Enforcement Officers: 26,148
Probation Population: 128,634
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 25
Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 1,291.4 kgs.
Heroin: 168.8 kgs.
Marijuana: 2,196.8 kgs.
Clandestine Laboratories: 0 (DEA, state, and
Top 12 cities in New JerseyVineland
Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction
Drug Situation: New Jersey
contains both an international airport and major commercial shipping centers.
Consequently, the state presents an attractive transportation hub for drug
organizations, as well as a major challenge for law enforcement entities
combating this illicit activity. While Colombian and Dominican drug
organizations predominantly control heroin and cocaine trafficking, recent
intelligence indicates that Mexican traffickers from the West Coast are now
moving cocaine shipments into the New Jersey and New York areas. There
continues to be a significant drug abuse problem in New Jersey. In urban areas
such as Newark, Elizabeth, Trenton, and Camden, widespread crack abuse and
heroin abuse continue. In nightclub areas throughout the state and particularly
around the casino areas of Atlantic City, club drugs remain popular .
New Jersey is a transshipment area for cocaine which is transported by various
means, including shipping, tractor-trailers, commercial air and private
vehicles. In some cases, couriers are utilized to bring in smaller shipments
into airports and other public transportation facilities. Cocaine is
predominantly distributed by Colombian and Dominican nationals who supply
Puerto Rican, African-Americans, and Caucasians who distribute at the street
level. Cocaine and crack are reported to be the drug of choice among a large
number upon entry to drug rehab centers.
Heroin: Since the terrorist attacks in New York City
on September 11, there has been an increase in the availability of heroin in
New Jersey. This has been primarily attributed to the increased law enforcement
presence in New York. Narcotics officers have reported large amounts of
narcotics are being rerouted to New Jersey before distribution in New York.
County narcotics task force commanders have reported an increase in heroin
related deaths. Intelligence indicates drug traffickers may be shipping
narcotics in cargo containers to the port in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Heroin
distributors are also reportedly utilizing two way pagers with text messaging
to communicate with each other . Reports of heroin as the primary drug of
choice among individuals entering addiction treatment centers have
Methamphetamine: While New Jersey has not
traditionally been known as a leading methamphetamine distribution center, it
does appear to be available and a number of individuals seeking drug addiction
treatment report methamphetamine addiction as their primary concern. The Camden
Diversion group recently reported the arrest of a DEA fugitive by Jordanian
authorities. The fugitive had been indicted in New Jersey for conspiracy to
distribute pseudoephedrine, a List I chemical, for the manufacture of
Drugs: Club drugs, most notably MDMA (Ecstasy), have regained
popularity in the southeastern areas of the state. As a result of increased
availability, prices have come down. Club drugs in New Jersey are generally
bought in bulk from the Philadelphia or New York areas, and sold locally at
nightclubs or rave parties. Revenues from sales of Ecstasy are so lucrative
that individuals who would not normally become involved in drug dealing are
willing to sell MDMA for the huge profit. MDMA is still smuggled into New
Jersey from the Benelux countries of Western Europe (Belgium, Netherlands and
Marijuana: Marijuana remains readily
available throughout New Jersey. Large shipments are believed to be smuggled
south from Canada. More recently, it has become apparent that Jamaican
nationals may control the marijuana market in the northern part of the state.
In southern New Jersey, local law enforcement authorities have eradicated
outdoor growing fields. Hydroponic marijuana is also popular in this area as
well. Marijuana continues to gain popularity among the younger generation in
New Jersey, due in part to increased availability, low cost, and the perception
that it is a safer drug than cocaine or heroin.
Examples of diversion by
self-abusers in the medical field who use their employment positions to gain
access to blank prescription pads to forge prescriptions continue to be a
problem in New Jersey. The majority of controlled substances diverted and
distributed illegally include benzodiazepines and opiates, specifically
hydrocodone products. In addition, county narcotics task forces are reporting a
decline in diversion cases involving OxyContin.
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 14 MET deployments in New Jersey
since the inception of the program: Asbury Park, Camden, Paterson, Atlantic
City, Lakewood, Passaic, Plainfield, Pleasantville, Trenton, Long Branch, two
in Newark, and two in Elizabeth. These deployments resulted in 1,084 arrests
and the seizure of 17.4 pounds of cocaine; 19.1 pounds of crack cocaine; 9.2
pounds of heroin; 121.3 pounds of marijuana; and 3 grams plus 492 pills of
Ecstasy. Also seized were 30 weapons, 16 vehicles, and over $728,000 in U.S.
currency and property.
Special Topics:For the first time
in the State of New Jersey, gang members were recently prosecuted under federal
law. The Newark Divisions Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) successfully
targeted members of the violent Crips street gang, which had
controlled drug sales in an area of Newark. Two members of the gang were
charged with narcotics violations and were subsequently convicted. They are
More Drug Rehab Centers needed:With the increase in availability
of drugs and the increase in drug abuse, it is obvious that more addiction
treatment centers will be needed to address the problem.