Enforcement Officers: 5,388
State Prison Population:
Probation Population: 11,787
Violent Crime Rate
Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 13.0 kgs.
Heroin: 1.7 kgs.
Marijuana: 42.8 kgs.
Laboratories: 255 (DEA, state, and
Drugs and Drug Rehab Centers
Drug Situation: Methamphetamine,
both imported into the state and locally produced, remains the principal drug
of concern in Nevada and the primary drug of choice among those seeking drug
addiction treatment. In addition, cocaine, particularly crack cocaine, is a
significant problem in the urban areas of the state. Club Drugs,
specifically MDMA, are rising in popularity and availability in the southern
section of the state. Due to its close proximity to California and its porous
border, Nevada often serves as a transshipment point for various drugs to the
central and eastern sections of the United States.
Cocaine HCL is moderately available in northern Nevada and readily available
throughout southern Nevada. Cocaine HCL is transported into Nevada primarily
from California via ground transportation. Southern Nevada, specifically Las
Vegas, serves as a transshipment point for cocaine HCL with distribution points
across the nation. Crack cocaine is readily available in the urban areas of
Nevada. African American street gangs predominantly control the distribution
market for crack cocaine and base their operations in inexpensive motel rooms
and apartments located in impoverished areas throughout Nevadas larger
Mexican black tar heroin remains the most prevalent heroin available in Nevada.
Mexican poly-drug trafficking organizations control the heroin trafficking in
the state. These trafficking organizations continue to recruit Mexican
nationals to live in the urban areas of Nevada to distribute heroin for the
organization. User amounts of low-purity black tar heroin remain readily
available from these low-level suppliers and are most often distributed in open
air-markets. Heroin is the drug of choice among many entering drug rehab
Methamphetamine: Meth is the most frequently
encountered drug in Nevada and remains available in both personal use and
distribution quantities. Methamphetamine is the drug of choice by a large
number of individuals seeking drug addiction treatment services. Nevada is both
a point of importation and a source of manufacture for meth. The meth imported
into the state is produced primarily in super labs (producing 10
pounds or more in a 24-hour period) by ethnic Mexican drug trafficking
organizations operating in Mexico and California. Meth is transported to Nevada
primarily via ground transportation. Organized Mexican poly-drug trafficking
groups monopolize the large-scale meth trade in Nevada. Distributor levels of
imported meth average 1/2 pound quantities or greater and range in purity
levels from 9% - 26%. Local meth manufacturing entrepreneurs continue to
manufacture meth in small quantities, usually under one ounce per cook.
Laboratories seized this quarter utilized the pseudoephedrine, red phosphorus,
and iodine method to manufacture methamphetamine. Locally produced meth often
contains a higher purity level that frequently averages 90 percent.
Club Drugs: The availability of club
drugs in Nevada ranges from sporadic in the northern urban areas to
readily available in cities located in the southern section of the state,
particularly Las Vegas and is reportedly abused by many upon entry to addiction
treatment centers, often in combination with other drugs. Club Drugs,
specifically MDMA, GHB, and LSD, are trafficked and abused in local nightclubs,
adult entertainment clubs, and at raves. The trafficking of these drugs ranges
from hand-to-hand sales within clubs or raves to larger sales between locals
and out-of-town distributors. Las Vegas serves as a point of importation and a
transshipment area for MDMA. Most MDMA that passes through or is destined for
Las Vegas continues to come primarily from Southern California and New York.
Marijuana: Domestically cultivated and
Mexican-grown marijuana remains readily available in Nevada and is routinely
reported as a drug of abuse by individuals entering drug rehab centers. Mexican
poly-drug trafficking organizations are still the primary source of marijuana
smuggled into the area, primarily from California via ground transport. There
has been an increased prevalence of indoor marijuana cultivation in the Las
Vegas area during the past year. Growers are using elaborate hydroponic
equipment to cultivate high-grade marijuana. Marijuana Legislation: In
June 2001, Assembly Bill 453 was signed into law and made Nevada the ninth
state in the U.S. where patients can use marijuana for medicinal purposes. In
addition, the new state law which went into effect October 1, 2001,
decriminalizes possession of small amounts (ounce quantity or less) of
marijuana, which previously was a state felony.
pharmaceutical drugs of choice in Nevada include Lortab, Hydrocodone, Xanax,
Codeine, Diazepam and Oxycodone. Prescription forgery and doctor shopping
remain the primary methods by which pharmaceutical drugs are diverted in
Nevada. Pseudoephedrine, a precursor for the manufacture of meth, remains the
most commonly diverted pharmaceutical drug in the Las Vegas area. The supply of
pseudoephedrine in Nevada stems from two sources. The first involves products
purchased from rogue U.S. chemical companies that sell excessive
quantities to non-traditional outlets, such as liquor and convenience stores,
who then distribute the pseudoephedrine in case quantity amounts to meth
manufacturers. The second emerging source is pseudoephedrine smuggled from
Canada. Traffickers purchase pseudoephedrine, often packaged in 1,000 count
bottles from Canadian sources and then smuggle it across the U.S. border where
it is diverted to manufacturers of meth.
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 two Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) deployments in the State of Nevada
since the inception of the program: Reno and Carson City. These deployments
resulted in 113 arrests and the seizure of .4 pounds of cocaine; .6 pounds of
crack cocaine; 2.2 pounds of marijuana and 18.5 pounds of meth. Also seized
were 9 weapons and $31,275 in U.S. currency.
Clark County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) was established by
the Office of National Drug Control Policy in 2001 to combat the influx of drug
trafficking in southern Nevada. In order to alleviate the meth problem in
southern Nevada, a HIDTA initiative, the Southern Nevada Joint Methamphetamine
Task Force was created to address domestic trafficking organizations and career
criminal enterprises which are involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine
and the transport and distribution of meth and precursor chemicals within and
through the HIDTA area of operation. The primary focus of this Task Force will
be the dismantlement and Federal prosecution of such organized drug and
precursor chemical trafficking groups.
Drug Addiction Treatment is Needed:Law enforcement efforts continue
to attempt to decrease and, eventually, eliminate the drug threat in Nevada.
Effective drug addiction treatment must be readily available to those
individuals requiring it to assist in the fight against drug addiction.