Drug Intelligence Center
California Border Alliance Group Drug Market Analysis
Mexican DTOs use the CBAG region as a regional and national distribution center for illicit drugs. Most of the cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, and pharmaceutical drugs smuggled from Mexico into the area are destined for drug markets throughout the country, such as Boston, Massachusetts; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; Los Angeles, California; Portland, Oregon; Tampa, Florida; and Washington, D.C. However, significant quantities of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ODDs, and diverted pharmaceuticals are distributed in the area.
After illicit drugs have been transported into the region, Mexican DTOs generally store them for a short time at stash sites throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties, including at residences, warehouses, storage facilities, and storefronts. After the illicit drugs have reached the stash sites, they are repackaged for distribution to drug markets in the CBAG region and markets throughout the United States.
Mexican DTOs dominate drug distribution in the CBAG region, generally supplying wholesale quantities of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine, primarily to Mexican criminal groups and gangs, including prison gangs, street gangs, and OMGs. These groups supply midlevel quantities to retail distributors--predominantly smaller street gangs and independent dealers. African American, Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic street gangs dominate retail-level distribution throughout the CBAG region.
The distribution of diverted pharmaceuticals (including steroids) is prevalent in the CBAG region as a result of the area's proximity to a large number of pharmacies in Mexico. Tijuana, Mexico, has approximately 10 times the number of pharmacies needed to support its population, a strong indication that consumers--both legitimate and illegitimate--purchase significant quantities of pharmaceuticals in the city.4 Individuals who seek diverted pharmaceuticals for abuse or distribution often travel to Mexico to obtain a variety of pharmaceuticals, primarily prescription narcotics, sedatives, and steroids and smuggle them across the California-Mexico border in private vehicles or on foot. Caucasian criminal groups and individuals are distributing increasing amounts of diverted pharmaceuticals from the CBAG region to areas throughout the United States.
4. The large steroid manufacturing industry in Mexico supplies consumers primarily in the United States, and over 80 percent of steroids seized in the United States have been manufactured in Mexico.
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