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Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis
June 2007

Drug Trafficking Organizations

Mexican DTOs and Asian criminal groups are the primary drug traffickers operating in the CVC HIDTA region. Other criminal groups, street gangs, and independent dealers operate in the area; however, they are generally supplied by Mexican DTOs and, to a lesser extent, Asian criminal groups. As such, Mexican and Asian traffickers are an operational priority for Central Valley law enforcement officials, thereby consuming a significant amount of law enforcement resources.

Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations

Mexican DTOs and criminal groups are the principal illicit drug producers and distributors in the CVC HIDTA region; the influence and the organizational threat that they pose to the area are unrivaled. Members of these organizations blend in among the region's large Hispanic population to maintain anonymity and avoid law enforcement detection. Mexican DTOs and criminal groups consistently supply drug markets both in California and throughout the United States with wholesale quantities of ice methamphetamine and marijuana that they produce in Central California. They also distribute ice methamphetamine, powder cocaine, and black tar heroin, which they smuggle to the area from Mexico, to local, regional, and national drug markets.

Asian Criminal Groups

Asian criminal groups, primarily ethnic Cambodian, Chinese, Hmong, and Laotian, are prevalent within the CVC HIDTA region; members of these groups typically commingle with the area's diverse Asian community to evade detection by law enforcement. Asian criminal groups pose a moderate and increasing drug trafficking threat to the CVC HIDTA; however, the threat remains lower than that posed by Mexican organizations operating in the area. Asian DTOs (Cambodian, Chinese, Hmong, Laotian, and Vietnamese) operating in the region typically produce high-potency marijuana at outdoor grow sites throughout the region. Nonetheless, during 2006 the incidence of Asian DTO-operated indoor cannabis grow sites in the CVC HIDTA region increased significantly, particularly in the northern HIDTA counties of Sacramento and San Joaquin. Asian DTOs and criminal groups in the region distribute the marijuana that they produce throughout California together with other illicit drugs, including ice methamphetamine (from Mexico and Asia), high-potency marijuana (from Canada), and MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as ecstasy) (from Canada and the Netherlands). Members of these groups also engage in illegal gambling, identity theft, extortion, prostitution operations, and home invasions.

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