Los Angeles, Houston, Orlando, Dallas, and Detroit and identified an organization as a nationwide network of individuals obtaining large quantities of pseudoephedrine for various meth trafficking organizations in the United States. The investigation culminated in the arrests of four individuals in the Denver area and nearly 140 additional arrests at multiple locations throughout the country. Approximately $640,000 was seized in Denver, with $8,000,000 seized nationwide.

Special Topics: In 1996, Colorado was designated a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and is comprised of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso, Garfield, Grand, Jefferson, LaPlata, Larimer, Pueblo, Mesa, Moffat, Routt and Weld counties. On August 11, 2002, a DEA Group Supervisor was assigned to the Rocky Mountain HIDTA Investigative Support Center, indicating the importance placed on combatting drugs in this region.

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Colorado Drug Report Data Source: US Department of Justice, DEA