Prison Population: 3,492
Violent Crime Rate
Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 429.7 kgs.
Heroin: 0 kgs.
Marijuana: 437.7 kgs.
Laboratories: 213 (DEA, state, and
Top 2 cities in NebraskaLincoln
Substance Abuse and the Need for Drug Rehab
Drug Situation: Methamphetamine
is the major concern for law enforcement within the state of Nebraska. In 2001,
indictments in methamphetamine cases nearly doubled, while anhydrous ammonia
thefts throughout the state increased 500 percent. Nebraska continues to be a
transshipment state for Mexican methamphetamine with Interstate 80 providing
easy west to east access across the state. Nebraska has over 165
meat-packing/poultry plants and 55,000 farms statewide. The number of Hispanic
workers, both legal and illegal, have nearly tripled in the last 10 years, and
Hispanic children currently represent the largest minority student population
in the state. While most are honest and hard working, this rapid growth has
allowed drug trafficking organizations with ties to Mexico to more easily blend
into the community.
Cocaine is predominantly controlled by Hispanic trafficking organizations, many
from Mexico. Cocaine is transported via car, parcel package and body carriers
from Mexico via El Paso, Texas. Cocaine is available at both the wholesale and
retail level. Crack cocaine is a serious problem in the large urban centers of
Nebraska and the primary drug of choice among many seeking drug addiction
Heroin is available in small amounts in the Omaha, Nebraska area. While not
considered a drug of choice in Nebraska, some Hispanic trafficking
organizations are poly-drug and have heroin available for consumer use and it
is still reported to be the drug of choice among some people entering addiction
Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine abuse is the
greatest drug threat to the state, and is available in almost every town and
community. It contributes to the greatest number of individuals entering drug
rehab centers. Hispanic drug trafficking organizations are flooding most
Hispanic communities with methamphetamine from the southern border region of
the United States. Methamphetamine produced in clandestine labs is also readily
available in many communities. With the vast amount of farms across the state
and limited law enforcement, this area is prime for exploitation.
Drugs: The popularity of these drugs is increasing at an alarming
rate, as there is a perception among users that these drugs are
safe to use. Preliminary investigations show organizations in
Nebraska have been receiving multi-hundred to thousand dosage units of MDMA
(Ecstasy) from Florida and Arizona. Efforts are currently underway to link
investigations of mid-level distributors and Rave parties.
Marijuana: Marijuana is the most prevalent
illicit drug in Nebraska. Domestic production of both outdoor and hydroponic
indoor grows have been steady with many seizures netting upwards of 500 plants.
Marijuana produced outside of Nebraska and transported into the state is
controlled by Mexican drug trafficking organizations at the wholesale level. At
the retail level, independent dealers, outlaw motorcycle gangs, street gangs,
Native Americans, and Mexican groups share equally in the retail market.
Marijuana Legalization: Legislative Bill 273 was passed during the first
session of the 97th legislature (2000) which provides guidance for the legal
production of industrial hemp (cannabis sativa) having no more than 3/10ths of
one percent tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the only legislation introduced
regarding legalization of marijuana in the state of Nebraska in recent
hallucinogens, anabolic steroids and illegally diverted pharmaceuticals are
abused to a much lesser degree than the more traditional drugs in Nebraska.
Individuals seeking drug addiction treatment often report the use of drugs like
pharmaceuticals, marijuana and club drugs in addition to their primary drug of
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. From March to May 1997, a MET was deployed to
Dawson County, Nebraska, in order to assist in identifying and dismantling
methamphetamine organizations located between Lincoln and North Platte,
Nebraska. This successful operation resulted in the arrest of 11 defendants. In
addition, a Regional Enforcement Team deployed to Omaha from September 1999 to
November, 1999 to assist with an investigation of a polydrug trafficking
organization with ties to Mexico, California, Texas, and Kansas. A federal
grand jury indicted 19 individuals, of which 17 were arrested.
Special Topics: The Midwest High
Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) was established by the Office of
National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in 1996, in order to combat
methamphetamine in the Midwestern states. Since its formation, the DEA has
served in a leadership role in the HIDTA. There are seven Nebraska-based
initiatives in the Midwest HIDTA, one of which is a federal task force (FBI).
Drug Addiction Treatment Necessary: The increase in drug trafficking
in areas like Nebraska, naturally, causes an increase in substance abuse and
the number of addicted individuals. While we hope law enforcement efforts will
one day create an end to the inflow of illegal drugs into the state, we must
provide drug addiction treatment to those wishing to overcome their