National Drug Intelligence Center
The Central Valley HIDTA, established in 1999, consists of 10 counties: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, and Tulare. The region encompasses nearly 32,000 square miles in central California, with a population of approximately 5 million. The region includes metropolitan areas, such as Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, Sacramento, and, Stockton, as well as expansive, sparsely populated rural areas. (See Figure 1 in Preface.)
The Central Valley HIDTA region's proximity to illicit drug source areas, combined with its large abuser population, renders it a national-level transportation and distribution center and a significant abuse area for illicit drugs supplied by Mexican and, to a lesser extent, Asian DTOs. In addition to supplying drug markets within the region, Mexican and Asian DTOs and criminal groups transport various illicit drugs from the region to markets throughout the United States. The Central Valley HIDTA region's highway infrastructure and direct access to drug sources located along the Southwest Border and in Mexico and Canada enable drug traffickers to transport significant quantities of illicit drugs and drug proceeds into and through the area. Interstate 80, a major east-west corridor, connects San Francisco, California, to New York, New York. Interstate 5, a north-south corridor, provides direct access to the area from the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry (POEs) at the U.S.-Mexico border in southern California and from the Blaine, Washington, POE at the U.S.-Canada border.
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