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Estimation of Cocaine Availability, 1996-2000

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2002
86 pages
This document provides a reliable estimate of cocaine availability at various points in cocaine’s flow from source to the United States.
The Sequential Transition and Reduction (STAR) model tracks the flow of cocaine hydrochloride (HCI) from cultivation in source country growing regions to consumption in the United States. It contains a micro level component that makes cocaine flow projections by geographic regions and conveyance types, while providing macro level estimates at various stages. The model is comprised of nine stages. These include the net cultivation from the previous growing year, net dry leaf, cocaine availability at labs, non-United States/South American markets, and cocaine availability at domestic retail areas. Results show that while production in Bolivia and Peru has dropped Colombian production has soared. Drug seizures on the Southwest border remained relatively constant until 1999, when there was an increase. Seizures in Florida declined over most of the period, with an increase in 2000. Seizures in Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands steadily increased. Most cocaine entering the United States did so via Florida and the Southwest border. Quantities arriving at the Southwest border increased at the expense of quantities arriving at Florida. All other regions remained fairly constant, with the exception of Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands. It was concluded that cocaine smuggled in at the Gulf Coast, Northeast, and the rest of the United States stayed in that general area, while shipments through Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Southwest border went to other regions. Ninety percent of the Southwest border’s imported cocaine was distributed to areas beyond the Southwest border, reflecting the increased role of Mexico-based traffickers. 11 figures, 11 tables, 22 references, 8 appendices