In Drugs & Addictions, General Knowledge

Drug Trafficking in the United States

Drug Trafficking

Trafficking drugs in 2014, whether it is heroin, cocaine, marijuana or hallucinogens, has exploded into a billion dollar industry. Americans spend over $65 billion every year on illegal drugs while the government and the DEA or Drug Enforcement Administration works 24/7 trying to keep the drugs from passing through the borders. Once they are in the U.S., they disappear quickly, and the drug trafficker becomes more difficult to find, arrest, and put behind bars.

Examples of Drug Trafficking in the United States

Drug trafficking is transported throughout the county making established stops to unload the product. Here is an average arrest made from trafficking drugs at the county level.

In Washington two arrests were made this week as part of a nine month investigation focused on one drug trafficking operation. These Skamania County residents were arrested on suspicion of three counts of delivering heroin while the other trafficker was arrested on two counts each of delivery of marijuana and delivery of prescription medication. The Undersheriff reports that countless hours were spent investigating in surrounding counties, and by next week they will have arrested four more individuals who are also involved. He says they will bring all of them to court.

Here is another example that took place in California in April, 2014.

Eleven people were arrested in the dismantling of a drug trafficking organization that was distributing narcotics from Mexico to the Central Valley area. Once they hit the Valley they were distributed all over the country. The Department of Justice led the task force; and they reported seizing nearly $269,000 in cash, 56 pounds of methamphetamine, four kilograms of cocaine, and 942 marijuana plants. This bust shows how far the drug trafficking in Columbia can extend…

This is a drug operation busted in Raleigh, N.C., October, 2014

Law enforcement from state and local levels arrested 15 people on drug trafficking and illegal possession of firearms. These two charges are often found together. This organization was known to be the source of heroin in the High Point area, and the agencies seized over $490,000 in cash, nine firearms, over seven kilos of heroin, over 13,150 grams of marijuana and 17 vehicles.  This bust has interrupted the flow of the illegal trafficking into North Carolina, reports the State Bureau.

Interested in other drug trafficking operations?

What Is Drug Trafficking?

The above examples show the relatively small transporting of drugs. These illegal drugs bring in millions of dollars, but when drugs of all types are sent from Europe, Asia and Africa, they involve more people, higher costs, and they require international enforcement. Transporting drugs today from Mexico is the easiest way and the least expensive way to bring illegal substances across the border into the United States.

The Legal Drug Trafficking Definition

The sale and distribution of illegal drugs is typically referred to as trafficking and can include all illegal substances. The penalties for federal convictions on drug trafficking vary greatly depending on the quantity of drugs that were seized. A federal conviction could lead to the forfeiture of personal property and denial of federal benefits.

A drug trafficking offense prohibits the import, export, manufacture, distribution and/or dispensing or possession of a controlled substance.  As you can see, this definition covers any trafficking that may occur within the U.S. or coming from other countries.

Here is an example that convicted 23 individuals in Italy where the ring originated.

In connection with a drug trafficking ring centered in Italy, 23 people were arrested. The ring used housewives to smuggle heroin into New York City, and they were paid in cash and with accommodations to luxury Manhattan hotels. The trials were held in a Palermo court, and all were convicted of drug trafficking. The leaders were also found guilty of association with the Mafia, and given 18 year prison sentences as the highest punishment. As you can see, the defendants were tried in their own country.

Drug Trafficking Statistics

The DEA and other government agencies are working to prevent illegal drugs from coming across the borders and into the U.S. Any state that borders Mexico is in a drug war to protect their citizens from drug trafficking in Colombia. Mexican cartels are more aggressive and more violent than ever to move their product up north.

Many of the towns along the border in the United States have been ravaged by this war, and the gang violence associated with drugs use weapons with no conscious. Drug addiction is at an all-time high, and this only gives the drug trafficker more incentive. Drug trafficking statistics for federal and DEA trafficking arrests since 2007 are shown here.


DEA Domestic Arrests
Calendar Year Number of Arrests
2013 30,688
2012 31,023
2011 32,495
2010 31,393
2009 31,854
2008 28,602
2007 29,904



More drug trafficking statistics show the drugs that were seized in these arrests during the same years.


DEA Domestic Drug Seizures
Calendar Year Cocaine (kgs) Heroin (kgs) Marijuana (kgs) Methamphetamine (kgs) Hallucinogens (dosage units)
2013 22,512 965 267,957 3990 116,215
2012 36,694 999 388,059 4,622 870,203
2011 32,374 1,075 575,960 2,485 3,954,732
2010 30,053 713 725,858 2,188 2,604,797
2009 50,704 618 671,650 2,007 3,422,593
2008 50,461 605 662,137 1,518 9,311,715
2007 98,065 623 360,708 1,112 5,677,739

Statistics provide drug trafficking facts. Here are some facts on drug trafficking in the United States:

  • Over 32 percent of all inmates in state prisons in the U.S. were under the influence of drugs and/or in possession of drugs.
  • Drug trafficking Columbia, Mexico generates over $50 billion per year.
  • There are over 4,400 DEA officers currently working full time in fighting drug sales and drug trafficking.
  • If Mexico lost its drug trafficking industry, it is believed that the country’s economy would shrink by 63 percent.

 CIA Drug Trafficking Allegations

There are sources in the government that report that the CIA drug trafficking is operating and involved with distributing illegal substances. The reports claim that there is congressional evidence that indicates that members of the CIA were involved in drug trafficking, so they would receive material support and useful intelligence when these illegal activities were permitted to continue. This trade also was to prevent arrest, indictment, and imprisonment by law enforcement agencies.

Ways to Report Drug Trafficking Activities in the United States

Here are five tips when you see or suspect suspicious activity in your neighborhood:

  • Call your local law enforcement and submit an anonymous tip: get a firm commitment on this.
  • Contact your local watchdog group like Crime Stoppers or Neighborhood Watch. Giving any information you have will allow the group to get into action for you.
  • If you want to go a step farther, submit your tip online to the FBI. The simple form will allow you to remain anonymous, but write specifically what you have seen.
  • WeTip is another anonymous way to submit illicit information. Call 1-800-78-CRIME or go online. All tips are accepted 24 hours a day, anonymity guaranteed.
  • Many law enforcement agencies provide rewards upon arrest or the suspect’s conviction.

Helping a Drug Trafficker Closer to Home

People are involved with illegal drug sales, distribution and trafficking in every part of the government, community, local police, and your neighbor next door. The money and/or the personal addiction leads more to becoming involved every day.

If someone you know or love has a drug addiction, they need to get professional help, and they are not likely to find it themselves. The disease of addiction affects the individual and masks the proof or evidence that they are in need of help. Most think they can handle their problem themselves, but when they get in over their heads, they can’t see a way out.

Try speaking to them about their problem without judgment. They need to know that you are on their side and that they can count on you. After several weeks, with no change in behavior, the next step is to offer your loved one some choices in seeking help.

There are drug rehabilitation centers in your community or city that are experienced in helping people get free from drugs and/or alcohol. Gather information from these rehabs and discuss them with your loved one. Breaking the addiction from illegal substances will improve their lifestyle and allow them to get back into life again. All messages should be delivered in a spirit of love and support.

If you yourself need treatment, take action today before the addiction gets worse. There is no reason to go another day in the disease that robs your health and vitality. Call for professional help today.

Dreaming of a drug-free world?

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