In the last decade, North Carolina has seen an exponential increase in drug trafficking. The large rural area, influx of migrants, large mountainous terrain, a vast interlinking network of highways and an international airport have been thought to be some of the reasons for the increased drug trafficking. All illicit drugs are available in the state including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. Recently the state has enacted tough measures to counter the increased drug trafficking.
North Carolina is not only a major user state of cocaine but plays a major role in the transshipment of the drug into the NE corner and along into Virginia and Pennsylvania. The cocaine is smuggled into the state mainly through automobiles, vans and campers. Recent seizures indicate that the US postal service is increasingly being utilized to smuggle drugs into and out of the state. Once the cocaine is brought in, it is converted into crack cocaine and sold on the street. The majority of the cocaine trade is controlled by the gangs. Almost all the inner cities have had their fair share of cocaine addicts but the numbers have remained stable over the past decade. Associated with cocaine drug trade have been street gangs, violence, crime, thefts and inner city poverty.
Heroin use has steadily been declining over the past 2 decades and mainly confined to the inner cities. Despite the increasing purity, low price and availability, the drug has seen a significant decrease in use. Both Mexican and the SE Asian variety of heroin are available in the inner cities. Commercial and private vehicles are increasingly being utilized to smuggle the heroin in from Miami, Georgia and Texas. The heroin trade is controlled by the gangs all of whom have a tendency to be violent in order to protect their territory. The drug cartels increasingly utilize the numerous migrant workers to help distribute the drug at street level.
The use and trafficking of methamphetamine continues to increase in North Carolina and the drug is available in all parts of the state. The majority of methamphetamine is smuggled in by the drug cartels who then use the migrant workers to help distribute it across the state. The major source of methamphetamine is from Chicago, NE, Florida, Texas, California and Colorado.
Over the years, numerous clandestine laboratories have been discovered which manufacture methamphetamine. These unsophisticated laboratories use impure and unrefined chemicals. The recent law banning the use of ephedrine has all but stopped these laboratories from manufacturing methamphetamine. The methamphetamine trade is an at all time high and associated with this has been street gangs, violence, crime thefts and inner city poverty.
There has been a major increase in the use of club drugs in the state of North Carolina. All types of club drugs including MDMA, GHB, PCP, LSD and ketamine are available at night parties and rave parties. The majority of colleges and universities have a moderate supply of club drugs. The majority of club drugs are smuggled in from New York, Canada, California and Texas. The club drug trade is basically controlled by gangs. Recent seizures indicate the drugs are increasingly being smuggled in via the US parcel post services.
Marijuana is readily available throughout North Carolina. The majority of the drug is smuggled in from the southern states. Marijuana is smuggled in large amounts in cars, vans, campers and trucks all of which have hidden compartments. In addition, the large rural area of North Carolina has also been used to grow marijuana. Marijuana is cultivated both indoors and outdoors in both private and public property. The locally made marijuana is more potent and pure than the Mexican variety and is increasingly being shipped across into Colorado and Illinois. In addition, the most potent form of marijuana, called BC bud, is smuggled in from Canada.
The abuse of pharmaceutical drugs continues to rise at an exponential rate. The most commonly abused pharmaceutical drugs include oxycontin, hydrocodone, methadone, diazepam, Lortab and Xanax. Oxycontin continues to be the number one prescription drug abuse in the state. These drugs are primarily obtained via prescription forgeries, “doctor shopping”, pharmacy break-ins and via the internet. Some of the pharmaceutical drugs are brought into North Carolina from Mexico and Southwestern Border cities. Numerous pain management clinics have opened in every major city in the State and pose an enormous threat to the communities. These pain management clinics do injustice to patients by continually prescribing narcotics to addicts.
To counteract the drug problem 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 have been developed 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. Various Enforcements programs have been established in the state which rank number one in prosecution in the NE for drug related violence’s.