›› Arizona: Drug
Arizona is directly north of the Mexican State of Sonora, a major trafficker
stronghold. Most of the border area consists of inhospitable desert
and steep mountain ranges, which are sparsely populated, infrequently patrolled
by law enforcement, and ideal for drug smuggling. Arizona serves primarily
as a drug importation and transshipment state. Drug smuggling and transportation
are dominated by major Mexican trafficking organizations. These groups are
poly-drug organizations smuggling cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin
and precursor chemicals.
Throughout history, Arizona has been known as a transshipment state
for cocaine that is then distributed thought the United States. Throughout
Phoenix and Tucson, crack cocaine remains widely available and easily attainable.
Mexican black tar heroin and brown powder heroin are frequently encountered
in Arizona. Throughout 2004, the price of heroin in the Phoenix Metropolitan
Area decreased by approximately 40 percent, which indicated an abundance
of available heroin. During the last 2 years, purity levels of retail level
heroin have increased approximately 7 percent. A current trend encountered
by the Phoenix Division is the increasing presence of heroin in our public
schools. Over the past few years, Arizona has been witnessing a steady increase
in the abuse of OxyContin. Oxycodone products are opiate agonists, like heroin
and methadone. They are commonly prescribed to cancer patients, patients
with chronic back pain, and patients recovering from surgery. Of these, OxyContin
is heavily abused because it is available in high does and when ingested,
it produces an intense high similar to heroin.
There are two types of methamphetamine available in Arizona, Mexican-produced
and locally produced methamphetamine. Mexican-produced methamphetamine is
the most predominant type encountered in the state and is frequently smuggled
across the Southwest Border (SWB) where it transits through Arizona. The
locally produced methamphetamine originates from independently owned and
operated laboratories that are responsible for yielding small quantities
for local consumption. Both threat areas impact Arizona’s borders, cities,
and suburbs and each pose their own unique challenge to law enforcement and
our communities. Arizona serves as a major distribution hub, staging area,
and transshipment point for Mexican methamphetamine smuggled across the SWB
destined for domestic cities throughout the U.S., specifically Midwest cities.
- Club Drugs
The availability of club drugs in Arizona remains high. The most commonly abused
club drugs are ecstasy, lsd, ketamine, nitrous oxide, and ghb. Among college-aged
and younger ecstasy seems to be the predominant drug of abuse.
Marijuana remains widely available in quantities up to multi-hundred pounds
packaged for delivery. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
routinely seize hundred pound quantities of marijuana between the Ports of
Entry as well as abandoned in remote sites along the border. .