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NDIC seal linked to Home page. National Drug Intelligence Center
Kansas Drug Threat Assessment
March 2003

Heroin

Heroin poses a low threat to Kansas. Mexican black tar heroin and brown powdered heroin are available on a limited basis in metropolitan areas of the state such as Kansas City and Wichita. Mexican criminal groups are the primary transporters of heroin to drug markets in Kansas. Mexican criminal groups, local independent dealers, and street gangs distribute heroin at the retail level.

 

Abuse

Rates of heroin abuse are low throughout Kansas. According to the NDTS 2002, of the 29 respondents who reported heroin abuse in their jurisdictions, 26 indicated that abuse was low and 3 indicated that abuse was moderate.

Already at low levels, heroin-related treatment admissions to publicly funded facilities in Kansas decreased slightly from 1997 through 2001. According to TEDS, there were 79 heroin-related treatment admissions in 1997 and 75 in 2001. (See Table 1 in Overview section.) In 2001 heroin was associated with fewer admissions to publicly funded treatment facilities than any other illicit drug. Caucasians accounted for 76 percent of heroin-related treatment admissions in 2001. The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services reports that there were 66 heroin-related treatment admissions in SFY2001. (Disparities between federal and state reporting on admissions to substance abuse treatment programs occur because of differences in data collection and reporting methodologies.)

 

Availability

Mexican black tar heroin and brown powdered heroin are available on a limited basis in Kansas, primarily in metropolitan areas. Mexican black tar heroin and brown powdered heroin are available in Kansas City and Wichita. According to the DEA Kansas City District Office, Mexican brown powdered heroin is the predominant type available in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Law enforcement officials in nearby Overland Park indicated that Mexican black tar heroin is moderately available in their jurisdiction.

The amount of heroin seized in Kansas has fluctuated at low levels over the past several years. Federal law enforcement officials seized 1.1 kilograms of heroin in Kansas in 1998; none in 1999; 0.8 kilogram in 2000; and 1.7 kilograms in 2001, according to FDSS data. KHP seized 0.9 kilogram of heroin in 2000 and 1.2 kilograms in 2001. The Kansas City Police Department seized approximately 100 grams of heroin in 2001.

In FY2001 the percentage of drug-related federal sentences that were heroin-related in Kansas was lower than the national percentage. According to USSC, in FY2001, 5 percent of federal sentences in Kansas resulted from heroin violations compared with 7 percent nationally. (See Table 2 in Methamphetamine section.) The number of heroin-related federal sentences in Kansas increased from 2 in FY1997 to 10 in FY2001. However, from October 1998 to May 2001, only 1 of 17 OCDETF investigations initiated in Kansas was heroin-related.

Heroin prices in Kansas vary depending on the area. According to local law enforcement officials, heroin sells for $300 per gram in Kansas City and $100 per gram in Olathe and Topeka. In 2002 the DEA Wichita Resident Office reported that heroin sold for $100 per gram.

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Violence

There are few reported occurrences of violence associated with heroin distribution or abuse in Kansas. Heroin abusers generally are nonviolent; however, some commit property crimes in order to support their drug use.

 

Production

Opium is not cultivated nor is heroin produced in Kansas. Heroin is produced in four source regions: South America, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, and Mexico. The heroin available in Kansas is produced in Mexico.

 

Transportation

Mexican criminal groups are the primary transporters of heroin into Kansas, and they generally use private vehicles and package delivery services. Lenexa Police Department authorities seized nearly 1 kilogram of heroin from a car destined for Kansas City in May 2001. The heroin was concealed in eight tubular, cellophane-wrapped packages hidden in the bumper. Heroin seizures of this size are infrequent in Kansas.

 

Distribution

Wholesale quantities of heroin generally are not available in Kansas; most heroin distribution occurs at the retail level. Mexican criminal groups, local independent dealers, and street gangs distribute heroin at the retail level. According to the Wichita Police Department, African American local independent dealers distribute heroin at the retail level in its jurisdiction. In Dodge City, Playing For Keeps, a gang with African American and Caucasian members, distributes retail quantities of Mexican black tar heroin. Heroin is sold at residences and on street corners and typically is packaged in paper or aluminum foil.

 


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