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Nevada High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis 2009

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2009
22 pages
This 2009 overview of the illicit drug situation in the Nevada High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) highlights significant trends and law enforcement concerns related to the trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs.
The Nevada HIDTA region consists of Clark and Washoe Counties, with Las Vegas and Reno the two largest metropolitan areas in the region. Both counties are major distribution centers for illicit drugs, with Clark County located less than 300 miles from Los Angeles and Phoenix, and less than 400 miles from several major, official points of entry along the Southwest Border, and Washoe County located less than 200 miles from San Francisco. The population of Clark County accounted for 71 percent of the State population, with the Hispanic population the area's largest and fastest-growing minority group. The increase in the Hispanic population in both counties allows for Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) to easily assimilate into local communities and expand their drug trafficking activities, recruit new members, and reduce their risk of detection by law enforcement. Law enforcement officials report widespread trafficking and abuse of Mexican ice methamphetamine in the Nevada HIDTA region. However, in the first half of 2008, increased methamphetamine prices and decreased drug purity were evidence of a decrease in wholesale methamphetamine availability. Officials reported an increase in 2008 in the expansion of indoor cannabis cultivation in the region as a result of the rising demand for high-potency marijuana and greater profit margins from drug sales. Law enforcement agencies report that Mexican DTOs have expanded their use of public lands and remote areas outside the Nevada HIDTA region for outdoor cannabis growing operations. In 2008, officials also found an increase in the abuse of controlled prescription drugs (CPDs) in the region. Figures, tables, and list of sources