Enforcement Officers: 6,508
State Prison Population:
Probation Population: 15,791
Violent Crime Rate
Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 82.1 kgs.
Heroin: 3.2 kgs.
Marijuana: 1,143.3 kgs.
Laboratories: 201 (DEA, state, and
Top 2 Cities in MississippiGulfport
Substance Abuse and Substance Abuse
Drug Situation: The drug threat
in Mississippi is two-fold. The state is a major transshipment point for bulk
quantities of illegal drugs from the Southwest Border to points north and east.
Mississippi is also experiencing an increase in methamphetamine manufacture,
which is a significant concern of law enforcement and a significant contributor
to the increase in those seeking drug addiction treatment. The central location
of Mississippi is ideal for drug traffickers from Chicago, Detroit, Miami, and
elsewhere to meet wholesale suppliers and purchase drugs. North Mississippi
receives much of its supply of drugs from the Memphis, Tennessee area. In
addition, the violent crime associated with drug activity is the number one
concern of the citizens of the state.
Cocaine, which is being distributed and abused throughout Mississippi, is the
most problematic, high-threat drug for communities and law enforcement. There
is often a direct connection between the use or sale of cocaine and crime,
especially violent crime. Street gangs in Mississippi, such as the Vice
Lords, the Wood Street Players, and the Four Corner
Hustlers, are known to be heavily involved in the trafficking and
distribution of cocaine, primarily crack cocaine. Cocaine distribution in
Mississippi is primarily controlled by African-American gangs and independent
traffickers. However, along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, Vietnamese gangs
control some of the cocaine trade. Texas is the primary source state for
cocaine found in Mississippi. Cocaine is normally transported to Mississippi
via private and commercial vehicles on the interstate highways, often secreted
inside hidden compartments.
Heroin: Heroin is currently not a problem drug or
drug of choice among the majority entering drug rehab centers in Mississippi.
Heroin seen in Mississippi is normally that seized in highway interdiction
stops en route to large cities in the north and east such as Chicago or
Atlanta. On December 16, 2001, 7.5 pounds of Mexican brown heroin were seized
on Interstate 55 in Madison County, Mississippi. The heroin was being smuggled
from New Orleans to Chicago. On May 1, 2002, a pound of Mexican black-tar
heroin was seized during a traffic stop on Interstate 20, near Vicksburg,
Mississippi. The heroin was being transported from Dallas to Asheboro, NC.
Methamphetamine: The recent increase in
methamphetamine manufacture, importation, use, and addiction is of great
concern throughout Mississippi. Methamphetamine has become a popular drug of
abuse, primarily among the poor to middle-class Caucasian population and
reported to be the drug of choice among a great number entering addiction
treatment centers. Small (gram-quantity) Nazi-method
methamphetamine labs, using the chemical anhydrous ammonia and cold pills, are
now frequently encountered by law enforcement throughout Mississippi, mostly in
rural communities. The increase in meth manufacturing is being driven by a
growing addiction to meth and by the high profit margins realized from its
manufacture. Larger (pound) quantities of methamphetamine are being transported
into Mississippi via vehicle or commercial package services (e.g., FED EX, UPS)
primarily originating from sources in California and Texas. A total of 52.22
kilograms of methamphetamine have been seized in highway interdictions so far
during FY-02 (to May 16, 2002). Methamphetamine ICE, which is
normally more than 90% pure and highly addictive, is now being distributed in
Drugs: Club drugs are popular in Mississippi among a select group,
primarily middle-to-upper-class young adult Caucasians. The most popular Club
Drug is MDMA ecstasy. Ecstasy is normally being sold in small
quantities and used as a party drug at local nightclubs and near or on college
campuses. Ecstasy abuse has received a lot of attention in Mississippi since a
17-year-old female of Corinth, MS died from an ecstasy overdose in April 2001.
There are no known large rave clubs in Mississippi like those found
in New Orleans. LSD, primarily imported from California, is popular among a few
in the young adult Caucasian community. However, it is not often encountered by
law enforcement. GHB and Ketamine are not currently known to be widely
available or popular in Mississippi.
Marijuana: Marijuana is being regularly
sold and used by some from all ethnic and socioeconomic groups in Mississippi.
The marijuana being distributed and used in Mississippi is primarily from
Mexico. It is being smuggled across the Mexico-Texas border and then being
transported in private and commercial vehicles on the Interstate highways.
Also, there is a large amount of locally grown marijuana available in
Mississippi. Loads of marijuana, destined for large cities in the Northeast and
East, are often seized on Mississippi Interstate Highways 20, 10, 55, and 59.
Seized loads range from an average of 50 pounds in passenger vehicles to 1,000
pound loads hauled in commercial trucks.
the diversion of prescription drugs occurs mostly at the retail level through
forged or altered prescriptions and through doctor shopping. Illicitly diverted
prescription drug abuse occurs in all racial and socioeconomic groups. Popular
abused pharmaceutical drugs include Oxycontin, Xanax, Valium, Vicodin,
Dilaudid, and Lortab. Also, large quantities of these prescription drugs are
being obtained illegally in Mexico or in Texas border towns such as Laredo. The
prescription drug Oxycontin a schedule II pain relief
medicine is currently popular and is being abused by some in Mississippi
for its heroin-like sedative effect. Fourteen people have died of Oxycontin
overdoses in Mississippi, beginning with a 15-year-old girl from Simpson County
who died on November 28, 2000.
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 seven MET deployments in Mississippi: Jackson (2), Hancock County,
Greenville, Hattiesburg, Gulfport, and Grenada, leading to 136
Special Topics: Large amounts of
U.S. Currency (USC) representing proceeds from drug trafficking is being seized
on Mississippi interstate highways. The currency is predominantly found in
private and commercial vehicles heading westbound on Interstates 10 and 20. So
far this fiscal year (October 01, 2001 May 16, 2002), a total of
$2,455,976.00 has been seized in Mississippi through highway interdiction
stops. This large amount of cash resulting from drug sales in the east is being
transported to recipients in Texas and Mexico. Mississippi ranks second to Las
Vegas in the United States for casino square footage. There are some 30
gambling casinos located along the Mississippi River and Gulf Coast. Drug
traffickers in Mississippi, and probably other adjoining states, are known to
use these casinos to launder drug proceeds. Also, dealers often claim that
their cash and possessions came from casino gambling.
Drug Addiction Treatment is
law enforcement efforts attempt to address the concerns of citizens regarding
the substance abuse problem in Mississippi. While necessary, law enforcement
efforts alone are not enough to address the problem. As the number of addicted
individuals grows, so must the number of quality drug rehab centers. Drug
addiction treatment is needed to return addicted individuals who participate in
criminal activities, to productive citizens with much to offer their state.