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Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area: Drug Market Analysis 2009

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2009
27 pages
Based on the analysis of recent law-enforcement reports, interviews with law-enforcement and public-health officials, and statistical data, this report presents an overview of the illicit drug situation in the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), highlighting significant trends and law enforcement concerns related to the trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs.
The Rocky Mountain (RM) HIDTA encompasses 34 designated counties in Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. Widespread ice methamphetamine distribution and abuse pose the greatest drug threat to the RM HIDTA region, straining the resources of law enforcement, public health, and social services agencies, particularly in rural areas. Of the 95 State and local law enforcement agencies in the region that reported in the National Drug Threat Survey 2009, 75 identified methamphetamine as the greatest drug threat to their jurisdictions. It is reported to be the drug that contributes most to violent and property crime in their jurisdictions. Most of the ice methamphetamine and, to a lesser extent, powder methamphetamine available in the region is produced by Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs). Controlled prescription drug (CPD) abuse is a significant and rapidly growing threat in the RM HIDTA region. Utah leads the Nation in nonmedical painkiller abuse. Utah treatment providers report that CPD overdoses accounted for the deaths of just over 300 people in the State last year. The high demand for marijuana has prompted Mexican DTOs to continue transporting large quantities of marijuana from Mexico as well as to expand their cannabis cultivation in the RM HIDTA region. Mexican criminal groups operate large outdoor cannabis plots, often composed of several thousand plants, particularly on public lands. Other dangerous drugs - primarily LSD, BZP, ketamine, steroids, and GHB - are available and abused to a limited extent in various metropolitan areas of the RM HIDTA region. 3 figures, 2 tables, 7 notes, and a list of sources for the report's data and information