All the illicit drugs are found in the state of Delaware, but the most popular are crack cocaine, heroin, MDMA, and marijuana. These four drugs are heavily abused and highly trafficked in the state. MDMA continues to top the list as the most abused drug in the state and has become very popular among college students and even at high schools. Pharmaceutical drugs are fast catching on as the choice of drugs abused among the middle class.
Delaware is ideally located on I- 95 and is surrounded by large cities where major drug trafficking organizations are located. Delaware has become a State which plays a major role in the transshipment of drugs not only to surround counties but also to major cities along I- 95. Drugs are most frequently smuggled into Delaware from New York City, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Recent seizures along the state highways indicate that large shipments of illicit drugs are transported in hidden compartment in both private vehicles trucks and campers.
Drug traffickers routinely try to market their illicit products and Delaware has become a major hub for street gangs and local drug distributors. Recent seizures and drug arrests have revealed an entirely new generation of users who are young high schoolers, teenagers, white females and middle class Americans. The closeness of the beaches and active night scene has also enhanced the use of club drugs. Every type of club drug has been available in the state and smuggling via the incoming tourists is not uncommon.
Cocaine remains widely available in Delaware. The majority of powder cocaine is converted to crack cocaine. Both forms are easily available in the inner city. Associated with crack cocaine is:
The majority of cocaine is smuggled in from New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Pittsburgh. At the street level, the cocaine trade is controlled by street gangs and motor cycle gangs- all of whom are volatile and very territorial.
Because of the short distances, many inpidual users frequently travel to nearby cities to buy their cocaine for personal use. With the large and growing market, drug organization have moved into Wilmington and made the cocaine readily available.
Heroin is not high on the list of drugs abused in Delaware. Over the past decade, many drug traffickers have established themselves in Delaware to avoid the strict policing in New York City and Philadelphia. Mexican and SE Asian variety of heroin is available throughout the state. The purity has remained the same for years but the prices have decreased. Large scale smuggling of heroin into Delaware is generally done via automobiles with hidden compartments. Heroin has recently become popular among teenagers who also combine it with alcohol and marijuana. Overdoses and deaths are frequently reported in this group of users.
Methamphetamine has steadily increased in both abuse and drug trafficking in the state of Delaware. Over the past decade, a large amount of methamphetamine was manufactured in clandestine laboratories; however, with the crackdown on ephedrine, these meth labs have become smaller and isolated. The major trafficking of methamphetamine is from New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Because of the lucrative market, major drug trafficking organizations dominate the methamphetamine trade.
Law enforcement Intelligence indicates methamphetamine is smuggled into Delaware using a variety of methods including: private vehicles, commercial bus luggage, and the Postal services.
Though not nearly as popular as heroin, cocaine, or crack cocaine, methamphetamine is attractive because of its prolonged euphoria and because users can easily produce their own methamphetamine with basic chemical ingredients. These manufacturers obtain the precursor chemicals from pharmacies and the agriculture industry.
The use of Club Drugs such as Ecstasy (MDMA), GHB, Ketamine, PCP and LSD has gradually increased in Delaware. Club Drugs are the drugs of choice at night clubs and raves and are predominantly abused by young adults and college students. MDMA remains the drug of choice at rave parties and at the beach parties. The majority of club drugs are smuggled into the State from outside US. Europe has become a favorite place from where these drugs originate. The drugs are either smuggled in via air or via the Parcel post services. With the long porous border to the North, Canada has also become a major source of MDMA into Ohio. The club drug trade is loosely controlled by all ethnic groups. Despite each pill costing about $20, these drugs account for a majority of the illicit drug business.
Marijuana is readily available in Delaware. The drug is abused by all ethnic groups at all socioeconomic levels. Recreational use of marijuana is popular among high school and college age students. Adults remain the predominant users of marijuana, especially in large social gatherings, such as rock concerts. Reports indicate that marijuana is typically smoked in combination with other illicit drugs such as crack cocaine.
The primary source area of marijuana distributed in Delaware is from the South including Texas, Arizona, California, and Mexico. Various means of transport are typically employed by traffickers transporting large quantities of marijuana into the state, including concealing in trucks, campers and automobiles. Smaller quantities are frequently smuggled in via the US Postal Service.
The size of Delaware does not allow for large quantity of home grown marijuana. However, recent seizures indicate that small scale cultivation still persists in most parts of Delaware.
Current investigations indicate that abuse of pharmaceutical products like oxycodone, oxycontin, methadone, soma, valium, percocet and xanax continues to be a problem in Delaware. The primary methods of obtaining these drugs are by illegal sale and distribution by physicians, pharmacists, doctor shopping, forged prescriptions pharmacy thefts and via the internet. The majority of these drugs are smuggled in from other states. Pharmaceutical drugs were once only abused by middle class Caucasians; now recent law enforcement data indicate that abuse among african americans, Asians and Hispanics is starting to increase.
Since data tracking began, it is now becoming clear that overdoses and drug-related deaths are not uncommon from the uncontrolled use of these drugs.
The money raised from drug sales is transported to the Drug Organizations in their countries using either physical transportation or electronic transfer. The Delaware Law Enforcement strictly monitors all financial transactions.
Money laundering methods include purchasing valuables, vehicles and real estate, the creation and use of fictitious front companies, including internet-based companies and businesses. DEA and other agencies pay close attention to these companies and have the power to seize drug related assets.
DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams have been established in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation. In addition, DEA Regional Enforcement Teams were established to augment existing DEA pision resources by targeting drug organizations operating in the United States where there is a lack of sufficient local drug law enforcement. This program was conceived in 1999 in response to the threat posed by drug trafficking organizations that have established networks of cells to conduct drug trafficking operations in smaller, non-traditional trafficking locations in the United States.
Unlike the Western coastal states, Delaware has rigid drugs laws and believes that incarceration even for the non-violent drug offender is good drug rehabilitation. Recent data indicate that Delaware citizens expend millions of dollars to maintain these groups of inpiduals in prison. Newer Drug legislation is pending.