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National Drug Intelligence Center
Indiana Drug Threat Assessment Update
Methamphetamine poses the second greatest drug threat to Indiana, and abuse appears to be increasing. According to TEDS, the number of methamphetamine-related treatment admissions to publicly funded facilities more than doubled from 265 in 1998 to 694 in 1999, the most recent year for which data are available. (See Table 1 in Cocaine section.) Additionally, federal and state law enforcement reporting indicates that methamphetamine abuse is spreading from rural southwestern areas of Indiana to more urban areas in the northeastern part of the state.
Methamphetamine produced in Mexico and southwestern states as well as locally produced methamphetamine is available; however, the availability of each type of methamphetamine varies by location. The DEA Merrillville Resident Office reports that methamphetamine produced in Mexico and southwestern states is available at an increasing rate in northwestern Indiana. Law enforcement officials in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis report that methamphetamine produced in Mexico and southwestern states is dominant in their areas as well. The Terre Haute and Vincennes Police Departments report that locally produced methamphetamine is increasingly available in their areas; law enforcement in Evansville report increased availability of both locally produced methamphetamine and methamphetamine produced in Mexico and southwestern states.
Prices for methamphetamine are generally stable, and supply appears to be increasing. According to DEA, in the first quarter of FY2002, methamphetamine sold for $16,000 to $23,000 per pound, $1,400 to $2,000 per ounce, and $90 to $100 per gram in Indianapolis and the surrounding area and for $9,000 to $11,000 per pound, $900 to $1,200 per ounce, and $100 per gram in northwestern Indiana. Federal, state, and local law enforcement officials report the growing presence of methamphetamine in their jurisdictions. This increasing supply is reflected in seizure reporting. According to the Federal-wide Drug Seizure System (FDSS), seizures of methamphetamine in the state increased significantly from 3.8 kilograms in 2000 to 31.4 kilograms in 2001.
Local independent Caucasian males are the primary producers of methamphetamine in the state. They generally use the Birch reduction method to produce the drug. This method requires anhydrous ammonia, a common agricultural fertilizer, as a precursor chemical. Law enforcement officials in many rural communities throughout Indiana report increased thefts of anhydrous ammonia that they attribute to increased methamphetamine production in their areas. Methamphetamine production is spreading throughout Indiana, particularly from southwest to northeast. This has resulted in a dramatic increase in laboratory seizures, from 3 in 1997 to 303 in 2001.
Mexican criminal groups transport methamphetamine produced in Mexico and southwestern states into Indiana in private vehicles. Locally produced methamphetamine typically is not transported far from laboratory sites. However, local independent producers usually transport precursor chemicals to laboratory sites throughout the state in private vehicles.
Mexican criminal groups are the primary wholesale distributors of methamphetamine produced in Mexico and southwestern states. They generally sell wholesale quantities to local independent dealers for retail distribution. Locally produced methamphetamine is not produced in quantities large enough to support wholesale distribution. Retail distribution, however, is conducted by individuals who produce the drug. Retail methamphetamine distribution usually occurs in bars, restaurants, and private residences.
Methamphetamine-related violence and property crimes are increasing in Indiana. Law enforcement officials report that methamphetamine-related shootings, assaults, and thefts have occurred over the past year.
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