Drug Intelligence Center
Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis
Mexican DTOs and criminal groups are the principal transporters of illicit drugs into and through the Chicago HIDTA region. They transport multipound to multiton shipments of illicit drugs (cocaine, heroin, and marijuana) to the Chicago HIDTA region from the Southwest Border area using sophisticated and unsophisticated concealment methods in private and commercial vehicles and by package delivery services. Sophisticated concealment techniques include equipping private and commercial vehicles with elaborate hidden compartments, concealing shipments among legitimate freight goods, and concealing shipments in packages treated with odor-masking agents such as grease and mustard. Unsophisticated techniques include using duffel bags to conceal drugs in private and commercial vehicles.
Colombian DTOs and criminal groups, which often employ Mexican DTOs and criminal groups to smuggle illicit drugs on their behalf, sometimes transport SA heroin and cocaine to the Chicago HIDTA region. They transport these drugs into the HIDTA region from Mexico and also use couriers traveling by commercial air and private vehicles, typically through New York and Miami.
Nigerian and other West African DTOs and criminal groups transport small quantities of SWA heroin and, to a lesser extent, SEA and SA heroin to the region. Additionally, West African DTOs smuggle small quantities of SWA heroin from India to Chicago through the U.S. mail. They typically smuggle heroin directly to the region using couriers on commercial aircraft, or they ship it using package delivery services. They also transport heroin into the region using couriers traveling on buses or trains or in private vehicles; these couriers typically depart for Chicago from Los Angeles and New York.
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