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Indiana Drug Threat Assessment
April 2001


The Lake County area will continue to serve as a center for the transportation and distribution of cocaine, marijuana, and heroin throughout Indiana, thereby serving as a crucial link between sources of supply and retail distribution operations within the state. Identifying and targeting the key transporters and wholesalers supplying drugs to Indiana through the Lake County area will seriously disrupt drug operations throughout the state.

Gang-controlled crack cocaine retail operations located primarily in Indiana's larger cities will begin to infiltrate smaller communities, resulting in increased violence in those areas. Gangs retail in smaller communities where the powdered and crack cocaine prices are much higher to increase profits and escape law enforcement scrutiny in urban areas. Few small community police forces have the resources to deal with large-scale street gang operations.

Methamphetamine production will increase in Indiana, especially in the southern and south central areas of the state. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of laboratories seized by authorities in Evansville and Terre Haute, where most of the methamphetamine available is produced locally. Production is expected to continue rising in the southern and south central areas and to expand to areas around Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and the Lake County HIDTA. Laboratory operations also have increased dramatically in Missouri and southern Illinois, and as law enforcement pressure in these states increases, the producers may relocate to Indiana. More Indiana residents will begin methamphetamine production as they become aware of the lucrative methamphetamine market.

The cultivation of cannabis in indoor and hydroponic grow operations will continue to increase--supporting rising demand. Seizures from indoor grow operations have recently increased throughout Indiana. Most respondents to the 2000 National Drug Threat Survey and law enforcement authorities interviewed reported a rise in indoor grow operations in their areas.

Heroin abuse will continue to increase, spreading from more urban areas such as Gary, Hammond, and Indianapolis, to smaller communities throughout the state. Nigerian criminal groups transport and distribute most of the Southeast Asian heroin available in Wisconsin and Illinois. Expect Nigerian criminal groups to expand their heroin operations from Chicago to northwestern Indiana.

MDMA abuse is increasing in Indiana, and college and high school students are the primary abusers. Most reports indicate MDMA abuse starts among college students and then moves to the local high school population, either through family contact or at parties. Most of the wholesale and retail distributors are young Caucasian males, who most likely are unskilled in drug and covert operations and will be easier to investigate and prosecute. They also are likely to cooperate under law enforcement pressure, bolstering current and future MDMA investigations.


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