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Drugs in the United States: Washington
Cocaine: Cocaine and crack cocaine are readily available. Crack cocaine is largely limited to inner city areas. Cocaine is consumed in the state, and smuggled into Canada for redistribution, where it commands a higher price than in the United States. According to a recent Royal Canadian Mounted Police report, up to 24 tons of cocaine enter Canada each year .
Heroin: Mexican black tar and brown heroin are the primary types of heroin found throughout Washington. Mexican poly-drug trafficking organizations remain the primary source of black tar heroin in Washington. Heroin is smuggled from Mexico to Washington by a variety of methods, including vehicles equipped with concealed compartments.
Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine is one of the most widely abused controlled substances in Washington. Two varieties are generally encountered; Mexican methamphetamine, which is either manufactured locally or obtained from sources in Mexico, California, or other Southwest Border states, and methamphetamine which is produced locally by area violators. Of the two types, Mexican methamphetamine continues to flood the market. Methamphetamine is available in multi-kilogram amounts throughout the state. Canadian pseudoephedrine, utilized in the manufacture of methamphetamine, is frequently seized at clandestine laboratory sites.
Club Drugs: MDMA (Ecstasy), is smuggled into the state from elsewhere in the country, Canada, and Europe. Club drugs are growing in popularity across the state, and have been targeted in several successful investigations by the DEA. Smuggling methods have included MDMA shipped in express mail packages, concealed in lumber, hidden compartments in vehicles, and transported in luggage on international or domestic flights.
Marijuana: Marijuana is readily available in multi-pound quantities throughout the state. Three types are normally encountered-locally grown (either from indoor or outdoor grow operations), Canadian BC Bud, and Mexican marijuana. Of these varieties, locally grown sinsemilla and BC Bud are preferred, because they have a far superior THC content than Mexican. Canadian BC Bud is the most prevalent variety in many areas, given the proximity to the border and the extent of cross border smuggling.
Other Drugs: The primary method of pharmaceutical drug diversion continues to be forgery and telephone prescriptions by non-registrants. Illegal dispensing and prescribing by practitioners still exists in the state. Oxycontin is often the target of criminals involved in burglary and armed robbery.
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 348 deployments completed resulting in 14,794 arrests of violent drug criminals as of June 2002. There have been nine MET deployments in the State of Washington since the inception of the program: Puyallup, Everett, Chehalis, Thurston/Yelm, Seattle, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Vancouver, and Bremerton. These deployments resulted in 370 arrests and the seizure of 10.8 pounds of cocaine; 2 pounds of crack cocaine; 6.7 pounds of heroin; 23.5 pounds of marijuana; 19 pounds of methamphetamine and 8 clandestine methamphetamine labs; 3 indoor marijuana growing rooms; and 7,000 MDMA tablets. Also seized were 90 firearms, 67 vehicles valued at over $115,000 and over $600,500 in U.S. currency and property.
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