State Prison Population:
Probation Population: 32,098
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 35
Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 82.1 kgs.
Heroin: 4.7 kgs.
Marijuana: 110.3 kgs.
Clandestine Laboratories: 366 (DEA, state, and
Top 11 cities in VirginiaLynchburg
Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction Treatment
abuse is widespread throughout Virginia. Cocaine abuse is widespread and is
available in most parts of Virginia. Crack cocaine continues to plague inner
city settings, particularly in Richmond, Roanoke, and the Tidewater area and
the drug of choice among many in need of drug addiction treatment. New York has
long been a key source city for the cocaine sold in Virginia, often supplied by
Dominican drug traffickers to African-American distributors. However, during
the past 18 months, several DEA investigations in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk
and Winchester have identified Mexican drug traffickers based in North Carolina
who have been supplying increasing amounts of cocaine to Virginia.
Heroin: Heroin is widely available in
Virginias urban areas, but is less prevalent in rural counties of the
Commonwealth. Washington, D.C. is the source city for users living in Northern
Virginia. In the Richmond metropolitan area, heroin is not only an inner city
phenomenon, but has gained popularity amongst white young people from upper
middle class suburbs. Heroin also poses an increasing threat in the Tidewater
area. Dominican drug trafficking groups based in New York City and Philadelphia
supply African-American distributors who travel to the Northeast for their
supply. Report of heroin abuse addiction among individuals seeking drug rehab
centers is on the rise.
Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine began making
inroads into Virginias Shenandoah Valley in the mid-1990s. Since
that time, methamphetamine has become the drug of choice in certain Valley
towns such as Harrisonburg and Staunton. Most methamphetamine is imported by
Mexican groups who live and work in the Shenandoah Valley. The user population
in that part of the state is largely white, rural, and uneducated. By contrast,
the user population in the Richmond area consists of white college-aged young
people involved in the rave scene. The drug has gained popularity in the
citys clubs over the past year and a half. In addition to some
distribution by Mexican organizations, Richmond District Office investigations
indicate that young people from Richmond are traveling to the Southwestern
United States and bringing back quantities to sell on the local market.
Methamphetamine is also increasingly popular in Northern Virginia among young
people who frequent clubs in Washington, D.C. Although methamphetamine does not
yet appear to pose a serious threat in the Tidewater area, its abuse is
increasingly noted as the reason for individuals entering addiction treatment
centers in these other parts of the state.
Drugs: MDMA is available throughout Virginias urban areas and
is sold largely in dance clubs and raves where young college-aged young people
congregate. MDMA is widely distributed in Richmonds club district known
as Shockoe Bottom. In the case of Northern Virginia, suburban white
college-aged ecstasy users have easy access to Washington D.C., known
nationwide for its active club and rave scene. In that area, MDMA is rapidly
encroaching on the mainstream drug trade and cuts across all categories of
race, age and socio-economic status. In smaller cities such as Roanoke,
Charlottesville, and Fredericksburg, and in small college towns, MDMA is the
drug of choice among this particular demographic according to those seeking
drug addiction treatment.
Marijuana: Marijuana is widely available
throughout the Commonwealth, and is often reported as a drug of choice among
those entering drug rehab center programs. It is imported into Virginia from a
number of diverse trafficking groups from many different source areas. The
Southwest Border is frequently cited as the primary source area for marijuana
smuggled into Virginia by Mexican trafficking organizations. Mexican groups
based in North Carolina often supply the Central and Western parts of Virginia.
Cannabis is cultivated in clandestine outdoor plots, primarily in the remote
Southwestern corner of Virginia. Each year, the Virginia State Police launches
a state-wide eradication campaign concentrating principally on those counties
that border Kentucky and Tennessee.
OxyContin abuse is
pervasive in Virginias rural Southwestern counties. OxyContin abuse has
impacted all socio-economic levels of the areas populace. Although
enforcement efforts have curbed sales from certain unscrupulous practitioners
in Virginia, OxyContin remains widely available as distribution rings and users
travel to neighboring states and to Northern Virginia to purchase their supply.
Oxycontin abuse as the primary concern of individuals seeking addiction
treatment center programs is on the rise.
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 seven MET deployments in the
state of Virginia since the inception of the program: Manassas City,
Chincoteague, Fredericksburg, Richmond, Petersburg, Prince William County, and
Hopewell. These deployments resulted in 208 arrests and the seizure of 3.1
pounds of cocaine, and 2.8 pounds of crack cocaine. Also seized were 10
weapons, 24 vehicles, and over $177,000 in U.S. currency and
Special Topics: The Annandale
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)/MATF is comprised of two DEA task
forces. Seven local agencies and the State Police are represented. On the
federal level, the FBI provides three Special Agents. Housed within the same
office space is a joint IRS/Secret Service money laundering group. Analytical
support is provided by intelligence analysts assigned to the Washington Field
Divisions Intelligence Group 31.
Drug Addiction Treatment NecessaryAs in so many states, drug abuse
and addiction is on the rise in Virginia. Drug abuse and addiction takes its
toll on communities in various ways. Most addicted individuals can return to
productive members of their communities if effective addiction treatment center
programs are available to them. We must help these individuals in order to
improve our communities.