Enforcement Officers: 4,231
State Prison Population:
Probation Population: 9,426
Violent Crime Rate
Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 23.9 kgs.
Heroin: 0.4 kgs.
Marijuana: 13.1 kgs.
Laboratories: 159 (DEA, state, and local)
Top 10 cities in UtahSt. George
Drugs and Drug Addiction Treatment
Drug Situation: Methamphetamine
abuse and production remains the primary drug issue faced by law enforcement,
though the emergence of club drugs has quickly escalated throughout the state.
More traditional drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana remain popular,
as well as a variety of other illegal substances. The total number of persons
admitted for drug addiction treatment in Utah for year 2001 was 20,575, a 2.1
percent decline from year 2000.
Cocaine: Cocaine continues to be a problem
throughout all areas of Utah. Kilogram quantities of cocaine HCL are available
along the Wasatch Range, which stretches from Provo to Ogden, and includes
approximately 75 percent of the states population. Mexican organizations
tend to dominate large scale cocaine distribution, though several other
groups/organizations are capable of distributing kilogram quantities. Crack
cocaine is available in ounce quantities, though it is confined primarily to
larger cities. Cocaine and/or crack are reportedly the main concern of many
upon entry to addiction treatment centers.
Heroin remains a serious problem in Utah. Heroin is the drug of choice among a
significant number seeking drug addiction treatment. Mexican organizations
control virtually all of the heroin distributed in Utah. Mexican brown and
black tar heroin are readily available throughout the state, though multi-ounce
and larger quantities are primarily distributed in the major cities.
Traditional Mexican organizations are becoming more entrenched within Utah and
currently are capable of selling multi-pound quantities of heroin. Almost
without exception, the Mexican organizations trafficking in heroin also
distribute cocaine and methamphetamine.
Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine abuse remains the
largest drug threat throughout Utah, though several favorable indicators are
emerging. For example, the number of methamphetamine laboratories seized by law
enforcement in Utah dropped for the second straight year, and this trend is
expected to continue in 2002 (see attached chart). More importantly, the size
of the methamphetamine laboratories (measured by the amount of finished product
per cook) also appears to be decreasing, as the majority of labs uncovered are
classified as small and rudimentary. Lastly, the Black Market
prices for necessary precursor chemicals (i.e. ephedrine, pseudophedrine,
iodine, etc.) has increased significantly over the last several years.
Nonetheless, methamphetamine remains readily available throughout the state via
local clandestine labs, as well as from Mexican organizations that import and
distribute large quantities. Methamphetamine abuse is regularly the reported
reason for a large number entering drug rehab centers.
Drugs: Ecstasy, GHB, Ketamine, and Oxycontin are quickly becoming a
significant law enforcement problem, with the potential for exponential growth.
Club drugs, primarily Ecstasy, have been identified as the second largest drug
threat within Utah and an increasing reason individuals are seeking drug rehab
centers. Ecstasy is typically purchased in tablet form, although powder is also
available in very limited quantities. Information about the use of Ketamine, a
veterinary tranquilizer, has been received, though only small purchases by
local law enforcement have been made. Smaller quantities of OxyContin are being
distributed in various pockets throughout the state. GHB is also available in
many portions of Utah. The Salt Lake City District Office concluded its
priority target investigation involving a large organization that was
distributing MDMA, GHB, and GBL to many of the Wasatch Range dance and strip
clubs. This organization was estimated at controlling 80% of the MDMA and GHB
market in the Salt Lake City area. LSD and Hallucinogens: LSD use and
availability appear to be reduced from previous years. DEA Salt Lake City
considers LSD to be a continuing problem, though its popularity has decreased
with the increase in MDMA availability and usage. Because of the ease of
procuring quantities of MDMA, many LSD dealers shifted to MDMA because of the
large profit margins and the lower sentencing guidelines. The remaining LSD
dealers still have strong ties to sources of supply in the San Francisco Bay
Marijuana: Marijuana is easily grown in the
remote areas of the state, which are most conducive for growing operations due
to the fertile soil. Some owners of outdoor grows have utilized armed Mexican
immigrants to tend the plants. Homemade irrigation systems have been developed
to counteract the arid climate of these remote sites and camouflage techniques
have become more sophisticated. Also, the importation of marijuana from British
Columbia, Canada, remains active in Utah. The majority of bulk-seized marijuana
is of Mexican origin.
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 Utah
since the inception of the program: Salt Lake City and Midvale. These
deployments resulted in 11 arrests and the seizure of 70.3 pounds of cocaine,
1.3 pounds of heroin and 12.2 pounds of methamphetamine. Also seized were 1
firearm, 4 vehicles, and $4,000 in U.S. currency.
The State of Utah participates in the Rocky Mountain HIDTA, which is based in
Denver, Colorado. The DEA Metro Narcotics Task Force receives the
lions share of HIDTA monies in Utah. HIDTA (High Intensity
Drug Trafficking Area) supplies nearly $1,000,000 directly to the DEA Metro
Narcotics Task Force on a yearly basis, though indirectly supplies much more.
(For example, two attorneys from the Utah Attorney Generals Office are
co-located in DEA space and their salaries are reimbursed directly from Rocky
Mountain HIDTA to the State of Utah. Other positions are also funded in a
similar fashion.) In mid-2001, a new HIDTA Investigative Support Center was
established in Utah and is being co-located within DEA space.
Addiction Treatment Centers Vital:Addiction treatment centers are
vital. While law enforcement works to diminish the availability of illicit
drugs, drug addiction treatment must be provided to those in need of it to
return them to productive members of their communities.