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New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area: Drug Market Analysis 2009

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2009
30 pages
This 2009 overview of the illicit drug situation in the New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) highlights significant trends and law enforcement concerns related to the trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs.
The New England HIDTA region consists of 13 counties in 6 States, with a combined population of approximately 8.7 million people. Nine counties are located in Massachusetts and Connecticut, with the remaining four in Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Two major drug distributions centers are located in the region: Hartford, CT/Springfield, MA are in the west and Lowell/Lawrence, MA area in the east. The Fall River, MA/Providence, RI area is primarily a secondary distribution center. The largest city in the region, Boston, is predominantly a consumer market. The region has an extensive air, land, and sea transportation infrastructure that links it to numerous domestic and foreign drug markets. Law enforcement officials report numerous international, multi-State, and local drug trafficking and money laundering organizations operating in the region. The primary drug abuse problem in the area is the abuse of heroin, particularly South American heroin, and the use of diverted controlled prescription drugs (CPDs). In 2008, law enforcement agencies reported fluctuations in the availability and price of cocaine, with availability decreasing and prices increasing from usual levels in some areas. In 2008, officials also reported an increase in violence among street gangs, particularly those associated with territorial disputes. Street gangs have also taken to recruiting new members from middle schools and high schools. Figures, tables, and list of sources