ARCHIVED Graphic Version PDF Version To Publications Page To Home Page
New Mexico Drug Threat Assessment
Publication Date: April 2002
Document ID: 2002-S0387NM-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 New Mexico. 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 New Mexico.
Your questions, comments, and suggestions for future subjects are welcome at any time. Addresses are provided at the end of the page.
Other Dangerous Drugs
List of Tables
Table 1. Port of Entry Totals and Percent of Change, Selected New Mexico Ports, 1999-2000
Table 2. Federal Drug-Related Sentences, New Mexico, FY1995-FY2000
Table 3. Percent of Adult Male Arrestees Testing Positive for Drugs, Albuquerque, 2000
Table 4. Cocaine Prices and Purity, Albuquerque and Las Cruces, 2001
Table 5. U.S. Customs Service Drug Seizures by Port (in Pounds*), New Mexico, FY1998-FY2000
Table 6. Prices of Diverted Pharmaceutical Drugs, New Mexico, 2000
New Mexico is a major conduit for the flow of illicit drugs into the United States from Mexico. The quantity of illicit drugs transported through New Mexico far outweighs consumption within the state. Mexican drug trafficking organizations and Mexican criminal groups control the transportation and wholesale distribution of illicit drugs into and throughout New Mexico. Criminal groups, prison and street gangs, and local independent dealers distribute drugs at the retail level.
Expanded commercial trade between Mexico and the United States has led to a significant increase in commercial traffic between the two countries resulting in congestion at ports of entry along the Southwest Border. This congestion offers Mexican traffickers opportunities to smuggle illicit drugs via commercial and private vehicles through overburdened ports into the United States. Additionally, traffickers often employ couriers to smuggle drugs into the state.
Cocaine poses the most significant drug threat to New Mexico. Both powdered and crack cocaine continue to saturate the Albuquerque metropolitan area and other urban areas of the state. Prices and purity levels of powdered and crack cocaine have remained relatively stable throughout the state since 1999. Mexican drug trafficking organizations and Mexican criminal groups are the primary transporters of powdered cocaine from Mexico. Mexican drug trafficking organizations and Mexican criminal groups also control the wholesale distribution of powdered cocaine; prison and street gangs distribute powdered cocaine at the retail level. Crack cocaine distribution is limited to the retail level. Cuban criminal groups, street gangs, and local independent dealers purchase powdered cocaine from Mexican drug trafficking organizations and Mexican criminal groups within the state and convert it to crack for retail distribution.
Methamphetamine is an increasing drug threat to New Mexico. Throughout the state the availability and abuse of the drug are increasing. While most of the methamphetamine available in the state is smuggled across the border from Mexico, New Mexico law enforcement officials report an increase in the production and availability of locally produced methamphetamine. Mexican drug trafficking organizations and Mexican criminal groups are the primary transporters and wholesale distributors of Mexico-produced methamphetamine in New Mexico; Mexican criminal groups, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and local independent dealers control the production and wholesale distribution of locally produced methamphetamine. Outlaw motorcycle gangs, prison and street gangs, and local independent dealers are the primary distributors of both Mexico- and locally produced methamphetamine at the retail level.
Heroin commonly is abused in New Mexico, as evidenced by the number of heroin-related deaths and treatment admissions. New Mexico leads the nation in per capita heroin-related deaths. Mexican black tar heroin is the most readily available type; however, Mexican brown powdered heroin also is available. Albuquerque is a transshipment point for Mexican black tar and Mexican brown powdered heroin destined for the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest.
Marijuana is the most readily available and most commonly abused drug in New Mexico. Most of the marijuana available in New Mexico is produced in Mexico; however, cannabis is cultivated in the state by local independent growers. While Mexican drug trafficking organizations and Mexican criminal groups dominate the transportation and wholesale distribution of Mexico-produced marijuana throughout the state, local independent dealers control the wholesale distribution of locally produced marijuana. Mexican criminal groups, street gangs, and local independent dealers are the primary retail distributors of Mexico- and locally produced marijuana throughout New Mexico.
The threat posed by other dangerous drugs to New Mexico is minimal. Increases in the availability and use of club drugs have been noted by New Mexico law enforcement officials; however, the user population remains very limited. MDMA-related distribution and abuse are being monitored closely in New Mexico, as they pose a growing threat elsewhere in the United States including states that border New Mexico. LSD and psilocybin are the primary hallucinogenic and psychedelic drugs abused in the state. In some areas of New Mexico, pharmaceutical drugs including oxycodone and hydrocodone products are diverted and abused. Although the diversion and abuse of pharmaceutical drugs are limited, they are a concern in the state.
National Drug Intelligence Center
319 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Johnstown, PA 15901
Tel. (814) 532-4601
FAX (814) 532-4690
National Drug Intelligence Center
8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 1001
McLean, VA 22102-3840
Tel. (703) 556-8970
FAX (703) 556-7807
To Top To Contents To Next Page
To Publications Page To Home Page
End of page.