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Drug Trafficking Organizations

Mexican DTOs are the principal transporters of ice methamphetamine, marijuana, powder cocaine, and black tar heroin from sources in Mexico and the West Coast of the United States into the region. Mexican DTOs typically focus their efforts on wholesale-level sales, supplying smaller Mexican and Asia-Pacific mixed-race DTOs that distribute drugs at the midlevel and retail level throughout the state.

Asian DTOs (typically ethnic Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Thai, or Vietnamese) operate throughout the HIDTA region. The drug trafficking threat that they pose is secondary to the threat posed by Mexican DTOs that have well-established distribution networks. Asian DTOs transport wholesale quantities of ice methamphetamine from California and Asia; MDMA, including MDMA combined with BZP (N-benzylpiperazine) and TFMPP (1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine),g from Canada and Asia; and high-potency marijuana from Canada and the West Coast. Asian traffickers also use Hawaii as a transshipment point for ice methamphetamine transported from the West Coast to the Pacific Basin, primarily Guam.

Members of Pacific Islander groups (typically individuals of native Hawaiian, Samoan, or Tongan ethnicity) transport and distribute wholesale to retail quantities of ice methamphetamine and powder cocaine (which they also convert to crack) that they obtain from sources in Mexico and the mainland. Local and Pacific Islander DTOs generally control the distribution of marijuana produced in Hawaii to markets within and outside the state.

Local distributors, including street gangs, prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs), are the primary retail distributors of illicit drugs in the Hawaii HIDTA region. Some members of these groups also produce marijuana in Hawaii. These groups are typically composed of native Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Hispanic, and Caucasian individuals who were born and raised in Hawaii and share either familial or close social ties. The diversity of these groups facilitates close working relationships with international DTOs (Mexican, Asian, and Pacific Islander) that supply them with drugs, presenting challenges for law enforcement investigations.


g. BZP is a common name for the synthetic stimulant N-benzylpiperazine. BZP tablets, especially those that also contain the hallucinogen TFMPP, are often sold as MDMA or promoted as an alternative to MDMA.

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