National Drug Intelligence
The dominance that Mexican DTOs exert over wholesale cocaine, heroin, and marijuana distribution in the Chicago HIDTA region is unlikely to be challenged by other drug trafficking organizations in the near term. As the Mexican population expands into suburban areas of the region, Mexican traffickers will more easily mask their drug distribution operations by assimilating into these communities.
Law enforcement initiatives targeting street gang drug distribution and related violence in Chicago have been successful. As these efforts continue, gang members will increasingly relocate to surrounding jurisdictions that often lack the law enforcement resources to deal with gang-related criminal activity. Without increased resources and law enforcement efforts, street gangs will most likely entrench themselves in these communities and increase their criminal activities.
The threat posed by distribution and abuse of heroin will quite likely increase in the Chicago HIDTA region in the near term. The growing number of heroin abusers from suburban areas and neighboring states in addition to rising purity levels and lower wholesale prices indicates that the demand for and availability of heroin are increasing. Consequently, heroin treatment provider services in the region will continue to outpace those for cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, or other substances of abuse.
The availability and abuse of MDMA in the HIDTA region are likely to increase in the near term as Asian, Albanian, and Caucasian traffickers supply increasing quantities of the drug to the region from Canada. Law enforcement reporting indicates that MDMA abuse among new user groups in African American and Hispanic communities is expanding as a result of increased MDMA distribution by African American and Hispanic street gangs.
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