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

Strategic Drug Threat Developments

  • Indoor cannabis cultivation is increasing in the CVC HIDTA region; of particular concern is the rising prevalence of well-organized Asian drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) that produce and distribute indoor-grown, high-potency marijuana.
  • Violent incidents by outdoor cannabis cultivators against law enforcement as well as the presence of weapons at outdoor grow sites are increasing in the region, very likely in response to increased law enforcement pressure and resulting successes in cannabis eradication efforts.
  • Law enforcement officers are increasingly targeting methamphetamine laboratory operators in the region, resulting in a decrease in the number of methamphetamine laboratories seized in the region. However, methamphetamine production in the CVC HIDTA remains at levels sufficient for regional- and national-level distribution, as evidenced by the continued discovery of large-scale methamphetamine laboratory dumpsites, which are indicative of ongoing super laboratories in the region.
  • Mexican DTOs have established stash sites in the HIDTA region, particularly in small towns along the Interstate 5 corridor in the Central Valley. These sites serve as regional- and national-level staging and distribution points for wholesale quantities of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and ice methamphetamine that supply drug markets not only in California but also in every other region of the country.

Drug Trafficking Organizations, Criminal Groups, and Gangs

Drug trafficking organizations are complex organizations with highly defined command-and-control structures that produce, transport, and/or distribute large quantities of one or more illicit drugs.

Criminal groups operating in the United States are numerous and range from small to moderately sized, loosely knit groups that distribute one or more drugs at the retail and midlevels.

Gangs are defined by the National Alliance of Gang Investigators' Associations as groups or associations of three or more persons with a common identifying sign, symbol, or name, the members of which individually or collectively engage in criminal activity that creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.

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