U.S. Department of Justice
National Drug Intelligence Center
Appalachia HIDTA Drug Market Analysis 2010
Mexican DTOs are the principal wholesale distributors of cocaine and Mexican methamphetamine and commercial-grade marijuana in the Appalachia HIDTA region. They also distribute lesser quantities of Mexican brown powder heroin and black tar heroin. Mexican brown powder heroin is supplied to Charleston, West Virginia, from Columbus, Ohio, which is a distribution center for Mexican heroin supplied to markets throughout much of Ohio as well as in West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. They supply these drugs to African American and Caucasian midlevel and retail-level traffickers in the region, as well as street gang members. Retail-level drug distribution typically occurs at open-air drug markets and businesses and in local clubs and private residences.
African American traffickers are the principal midlevel and retail-level distributors in many urban areas of the Appalachia HIDTA region. They typically distribute powder and crack cocaine, marijuana, CPDs, and heroin.
Caucasian traffickers are the principal midlevel and retail-level distributors in most rural areas of the Appalachia HIDTA region. They are the principal distributors of CPDs and locally produced marijuana and methamphetamine throughout the region. They also distribute Mexican commercial-grade marijuana, Mexican methamphetamine and, to a lesser degree, heroin obtained from Mexican traffickers operating in the region. Caucasian traffickers and abusers often obtain CPDs from out-of-state doctors, pharmacies, pain management clinics, and Internet pharmacies.
Gang members distribute illicit drugs at the retail level in the Appalachia HIDTA region. Drug distribution by African American and Hispanic street gang members most frequently occurs in Knoxville and Charleston.h African American street gangs, such as Black Gangster Disciples, Bloods, and Crips, primarily distribute cocaine, marijuana, and limited amounts of CPDs. Members of most Hispanic street gangs, such as Latin Kings, Mara Salvatrucha, Sureņos, and Vatos Locos, distribute cocaine and Mexican commercial-grade marijuana, black tar heroin, and methamphetamine. Outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs), such as Black Pistons, Outlaws, and Southern Sons, distribute limited quantities of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine. Pagan's Motorcycle Club members in West Virginia distribute small quantities of cocaine and marijuana. OMGs in Knoxville typically produce and distribute ice methamphetamine in the area.i
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Drug-related violent and property crimes often occur within the Appalachia HIDTA region as distributors and abusers seek funds to sustain their operations and addictions, respectively. NDTS 2010 data reveal that 19 of 43 respondents report that CPDs are associated with violent crime and 25 report that CPDs are associated with property crime. Moreover, law enforcement officers report that methamphetamine abuse is often associated with crimes such as child endangerment and assault in some areas of the region. In March 2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations indictment charging 55 members and associates of the Pagan's Motorcycle Club with various violations of federal statutes, including racketeering, extortion, kidnapping, drug law offenses, robbery, and conspiracy to commit murder in the Southern District of West Virginia.
Street gang activity has not been reported in Appalachia HIDTA counties in Kentucky.
i. Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force officials report that for prosecutorial purposes, ice methamphetamine is defined as methamphetamine that is more than 80 percent pure. Based on this definition, most of the locally produced methamphetamine available in their area is ice methamphetamine.
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