Enforcement Officers: 27,483
Probation Population: 118,635
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 24
Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 133.1 kgs.
Heroin: 8.7 kgs.
Marijuana: 377.3 kgs.
Clandestine Laboratories: 15 (DEA, state, and
Top 12 cities in PennsylvaniaLancaster
Drugs and Drug Addiction Treatment
Drug Situation: Pennsylvania
contains an international airport in Philadelphia and that city is also known
as a major commercial shipping center. Central Pennsylvania has long been known
as a crossroads for shipments of wholesale quantities of drugs
moving west from New York City and Philadelphia as well as shipments moving
northeast from Florida and the U.S. Southwest Border. As a result, Pennsylvania
presents an opportunistic area for wide-scale narcotics transshipment and
distribution. Most trafficking and distribution is accomplished by a variety of
Hispanic and African-American organizations scattered throughout the state.
Some groups are connected to sources in New York City , while other groups are
supplied via other transshipment locations or smuggled directly into
Philadelphia and elsewhere from source countries.
Cocaine HCl, as well as crack cocaine, remains widely available in Pennsylvania
and is the drug of choice for many entering drug rehab centers. In some of
these areas, particularly in northeastern Pennsylvania, availability of cocaine
remains a greater concern compared to other drugs. For example, Philadelphia
has a more serious problem with heroin usage as opposed to cocaine. New York
City remains the primary source for cocaine distributed in Pennsylvania. Of
particular concern is a European maritime shipping company, which has begun
transporting cargo from South America directly into Philadelphia. As a result
of increased law enforcement presence in Philadelphia, Dominican distribution
organizations may be moving operations to nearby Wilmington, Delaware. Crack
abuse continues to infiltrate a variety of neighborhoods in both urban and
rural areas of the state, crossing both economic and ethnic lines.
Heroin remains widely available throughout Pennsylvania and is also the number
of choice among a significant number of individuals seeking drug addiction
treatment Well-organized and violent Hispanic groups, including Colombian,
Dominican, and Puerto Rican organizations, dominate the heroin market in the
state. While the primary sources are based in New
York City, heroin is also smuggled directly into Philadelphia from Colombia via
transshipment points including Aruba, Mexico, and other Caribbean locations. In
western Pennsylvania, heroin availability is reportedly rising due to increased
purity and lower prices. In Philadelphia, the Operation Safe Streets
initiative, formed to combat heroin distribution and related violence in some
of the citys worst neighborhoods, has begun to produce positive results.
Intensive law enforcement presence in these areas has resulted in reduced crime
and drug trafficking.
Methamphetamine: Historically, meth was reported to
be readily available in Pennsylvania, used primarily in the Philadelphia area.
Investigations have traditionally indicated that Philadelphia and its
surrounding suburban counties are the origin of a large portion of
methamphetamine produced and distributed in the Eastern United States. While
methamphetamine remains available at the wholesale and retail levels, the
overall availability seems to have decreased as a result of the dismantling of
several clandestine laboratories although it is still notable as the drug of
choice as reported by many individuals upon entry to drug rehab centers.
Investigative successes in Philadelphia, Allentown and elsewhere have
contributed to this trend. Investigations continue to implicate members of the
Pagans Motorcycle Club as being involved in the distribution of
MDMA (Ecstasy) remains readily available in Pennsylvania, primarily at rave
parties and nightclubs. Usage among high school and college students continues
to be a concern to law enforcement. Reports that MDMA prices have dropped may
add to the problem. Gamma hydroxybutric acid (GHB) and ketarnine also remain
available in Philadelphia-area nightclubs. Investigations continue to document
New York City as a primary source area for retail quantities of MDMA sold in
Pennsylvania. Intelligence indicates Ecstasy continues to be smuggled into the
Philadelphia area from the Netherlands, through such areas as Canada, New York,
and the Caribbean. Israeli and Dutch nationals have been documented as being
heavily involved in smuggling and trafficking large amounts of MDMA into the
Marijuana: Historically, the forests of
northwestern Pennsylvania were considered areas for marijuana cultivation.
However, source areas of marijuana distributed in Pennsylvania include the U.S.
southwest border area, including McAllen and Houston, Texas, as well as Los
Angeles, California. Marijuana remains abundantly available in wholesale and
retail quantities in the state. Various means of transport continue to be
utilized by traffickers. Due to their proximity to major thoroughfares, areas
in the central region of the state, which are homes to several trucking
warehouses, remain hubs for marijuana trafficking organizations. At the retail
level, Hispanic, African-American, and Caucasian groups, along with some
dominant Jamaican organizations, continue to control the marijuana market in
Other Drugs: Trafficking and use of
OxyContin, the primary diverted pharmaceutical drug of concern, continues to
decrease. This is due in part to highly successful prosecutions of physicians
and pharmacists in the area which received extensive publicity. Many
individuals who had used OxyContin have returned to using Percocet. Other
oxycodone products, such as Percodan, Tylox and Roxicet, continue to be widely
diverted and used throughout Pennsylvania. Hydrocone products, such as Vicodin,
Lortab and Lorcet, also remain popular. The benzodiazepine, Xanax, remained one
of the pharmaceutical drugs of choice in the state.
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
12 MET deployments in the State of Pennsylvania since the inception of the
program: Bristol, Chester City, Clariton, Easton, Norristown, Reading,
Allentown, York, Pottstown, Chester, and two in Philadelphia. These deployments
resulted in 728 arrests and the seizure of 23 pounds of cocaine, 18.1 pounds of
crack cocaine, 7.5 pounds of heroin, 1 ounce of methamphetamine, 17.1 pounds of
marijuana, 395 MDMA tablets, and 42 dosage units of OxyContin. Also seized were
48 firearms, 16 vehicles, and over $100,000 in U.S. currency and
Addiction Treatment Centers are
earlier, Central Pennsylvania has long been known as a crossroads
for shipments of wholesale quantities of drugs moving west from New York City
and Philadelphia as well as shipments moving northeast from Florida and the
U.S. Southwest Border. Drug rehab centers are needed to help those addicted as
a result of this.