ARCHIVED      Text Version     PDF Version     To Publications Page     To Home Page

To Home Page.

   

National Drug Intelligence Center.

     

Title:

Virginia Drug Threat Assessment

Virginia Drug Threat Assessment.Publication Date: March  2002

Document ID: 2002-S0379VA-001

Update: June 2003

Archived on:  January 1, 2006. This document may contain dated information. It remains available to provide access to historical materials.

This report is a strategic assessment that addresses the status and outlook of the drug threat to Virginia. Analytical judgment determined the threat posed by each drug type or category, taking into account the most current quantitative and qualitative information on availability, demand, production or cultivation, transportation, and distribution, as well as the effects of a particular drug on abusers and society as a whole. While NDIC sought to incorporate the latest available information, a time lag often exists between collection and publication of data, particularly demand-related data sets. NDIC anticipates that this drug threat assessment will be useful to policymakers, law enforcement personnel, and treatment providers at the federal, state, and local levels because it draws upon a broad range of information sources to describe and analyze the drug threat to Virginia.

Your questions, comments, and suggestions for future subjects are welcome at any time.  Addresses are provided at the end of the page.
Flag image Stockbyte.


                       

Contents

Executive Summary

Overview
  Fast Facts

Cocaine
  Abuse
  Availability
  Violence
  Production
  Transportation
  Distribution

Marijuana
  Abuse
  Availability
  Violence
  Production
  Transportation
  Distribution

Heroin 
  Abuse
  Availability
  Violence
  Production
  Transportation
  Distribution

Other Dangerous Drugs
  Stimulants
  Hallucinogens
  Depressants
  Diverted Pharmaceuticals

 

Methamphetamine
  Abuse
  Availability
  Violence
  Production
  Transportation
  Distribution

Outlook

Sources


List of Tables

Table 1. Primary Drug-Related Treatment Admissions to Publicly Funded Facilities, Virginia, 1995-1999
Table 2. Areas With the Highest 3-Year Average Drug-Related Arrest Rates Per 100,000, Virginia, 1996-1998

 

List of Charts 

Chart 1. Drug-Related Arrests, Virginia, 1995-2000 
Chart 2. Marijuana-Related Arrests, Virginia, 1995-2000

 List of Figures

Figure 1. Central Virginia.
Figure 2. Tidewater.
Figure 3. Southwestern Virginia.
Figure 4. Northern Virginia.
Figure 5. Shenandoah Valley.


Executive Summary

The production, distribution, and abuse of illicit drugs and the diversion and abuse of pharmaceuticals pose a serious threat to Virginia. Crack cocaine is the drug most often associated with violent crime in the state. Marijuana is the most widely available and frequently abused drug in Virginia. However, the nature of the drug threat varies throughout the state. For example, cocaine is readily available and is the principal drug threat to the heavily populated areas of Northern Virginia and urban centers elsewhere in the state. Heroin is increasingly available and is the primary drug threat to the Central Virginia and Tidewater areas and is an emerging threat to Winchester. Other dangerous drugs, particularly MDMA, are an increasing threat primarily to the Northern Virginia and Tidewater areas. The diversion and abuse of OxyContin are the principal threats to southwestern Virginia, and methamphetamine is an emerging threat, particularly to the Shenandoah Valley.

Cocaine, particularly crack, is the primary drug threat to Virginia. Powdered cocaine and crack cocaine are readily available in most population centers in the state. Cocaine abuse is associated with more drug-related admissions to publicly funded treatment facilities than is abuse of any other drug. Nearly two-thirds of all drug-related federal sentences in Virginia in fiscal year (FY) 2000 were cocaine-related. Crack cocaine is the drug most often associated with violent crime in the state. Colombian and Dominican criminal groups based in New York City and Philadelphia and, to a lesser but increasing extent, Mexican criminal groups based in Atlanta and Charlotte (NC) transport wholesale quantities of powdered cocaine into Virginia and distribute the drug at the wholesale level. In addition, Virginia-based African American, Caucasian, and Jamaican criminal groups and local independent dealers travel primarily to New York City and also to Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Miami to purchase wholesale quantities of powdered cocaine and return to Virginia to distribute the drug at the retail level. Cocaine typically is transported into Virginia in private or rental vehicles. Retail distributors usually convert powdered cocaine into crack in Virginia on an as-needed basis. Wholesale crack distribution usually is limited to multiounce quantities. African American criminal groups based in Virginia and African American local independent dealers and street gangs distribute crack at the wholesale and retail levels. Retail distributors typically sell crack at open-air markets in Virginia and at public housing projects in the Central Virginia and Tidewater areas.

Marijuana, produced primarily in Mexico, is the most widely available and frequently abused drug in Virginia. However, law enforcement officers generally regard the drug as a lower threat than cocaine because marijuana abusers and distributors usually do not commit violent crimes. The number of admissions for marijuana abuse to publicly funded treatment facilities in Virginia was second only to cocaine each year from 1995 through 1999. Fifty-eight percent of all drug-related arrests by state and local law enforcement in 2000 were marijuana-related. Most of the marijuana available in the state is produced in Mexico, but some is produced in southwestern states, Virginia, and neighboring states. Marijuana typically is transported into the state via commercial and private vehicles and via package delivery and express mail services. Jamaican and Mexican criminal groups based in southwestern states and Virginia and Caucasian criminal groups based in Virginia are the primary transporters and wholesale distributors of marijuana produced in Mexico and southwestern states. Caucasian criminal groups and local independent dealers are the primary transporters and wholesale distributors of marijuana produced in Virginia and neighboring states. Local independent dealers, primarily African American and Caucasian, and street gangs are the principal retail distributors of marijuana produced in Mexico and southwestern states, while Caucasian local independent dealers are the principal retail distributors of marijuana produced in Virginia and neighboring states.

Heroin, produced primarily in South America, is an increasing threat to Virginia. Southeast Asian, Southwest Asian, and Mexican black tar and brown powdered heroin also are available. Most new heroin abusers in Virginia are young adults who snort the drug rather than inject it. The number of admissions for heroin abuse to publicly funded treatment facilities ranked third behind cocaine and marijuana from 1995 through 1999. Heroin was a factor in more drug-related deaths in Virginia in 2000 than any other drug. Heroin is readily available in the Central Virginia and Tidewater areas and is an emerging threat to Winchester. The number of heroin-related federal sentences in Virginia fluctuated between FY1996 and FY2000 but was lower than the number of sentences for every other major drug in FY2000. Dominican criminal groups based in New York City and Philadelphia transport wholesale quantities of South American heroin into Virginia and distribute the drug at the wholesale level. African American criminal groups based in Virginia frequently travel to New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., to purchase wholesale quantities of heroin and return to Virginia where they distribute the drug at the wholesale level. Transporters commonly use private and rental vehicles, commercial buses, and passenger rail services to transport heroin from New York City and Philadelphia into Virginia. Local independent African American dealers are the principal retail distributors of heroin in Virginia.

Other dangerous drugs (ODDs) present a significant and increasing threat to Virginia. ODDs include stimulants such as MDMA; hallucinogens such as LSD, PCP, and ketamine; depressants such as GHB; and diverted pharmaceuticals including opioids (narcotic analgesics) such as OxyContin, Dilaudid, Hycodan, Lortab, Percocet, Percodan, Tylox, Vicodin, and methadone, and sedative hypnotics (benzodiazepines) such as Xanax and Valium. Various criminal groups transport ODDs to Virginia via parcel delivery and express mail services. Many ODDs are sold and abused by middle-class, suburban, young adults at raves and nightclubs, and on college campuses. MDMA is increasingly available and abused in Virginia, particularly in the Northern Virginia, Central Virginia, and Tidewater areas. The diversion and abuse of pharmaceuticals, especially OxyContin, represent the most significant ODD threat to southwestern Virginia. Caucasian criminal groups and local independent dealers are the principal distributors of diverted pharmaceuticals.

Methamphetamine poses a low but increasing threat to Virginia. Levels of availability and abuse have increased in the Shenandoah Valley, and the drug is an emerging threat to southwestern Virginia. Most of the methamphetamine available in Virginia is produced by Mexican drug trafficking organizations and criminal groups using the hydriodic acid/red phosphorus method in high volume laboratories in Mexico and California. However, Virginia-based Caucasian criminal groups, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and local independent Caucasian dealers sometimes produce methamphetamine using the phenyl-2-propanone (P2P) and Birch reduction methods. Mexican criminal groups are the primary transporters of most of the methamphetamine available in Virginia. These groups usually transport the drug from Mexico and southwestern states into Virginia using private automobiles, couriers aboard commercial airlines, and package delivery and express mail services. Mexican criminal groups, some based in Virginia, are the primary wholesale distributors of methamphetamine in the state, particularly in the Shenandoah Valley. Mexican criminal groups and Caucasian local independent dealers are the principal retail distributors of methamphetamine produced in Mexico and southwestern states. Outlaw motorcycle gangs, Caucasian criminal groups, and local independent dealers distribute methamphetamine produced in Virginia and other states at the retail level.


Addresses

National Drug Intelligence Center
319 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Johnstown, PA 15901

Tel. (814) 532-4601
FAX (814) 532-4690
E-mail NDIC.Contacts@usdoj.gov

National Drug Intelligence Center
8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 1001
McLean, VA 22102-3840

Tel. (703) 556-8970
FAX (703) 556-7807

 

Web Addresses

ADNET:  http://ndicosa 
      DOJ:  http://www.usdoj.gov/archive/ndic/
      LEO:  home.leo.gov/lesig/archive/ndic/ 


To Top     To Contents     To Next Page

To Publications Page     To Home Page


End of page.