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National Drug Intelligence Center.

   

Title:

Texas Drug Threat Assessment

Texas Drug Threat Assessment.Publication Date: October 2003

Document ID: 2003-S0387TX-001

Archived on:  January 1, 2006. This document may contain dated information. It remains available to provide access to historical materials.

This report is a strategic assessment that addresses the status and outlook of the drug threat to Texas. Analytical judgment determined the threat posed by each drug type or category, taking into account the most current quantitative and qualitative information on availability, demand, production or cultivation, transportation, and distribution, as well as the effects of a particular drug on abusers and society as a whole. While NDIC sought to incorporate the latest available information, a time lag often exists between collection and publication of data, particularly demand-related data sets. NDIC anticipates that this drug threat assessment will be useful to policymakers, law enforcement personnel, and treatment providers at the federal, state, and local levels because it draws upon a broad range of information sources to describe and analyze the drug threat to Texas.

Your questions, comments, and suggestions for future subjects are welcome at any time.  Addresses are provided at the end of the page.
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Contents

 

Executive Summary

Overview
 Fast Facts

Methamphetamine
  Abuse
  Availability
  Violence
  Production
  Transportation
  Distribution

Cocaine
  Abuse
  Availability
  Violence
  Production
  Transportation
  Distribution

Heroin
  Abuse
  Availability
  Violence
  Production
  Transportation
  Distribution

Marijuana
  Abuse
  Availability
  Violence
  Production
  Transportation
  Distribution

Other Dangerous Drugs
  Club Drugs
  Hallucinogens
  Diverted Pharmaceuticals

Outlook

Sources


List of Tables 

Table 1. Federal Drug Seizures in Texas and Nationwide Ranking, 2002
Table 2. Methamphetamine Seizures Within 150 Miles of the U.S.-Mexico Border, in Kilograms, 1999-2002 
Table 3. Cocaine Seizures Within 150 Miles of the U.S.-Mexico Border, in Kilograms, 1999-2002
Table 4. Purity and Price of Heroin Purchased, in Dallas, El Paso, and Houston by DEA, 1995-2001
Table 5. Heroin Seizures Within 150 Miles of the U.S.-Mexico Border, in Kilograms, 1999-2002
Table 6. Marijuana Seizures Within 150 Miles of the U.S.-Mexico Border, in Pounds, 1999-2002

List of Figures

Figure 1. The eleven land ports of entry between Texas and Mexico.
Figure 2. "Sister cities" in the United States and Mexico.

List of Charts 

Chart 1. Methamphetamine Analyzed by Texas DPS Laboratories, in Grams, 1993-2000


Executive Summary

Texas is a gateway for a large percentage of the illicit drugs smuggled to drug markets throughout the United States. Large quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana are smuggled into the state from Mexico for distribution within Texas or for eventual transport to drug markets throughout the nation. Other dangerous drugs are smuggled into Texas from Mexico as well, primarily for abuse within the state but also for regional distribution. The quantity of illicit drugs smuggled into Texas far exceeds consumption within the state; however, significant quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and other dangerous drugs are abused in Texas.

Methamphetamine is a significant drug threat to Texas. High purity, low cost methamphetamine is readily available, and the drug is widely abused, particularly in rural areas. Methamphetamine produced in Mexico is the predominant type available. Locally produced methamphetamine also is available and is becoming more prevalent. Methamphetamine production in Texas is increasing, as is the number of methamphetamine laboratories being seized by law enforcement officials. Caucasian criminal groups and independent Caucasian laboratory operators produce methamphetamine in Texas. They generally produce ounce quantities using the Birch reduction method. Methamphetamine also is produced by Mexican criminal groups and independent producers as well as outlaw motorcycle gangs. Mexican drug trafficking organizations and criminal groups control most of the transportation and wholesale distribution of Mexico-produced methamphetamine. Hispanic street gangs, prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs also distribute wholesale quantities of the drug. Mexican criminal groups control most of the retail-level methamphetamine distribution in the state; however, Caucasian criminal groups as well as street gangs, prison gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and various other criminal groups and independent dealers also distribute methamphetamine at the retail level.

Cocaine also is a significant drug threat to Texas. Powdered cocaine and crack cocaine are readily available and frequently abused throughout the state; however, crack cocaine is more readily available in larger metropolitan areas such as Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Mexican drug trafficking organizations and criminal groups dominate the transportation and wholesale distribution of powdered cocaine. They generally smuggle cocaine from Mexico into Texas through and between ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border, particularly in South Texas. African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, and Mexican criminal groups; local independent dealers; outlaw motorcycle gangs; street gangs such as Black Disciples, Bloods, Crips, and Latin Kings; and prison gangs including Barrio Azteca, Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos, Mexikanemi, Raza Unida, and Texas Syndicate distribute powdered cocaine at the retail level in Texas. Retail quantities of crack cocaine are distributed by Mexican and other Hispanic criminal groups, Caucasian and African American criminal groups, local independent dealers, street gangs, and prison gangs.

Heroin poses a considerable threat to Texas. Mexican black tar heroin and Mexican brown powdered heroin are the predominant types available throughout the state; however, South American, Southeast Asian, and Southwest Asian heroin are available to varying extents. Mexican drug trafficking organizations and criminal groups control the transportation and wholesale distribution of Mexican black tar and brown powdered heroin. Colombian drug trafficking organizations and criminal groups dominate the transportation and wholesale distribution of South American heroin, while Nigerian and other West African groups control the transportation and distribution of Southeast Asian and Southwest Asian heroin. Mexican criminal groups dominate retail-level heroin distribution in the state. However, African American, Caucasian, and other Hispanic criminal groups, local independent dealers, prison gangs, and street gangs also distribute heroin at the retail level.

Marijuana is a significant drug threat to Texas. Marijuana produced in Mexico is the predominant type available throughout the state. Locally produced marijuana is also available, although to a lesser extent. Cannabis cultivation occurs within the state, primarily in the eastern and northern regions and generally is controlled by Caucasian criminal groups and independent dealers. Mexican drug trafficking organizations and criminal groups dominate the smuggling of marijuana into Texas; they also dominate the wholesale distribution of the drug. Caucasian, Colombian, and Jamaican criminal groups; local independent dealers; prison gangs; street gangs; and outlaw motorcycle gangs also distribute marijuana at the wholesale level. Caucasian, African American, Jamaican, and Hispanic criminal groups; local independent dealers; prison gangs; and street gangs are the primary retail-level distributors of marijuana in the state.

Other dangerous drugs (ODDs) include the club drugs MDMA, GHB and its analogs, ketamine, LSD, and Rohypnol; the hallucinogen PCP; and diverted pharmaceuticals. MDMA is readily available and abused in Texas and poses a considerable drug threat to the state. Other ODDs present varying threats to Texas. Various criminal groups transport club drugs into Texas via private vehicles, commercial aircraft, couriers on foot (crossing the U.S.-Mexico border), and package delivery services. Club drugs primarily are sold and abused by middle-class, suburban teenagers and young adults at raves and nightclubs and on college campuses. PCP generally is distributed by local independent dealers throughout the state. Pharmaceuticals such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), alprazolam (Xanax), and cough syrup with codeine typically are diverted through a variety of techniques including pharmacy diversion, "doctor shopping," and improper prescribing practices by physicians. 


Addresses

National Drug Intelligence Center
319 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Johnstown, PA 15901

Tel. (814) 532-4601
FAX (814) 532-4690
E-mail NDIC.Contacts@usdoj.gov

National Drug Intelligence Center
8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 1001
McLean, VA 22102-3840

Tel. (703) 556-8970
FAX (703) 556-7807

 

Web Addresses

ADNET:  http://ndicosa 
      DOJ:  http://www.usdoj.gov/archive/ndic/
      LEO:  home.leo.gov/lesig/archive/ndic/ 
     RISS:  ndic.riss.net


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