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DEA: Surge in meth border seizures sign of Mexican cartels boosting production


A recent increase in methamphetamine seizures at the border suggests that Mexican cartels are seeking to meet demand with meth-making ingredients more difficult to obtain in the U.S., the top drug-enforcement official in Arizona said Wednesday.

In the last two years, Arizona has seen a 40 percent increase in meth seizures, with about 5,500 pounds seized last year, according to Douglas Coleman, Drug Enforcement Administration special agent in charge for Phoenix.

Most of that methamphetamine came from Mexico, he said. listen

“We see very little that’s actually manufactured here,” Coleman said. “Those labs that we do have here, which are eight or nine a year, produce minimal amounts. So that is the stuff that’s coming across the border.”

Comparing Arizona to another major access point for drug trafficking, the DEA reported 5,124 pounds of meth seized last year in San Diego, which used to be a main production hub for meth.

Only marijuana is trafficked more than meth in Arizona, Coleman said. listen

The federal Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 restricted over-the-counter sales of products containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine, all used in the production of methamphetamine.

The number of meth labs in Arizona has dropped dramatically since, with the DEA reporting five clandestine meth lab incidents fiscal 2014 versus 133 in calendar 2005.

The dropoff in domestic production hasn’t reduced demand for meth in Arizona or the rest of the country, however. And cartels in Mexico, particularly the Sinaloa Cartel, which controls most of the meth production in Mexico, are meeting that demand by sending more of the drug across the border, Coleman said.

One Response

  1. They still want us to believe in Indiana that labs are the primary source and not the purer form from Mexico. They’ve been rumoring about putting on prescription in Indiana, but it hasn’t advanced very far…increased healthcare costs, etc..One that seems to be more popular is that since we are on the electronic pseudoephedrine purchase list, is to put anyone in the electronic list and flag them to prevent them from purchasing pseudophed without a prescription if they have been convicted of a meth crime. As well as lowering the quantities one can purchase. Not sure where that is at currently.

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