The Kansas City downtown area has one of the largest railroad hubs in the United States, and this form of transport is frequently exploited by drug smugglers. The Train Station has links with all geographical locations surrounding the State. Recent drug seizures have made the Narcotic Law Enforcement agency very aware of this route for smugglers. The majority of drugs smuggled into Kansas is from Mexico and controlled by the same Cartel. This Drug Organization is well integrated with the local ethnics groups who play a vital role in the distribution and transshipment of drugs across the State.
Like everywhere in USA, both powder cocaine and crack cocaine are readily available throughout the state of Kansas. The cocaine is smuggled in from Arizona, Texas and California and the drug trade is controlled by the Mexican drug cartels. Because of the risk of detection during transportation, the smugglers use ingenious types of packets and hide it in secret compartments in vehicles. Once the cocaine arrives in the city, it is generally distributed by smaller drug gangs who work in collaboration with their controlling Mexican counterparts. Besides local use, a lot of cocaine is shipped to NE USA. The cash made from the drug proceeds is then smuggled back in vehicles via the same routes.
Both Mexican black tar heroin and white heroin is readily available in Kansas. The majority of the heroin is smuggled in from Mexico and controlled by violent drug gangs. The heroin is distributed in very small packages (cost about $10 per button), and can be obtained in both urban and rural Kansas. Even though the heroin is originally from Mexico, it is shipped to Kansas via California, Texas, Arizona and Illinois. Despite the good quality of heroin, the prices continue to drop and law enforcement data suggest that there is a decline in use of this drug. The major reason for the declining use is the easy availability of methamphetamine.
Both local and smuggled Methamphetamine is available in Kansas. Despite a ban on ephedrine and pseudoephedrine in cough products, there is a proliferation of methamphetamine laboratories all over the state. The necessary chemicals are obtained or stolen from pharmacies, agriculture stores and pharmaceutical companies.
Locally produced and imported Mexican methamphetamines are both available throughout Kansas. Local methamphetamine production laboratories tend to be small and either mobile or hidden in remote farm areas. Recently, the drug enforcement agencies have been monitoring chemical supplies which are ingredients for methamphetamine production and numerous clandestine laboratories have been closed.
Club drugs are fast becoming the dominant drug of abuse among college students. MDMA remains the most abused drug. At most night clubs, raves and parties, a variety of club drugs are easily available. LSD, GHB, ketamine and PCP are all available among the college campuses. The majority of these club drugs are smuggled in from Washington, Canada, Texas and California. Distribution is mainly by students and traffickers.
The shipment and distribution of marijuana is increasing at alarming rates in Kansas City. The majority of marijuana is smuggled in from Mexico and then transported to Kansas via trucks and railway systems. Locally produced marijuana is also on the increase. The drug traffickers use sophisticated Indoor cultivation systems and use portable electrical generators to prevent detection by the electrical company. This home grown marijuana is more potent, pure, and expensive and has a higher demand. The government has recently increased air surveillance of rural areas where marijuana may be grown.
OxyContin continues to be the pharmaceutical drug of choice in the Kansas area. It is favored by its users over street drugs such as heroin due to the consistent purity and quality. Other prescription drugs abused include hydrocodone, xanax, valium, Demerol, dilaudid, Lortab, Percocet, Percodan, Phenobarbitol, Phentermine and Prozac. The most common methods for obtaining these substances continue to be doctor shopping, prescription forgeries, pharmacy break-ins, employee theft, and internet pharmacy websites. In addition, cheaper quality pharmaceutical drugs from Mexico are increasingly available throughout the State.
To counter the drug problem and related violence, DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams have been established in the State. In addition, DEA Regional Enforcement Teams have been designed 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. These associations have successfully arrested and dismantled numerous drug organizations.
Because of the geographical location of Kansas City at the intersection of several of the nation's busiest highways, it has significant vehicular traffic. The drug traffickers have utilized these interstates for smuggling in drugs and also immigrants. Operation Pipeline program which was established to counter the drug traffickers has had great success and substantial seizures and arrests have been made. Sophisticated radar equipment, dogs and awareness has led to a sharp decrease in drug smuggling along the state highways.
Associated with drug trafficking is money laundering. The State Government has enacted legislation to monitor all financial transection across the state. All finances connected with large cash deposits, wire transfers and buying of large real estate is now monitored. Because the money is often transported in hidden compartments in automobiles, law enforcement authorities have become more aware and readily stop and inspect vehicles.
The State of Kansas has now realized that incarceration of every inpidual with drug possession is not cost effective nor does it help the inpidual incarcerated. New legislation passed recently now allowed low-level, first-time drug offenders to receive community based treatment for eighteen months instead of a prison sentence. State Sen. Pete Brungardt (R-Salina) voted for the bill: “It is a vote to avoid a tax increase for new prison construction and operation. The present system doesn’t work. We must change our methods of dealing with the disease of drug addiction.”
Before the new law, Kansas had some of the strictest marijuana laws in the nation. Possession of any amount of marijuana was subject to a $2,500 fine and up to one year in prison. Taxpayers are now saving $21,000 a year for each non-violent drug offender not sent to prison.
Recently, the state has helped to build drug treatment facilities and drug rehabilitation facilities to help drug addicts. Money seized from drug seizures is now being used to fund these projects.