Drug Intelligence Center
Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis
Mexican DTOs and criminal groups exercise unparalleled control over the wholesale illicit drug market in the Chicago HIDTA region. Their dominance over wholesale cocaine, heroin, and marijuana distribution in the region is unlikely to be challenged by other organizations in the near term. Recently, Mexican organizations have expanded their operations into suburban communities to elude detection by law enforcement. Additionally, the potential exists for Mexican DTOs and criminal groups to take some of the ice methamphetamine that they transship through the region en route to markets in the Midwest and distribute it in Chicago if demand increases.
Street gangs dominate retail drug distribution in the Chicago HIDTA region. A large percentage of their drug-related activities occur in urban areas; however, some gangs have expanded into suburban communities. As gangs have moved drug operations into the suburban communities, a wide range of associated criminal activities, including assaults and homicides, has followed. As a result, suburban law enforcement is increasingly burdened with the responsibility of mitigating gang-related activity, often without increased resources.
Many illicit drugs transported to the Chicago HIDTA region are destined for other drug markets within and outside the state of Illinois, solidifying the area's role as a major distribution center for illicit drugs available throughout the Midwest and the eastern half of the United States. Cocaine, heroin, and marijuana transported to the HIDTA region are distributed within the area and to markets in such states as Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Additionally, Mexican DTOs and criminal groups transport significant quantities of methamphetamine and other illicit drugs through the region to markets in other parts of the country, particularly the Midwest. Furthermore, distributors in other states routinely travel to the Chicago HIDTA region to purchase drugs and return to their home locations to distribute them.
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