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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mexican Methamphetamine Seizures on the Rise

Years of government crackdowns on methamphetamine production in the United States only opened the door for Mexican drug cartels. Since 2009, methamphetamine seizures at the San Diego port of entry field office rose 300 percent, the California-Mexico border accounts for 63 percent of all synthetic drugs seized nationwide, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The problem is only getting worse, in 2014 seizures of methamphetamine at California-Mexico ports of entry reached never before seen figures - 14,732 pounds.

“The Mexican cartels are flooding the U.S. marketplace with their cheap methamphetamine,” said Gary Hill, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s assistant special agent in charge in San Diego. “We have seen the trend of the price of meth decreasing tremendously since 2008.”

The cost to produce large quantities of methamphetamine is little compared to cocaine, Hill said. The low overhead means that the drug can be sold for much less than ever before. In San Diego, undercover agents are purchasing meth for $3,500 a pound, versus about $11,800 for a pound of cocaine, said Hill.

About 90 percent of the meth used in the United States is made in Mexico. When the drug makes it across the border it is distributed across the country, the article reports.

“Los Angeles has become a huge transshipment point,” says Joe Garcia of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego. “Our investigations take us through all corners of the country, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, North Carolina, Seattle, San Francisco, Montana. It’s going into Canada as well.”

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