U.S. Department of Justice
National Drug Intelligence Center
Central Valley California HIDTA Drug Market Analysis 2010
Public treatment admissions in the Central Valley HIDTA region remain high despite preliminary 2009 data showing decreases, the exception being the "other drug" category.g According to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, methamphetamine was identified more often than any other drug as the primary substance of abuse from 2004 through 2009. In 2009, approximately 40 percent of individuals admitted to public treatment centers in the HIDTA region were admitted for methamphetamine abuse. (See Figure 4.) Treatment admissions for marijuana abuse are also high but are not considered to be as significant as those for methamphetamine abuse, the effects of which are much more difficult to treat. Cocaine is also abused throughout the Central Valley, but to a lesser extent.
Figure 4. Central Valley California HIDTA Drug Treatment Admissions, 2004-2009
Source: California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, Office of Applied Research and Analysis.
Treatment center admissions for other drugs have steadily increased, nearly doubling from 2004 to 2009, while other admissions for major drug categories fluctuated during the same time frame. (See Figure 4.) Oxycodones are among the most commonly abused CPDs in the region; however, heroin abuse may increase as some oxycodone abusers find it easier to obtain heroin, according to treatment professionals in the area. Hydrocodones, benzodiazepines, and carisoprodol are also commonly abused in the region.
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Traffickers move and launder illicit drug proceeds generated in the HIDTA region through various methods. Mexican DTOs and criminal groups generally transport cash in bulk to southwestern states, where the funds are typically aggregated and eventually smuggled to Mexico. Once in Mexico, bulk cash is often deposited into a Mexican bank or a casa de cambio (exchange house) and subsequently repatriated to the United States. Asian DTOs and criminal groups also use bulk cash smuggling to move their illicit proceeds out of the region; they typically transport illicit proceeds to Canada in private vehicles through POEs along the U.S.-Canada border. According to the NDTS 2010, 22 of the 28 law enforcement respondents in the Central Valley HIDTA region report that bulk cash smuggling is the most common method used to move drug proceeds. In 2009, more than $3.5 million in cash was seized by law enforcement officials in the region, a 49 percent increase over the approximately $2.4 million seized in 2008. Other money laundering methods used by DTOs in the region include money services businesses, cash-intensive businesses, and real estate purchases.
g. Preliminary data run on April 1, 2010.
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