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Use of HIDTA Funds to Combat Methamphetamine Trafficking, 2011 Report to Congress

NCJ Number
Date Published
13 pages
This report provides data on the use of HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) funds to investigate and prosecute organizations and individuals trafficking in methamphetamine in calendar year 2010.
The data address the number of methamphetamine seizures and investigations, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) intelligence and prediction on methamphetamine patterns and trends, and the amounts of methamphetamine or listed chemicals seized by HIDTA-funded initiatives. Overall, the collaborative efforts between the Governments of the United States and Mexico, enhanced by the multiagency cooperation and coordination among Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies, HIDTA-funded initiatives have had a significant impact on methamphetamine production and trafficking. There were 4,977 methamphetamine laboratories seized nationwide as of November 28, 2010. HIDTA-funded initiatives were responsible for seizing 874 methamphetamine laboratories, approximately 17.5 percent of the total number seized nationwide. Although the total number of labs seized nationwide was slightly higher than in 2009, the HIDTA-funded initiatives focused more on investigations and trafficking of methamphetamine and less on lab seizures, largely because the shift to smaller toxic labs makes finding the labs more difficult and time-consuming while producing fewer long-lasting results. DEA contributes to HIDTA-funded initiatives by investigating and responding to methamphetamine labs and by collecting intelligence on how methamphetamine constituent chemicals used in the production of methamphetamine are being obtained in illegal amounts. Case investigation and intelligence indicate that individuals and organized groups continue to circumvent the law in obtaining pseudoephedrine and ephedrine products in amounts that exceed legal limits. This is being done by a process known as "smurfing," which involves going from store to store, purchasing the maximum allowable limit of products that contain these chemicals, and then pooling the purchases. HIDTA-funded initiatives also develop methamphetamine cases that involve international partners, including Mexico. 1 figure, 2 tables, and 9 notes