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drugs in Nebraska

Drugs in the United States: Nebraska

State Facts
Population: 1,711,263
Law Enforcement Officers: xx
State Prison Population: 3,492
Probation Population: 20,462
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 22
2001 Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 429.7 kgs.
Heroin: 0 kgs.
Methamphetamine: 48.3 kgs.
Marijuana: 437.7 kgs.
Clandestine Laboratories: 213 (DEA, state, and local)

Methamphetamine is the major concern for law enforcement within the state of Nebraska. In 2001, indictments in methamphetamine cases nearly doubled, while anhydrous ammonia thefts throughout the state increased 500 percent. Nebraska continues to be a transshipment state for Mexican methamphetamine with Interstate 80 providing easy west to east access across the state. Nebraska has over 165 meat-packing/poultry plants and 55,000 farms statewide. The number of Hispanic workers, both legal and illegal, have nearly tripled in the last 10 years, and Hispanic children currently represent the largest minority student population in the state. While most are honest and hard working, this rapid growth has allowed drug trafficking organizations with ties to Mexico to more easily blend into the community.

Cocaine: Cocaine is predominantly controlled by Hispanic trafficking organizations, many from Mexico. Cocaine is transported via car, parcel package and body carriers from Mexico via El Paso, Texas. Cocaine is available at both the wholesale and retail level. Crack cocaine is a serious problem in the large urban centers of Nebraska.

Heroin: Heroin is available in small amounts in the Omaha, Nebraska area. While not considered a drug of choice in Nebraska, some Hispanic trafficking organizations are poly-drug and have heroin available for consumer use.

nebraska methamphetamine arrests Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine is the greatest drug threat to the state, and is available in almost every town and community. Hispanic drug trafficking organizations are flooding most Hispanic communities with methamphetamine from the southern border region of the United States. Methamphetamine produced in clandestine labs is also readily available in many communities. With the vast amount of farms across the state and limited law enforcement, this area is prime for exploitation.

Club Drugs: The popularity of these drugs is increasing at an alarming rate, as there is a perception among users that these drugs are “safe” to use. Preliminary investigations show organizations in Nebraska have been receiving multi-hundred to thousand dosage units of MDMA (Ecstasy) from Florida and Arizona. Efforts are currently underway to link investigations of mid-level distributors and “Rave” parties.

Marijuana: Marijuana is the most prevalent illicit drug in Nebraska. Domestic production of both outdoor and hydroponic indoor grows have been steady with many seizures netting upwards of 500 plants. Marijuana produced outside of Nebraska and transported into the state is controlled by Mexican drug trafficking organizations at the wholesale level. At the retail level, independent dealers, outlaw motorcycle gangs, street gangs, Native Americans, and Mexican groups share equally in the retail market. Marijuana Legalization: Legislative Bill 273 was passed during the first session of the 97th legislature (2000) which provides guidance for the legal production of industrial hemp (cannabis sativa) having no more than 3/10ths of one percent tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the only legislation introduced regarding legalization of marijuana in the state of Nebraska in recent years.

Other Drugs: Stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids and illegally diverted pharmaceuticals are abused to a much lesser degree than the more traditional drugs in Nebraska.

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. From March to May 1997, a MET was deployed to Dawson County, Nebraska, in order to assist in identifying and dismantling methamphetamine organizations located between Lincoln and North Platte, Nebraska. This successful operation resulted in the arrest of 11 defendants. In addition, a Regional Enforcement Team deployed to Omaha from September 1999 to November, 1999 to assist with an investigation of a polydrug trafficking organization with ties to Mexico, California, Texas, and Kansas. A federal grand jury indicted 19 individuals, of which 17 were arrested.

Special Topics: The Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) was established by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in 1996, in order to combat methamphetamine in the Midwestern states. Since it’s formation, the DEA has served in a leadership role in the HIDTA. There are seven Nebraska-based initiatives in the Midwest HIDTA, one of which is a federal task force (FBI).

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