Enforcement Officers: 13,535
Probation Population: 19,188
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 33
Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 206 kgs.
Heroin: 2 kgs.
Marijuana: 455 kgs.
Laboratories: 216 (DEA, state, and local)
Top 14 cities in ColoradoLoveland
distribution, and abuse of illicit drugs pose a serious threat to Colorado and
demand drug rehab and addiction treatment centers to help those caught in the
wake of this storm. Mexican drug trafficking organizations and criminal groups
transport wholesale quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and
marijuana into the state and subsequently distribute these drugs at the
wholesale level. Mexican criminal groups also are involved in the
transportation and distribution of illicit drugs in Colorado.
typically are transported into the state in private, commercial, and rental
vehicles traveling interstate and U.S. highways. Package delivery services and
couriers aboard commercial aircraft also are used to transport drugs, although
to a lesser extent.
Methamphetamine addiction is a
primary drug threat to Colorado requiring drug rehab, and it is readily
available in most population centers in the state. Most methamphetamine
available in Colorado is produced by Mexican drug trafficking organizations and
criminal groups in Mexico, California, and Arizona. Mexican drug trafficking
organizations and, to a lesser extent, Mexican criminal groups transport
wholesale quantities of methamphetamine into Colorado from Mexico via
southwestern states or from production sites in California and Arizona.
Caucasian criminal groups and local independent dealers also produce
significant quantities of methamphetamine throughout the state. The rising
number of methamphetamine laboratories in the state poses a significant threat
to public safety. Mexican drug trafficking organizations and criminal groups
dominate the wholesale distribution of methamphetamine produced in Mexico,
California, and Arizona. Caucasian criminal groups also distribute
methamphetamine at the wholesale level; typically they are supplied by
laboratory operators in Colorado and neighboring states. Outlaw motorcycle
gangs also produce and distribute methamphetamine in the state. At the retail
level Caucasian and Mexican local independent dealers are the most common
distributors of the drug, but Hispanic and African American street gangs also
distribute methamphetamine. Addiction treatment must be increased now.
Cocaine addiction is a
significant drug threat to Colorado drug rehab requirements. Powdered cocaine
is readily available throughout the state, and crack cocaine is available in
urban population centers. Cocaine is the drug most often associated with
violent crime in the state, principally because cocaine distributors frequently
resort to violence to protect their distribution operations and to collect
debts. Mexican drug trafficking organizations and criminal groups transport
wholesale quantities of powdered cocaine into Colorado in private or rental
vehicles and distribute the drug at the wholesale level. Hispanic and African
American street gangs distribute powdered and crack cocaine; some gangs
distribute powdered or crack cocaine at the wholesale and retail levels, while
others distribute crack at the retail level only. Local independent dealers
also distribute powdered and crack cocaine at the retail level. Retail
distributors in Colorado typically convert powdered cocaine into crack on an
as-needed basis and sell the drug at open-air markets or from crack houses.
Cocaine addiction treatment is sorely needed.
Heroin addiction is a factor as
heroin is available in the states metropolitan and suburban areas and
poses a considerable drug threat to Colorado drug rehab efforts. Mexican black
tar heroin and brown powdered heroin are the most common types available. Most
new heroin abusers in Colorado are young adults who smoke or snort the drug
rather than inject it, mistakenly believing this practice to be safer and less
likely to lead to addiction. Mexican drug trafficking organizations transport
heroin into the state and serve as the primary wholesale distributors.
Transporters commonly use private and rental vehicles, couriers aboard
commercial aircraft, and package delivery services to transport heroin from
Mexico into the state. Mexican drug trafficking organizations and criminal
groups are the principal retail distributors of heroin in Colorado. Again,
heroin detox and addiction treatment centers must be stepped up to meet the
Marijuana, produced primarily in
Mexico, is the most widely available and frequently abused illicit drug in
Colorado needing drug rehab facilities. However, law enforcement officers
generally regard the drug as a lower threat than methamphetamine or cocaine
because marijuana abusers and distributors usually do not commit violent
crimes. Most of the marijuana available in the state is produced in Mexico;
however, marijuana produced in Colorado and other western states, particularly
California, by Mexican criminal groups and local independent dealers is also
available. Marijuana typically is transported into the state in commercial
trucks, rental and private vehicles, and by package delivery services.
Marijuana produced in Mexico or by Mexican criminal groups in Colorado and
other western states is distributed primarily by Mexican drug trafficking
organizations and criminal groups at the wholesale level and by Hispanic and
African American street gangs at the retail level. Caucasian criminal groups
and local independent dealers are the primary distributors of the marijuana and
sinsemilla they produce in Colorado.
Other dangerous drugs present a significant and increasing threat to
Colorado drug rehabs. Other dangerous drugs include the club drugs MDMA, LSD,
ketamine, and GHB and its analogs; the hallucinogen psilocybin; and diverted
pharmaceuticals including opioids (narcotic analgesics) such as Dilaudid,
Lorcet, OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, and Vicodin and sedative hypnotics
(benzodiazepines) such as Valium and Xanax. Club drugs are transported into
Colorado in private vehicles, by couriers aboard commercial flights, and via
package delivery services. Many of these drugs are distributed and abused by
middle-class, suburban young adults at raves and nightclubs and on college
campuses. MDMA is increasingly available and abused in Colorado, particularly
in the Denver area where the drug is distributed at a growing number of venues
such as college campuses and private parties.
The diversion and abuse
of pharmaceuticals, especially opioids, is an increasing threat to Colorado.
Local independent dealers are the principal distributors of diverted
pharmaceuticals. Colorado ranks twenty-fourth in population among U.S. states
with more than 4.3 million residents. Approximately 69 percent of the
states population is concentrated in Colorados Front Range, which
includes Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson,
Larimer, Pueblo, and Weld Counties. Douglas County, located southwest of
Denver, was the fastest-growing county in the United States each year between
1990 and 2001. Colorado is ethnically diverse, which makes it possible for drug
distributors of all ethnic backgrounds to blend easily with the resident
population. Colorado Drug Rehab Need: Population (2000) 4,301,261 U.S.
population ranking 24th Median household income (2001) $49,397 Unemployment
rate (2001) 3.7% Land area 103,729 square miles Capital Denver Other principal
cities Aurora, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, Lakewood, Pueblo
Number of counties 63 Principal industries Aerospace, agriculture,
construction, electronics equipment, government, manufacturing, tourism. This
is ample reason for Colorado drug rehab attention state wide immediately. The
primary drug market areas in Colorado are in the Front Range counties.
Denver drug rehab is needed, the states capital and largest city,
Denver is a primary regional distribution center for methamphetamine, cocaine,
heroin, marijuana, and MDMA. Wholesale distributors in Denver supply midlevel
and retail distributors with these drugs in virtually all cities in Colorado,
as well as cities in several other states. Colorado Springs drug rehab is
needed, south of Denver, Colorado Springs is a regional distribution center for
a variety of illicit drugs, principally methamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA.
Greeley drug rehab is needed, 45 minutes north of Denver, Greeley is a
significant regional distribution center for methamphetamine and cocaine
distributed in Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, Wyoming, and other west central states.
Boulder drug rehab is needed, also north of Denver, Boulder is a distribution
center for marijuana distributed throughout the west central region of the
country and is a primary national distribution center for psilocybin.
Colorados well-developed transportation infrastructure and its
central location in the western United States are ideal for the movement of
licit and illicit goods into and through the state. Private and rental vehicles
and commercial trucks frequently are used to transport drugs into and through
Colorado. Couriers on commercial aircraft, buses, and passenger railways also
are used to transport illicit drugs, although to a lesser extent.
percentage of Colorado residents who report abusing illicit drugs is higher
than the percentage nationwide showing clear evidence that drug rehab centers
are needed now. According to the 1999 and 2000 National Household Survey on
Drug Abuse (NHSDA), 8.9 percent of individuals age 12 and over surveyed in
Colorado reported having abused an illicit drug in the month prior to the
survey compared with 6.3 percent nationwide.
treatment admissions in Colorado are at relatively high levels. According to
the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD) of the Colorado Department of Human
Services, admissions to publicly funded addiction treatment facilities for drug
abuse increased from 11,757 in 1997 to 14,511 in 1999. Thereafter, admissions
to addiction treatment facilities declined to 13,109 in 2000 and 13,039 in
2001. (See Table 1 on page 3.)
Admissions for marijuana abuse were
higher than for any other illicit drug from 1997 through 2001. Drug Rehab
admissions for cocaine abuse ranked second. Heroin accounted for the
third-highest number of drug rehab admissions until 2001 when admissions for
methamphetamine abuse surpassed those for heroin. Since 1999 addiction
treatment admissions for methamphetamine abuse have increased annually, while
admissions for cocaine, heroin, and marijuana have declined.
financial impact on Colorados government from substance abuse-related
costs is significant and needs to be evaluated including additional drug rehab
centers and Colorado addiction treatment facilities. In 1998, the most recent
year for which these data are available, Colorado spent over $845 million
approximately $217 per resident on substance abuse-related addiction treatment
and other programs. The amount accounted for more than 12 percent of the
states total expenditures. According to the Denver Department of Public
Safety, a large percentage of these funds are allocated to law enforcement and
administrative costs, and approximately 6 percent is allocated for drug rehab
Drugs and Addiction Treatment Centers
Drug Situation: Mexican poly-drug
trafficking organizations continue to control the majority of the distribution
of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and heroin in Colorado. Street gangs
with ties to larger criminal organizations in Texas, California, Illinois, as
well as Mexico, are deeply involved in all types of drug distribution
throughout the state.
Other Drugs: Pharmaceutical opiates/opiods are
the drugs of choice among drug abusing medical professionals seeking drug
addiction treatment in Colorado. Hydrocodone (Vicodin) and Darvocet are the two
controlled substances most commonly abused, with various forms of prescription
fraud and retail diversion being the methods for obtaining them. The diversion
and abuse of OxyContin (oxycodone) is a significant problem in Colorado.
DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams:
This cooperative program
with state and local law enforcement counterparts was conceived in 1995 in
response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and
cities across the nation. There have been 359 deployments completed resulting
in over 14,456 arrests of violent drug criminals as of April 1, 2002.There have
been 16 Denver Division Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) deployments in the state
of Colorado since the inception of the program: Lakewood; Durango; Edgewater;
Avon; Eagle and Garfield Counties; Pueblo; La Plata County; Longmont; El Paso
County; Englewood; Jefferson County; Sun Luis Valley; and four deployments in
Denver. These deployments resulted in 321 arrests and the seizure of 67.4
pounds of cocaine, 2.8 pounds of crack cocaine, 2.3 pounds of heroin, 2.9
pounds of marijuana, 48.3 pounds of methamphetamine, one pseudophedrine lab,
and one methamphetamine lab (Longmont.) Also seized were 71 vehicles, 106
weapons, and over $2.5 million in cash and property.
Enforcement Operations: Two significant operations were successfully
completed within the past two years. The most recent was Operation Green
Clover, an investigation resulting in 68 arrests in Colorado and
California, and the seizure of approximately 90,000 MDMA tablets, five pounds
of methamphetamine, two pounds of cocaine, 28 pounds of marijuana, and
$500,000. Additional indictments and arrests are anticipated. Operation
Mountain Express was conducted by law enforcement personnel in Denver, Los
Angeles, Houston, Orlando, Dallas, and Detroit and identified an organization
as a nationwide network of individuals obtaining large quantities of
pseudoephedrine for various meth trafficking organizations in the United
States. The investigation culminated in the arrests of four individuals in the
Denver area and nearly 140 additional arrests at multiple locations throughout
the country. Approximately $640,000 was seized in Denver, with $8,000,000
Special Topics: In 1996, Colorado was designated
a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and is comprised of Adams,
Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso, Garfield, Grand, Jefferson,
LaPlata, Larimer, Pueblo, Mesa, Moffat, Routt and Weld counties. On August 11,
2002, a DEA Group Supervisor was assigned to the Rocky Mountain HIDTA
Investigative Support Center, indicating the importance placed on combatting
drugs in this region.
The Need for Drug Addiction
Treatment: As with
most states, the need for quality, effective drug addiction treatment continues
to grow in Colorado.