Common Sense for Drug Policy - Link to home page


Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Search using CSDP's own search tool or use
Google

WWW Common Sense


Home page

About CSDP

PSA Campaign


Check out these other CSDP news pages:
Afghanistan
AIDS
Anti-Drug Media Campaign
Asia and the US Drug War
Bolivia
Bush's Cabinet
Burma
Canada
Chronic Pain Management
Colombia
Communities Against the Drug War
Conferences & Events
Corruption
DARE Admits Failure
Drug Control Alternatives
Ecstasy
Families Targeted by Drug War
Federal Drug Control Strategy
Hemp News
Heroin & Heroin Addiction Treatment
Higher Education Act (HEA) Reform
Initiatives
International Reform
Laos
Mandatory Minimums
Marijuana
Medical Marijuana
Methamphetamines
Mexico
Narco-Funded Terrorism
New Mexico
Nixon
New York
ONDCP
OxyContin
Pain Management
Peru
Police Shootings & Botched Raids
Prop 36
Racial Profiling
Recommended Reading
Research News
South America
Thailand
Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration
Tulia
United Kingdom Moves Toward Reform
United Nations: News and Reports


Drug War Facts

Research Archive

Coalition for Medical Marijuana

Managing Chronic Pain

Drug War Distortions

Safety First

Get Active!

Drug Truth Network

Links

Drug Strategy

Drugs and Terror

Recommended Reading

Site Map



link to 
Drug War Facts - page opens in new window
Addict 
in the Family

Online Drug Library

Research Resources

Contact Common Sense


Back to South America page
Home page

Heroin's Journey Traces Coke Trail: Colombia Joins Trade

Boston Herald, Sept. 14, 2005

by Laura Crimaldi and O'Ryan Johnson / Common Disgrace

Once shuttled into New England from Burma, Thailand or Afghanistan, a cheaper, purer heroin is now being sent to the Hub from Colombia via established cocaine trafficking routes, drug enforcement agents say.

"They had routes they used for cocaine and just like any other organization, if it was successful, why not use it for another drug," said Tony Pettigrew, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration's New England Field Division.

While drug enforcement agents say there is no single heroin trafficking route, smack typically makes its way to Massachusetts through Florida and then New York City.

Smugglers stash heroin in cargo shipments, send it in the mail or fill condoms with it and swallow them. Once the heroin is within U.S. borders, it arrives at its final destination by motor vehicle, said state police Lt. Dennis Brooks, who is assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney's Office.

"What we're seeing is more heroin at a cheaper price and the purity is some of the highest because it's not being cut," said Brooks.

The number of Massachusetts residents being treated for heroin addiction has climbed from 44,000 to 56,000 in recent years, he said, attributing the spike to the OxyContin craze, which is addicting people to opiates at a younger age.

Heroin hits the street in a rock form that is broken down into a powder and sold for as little as $4 to $6 per bag. The DEA classifies heroin into four categories depending on where it comes from: South American, Mexican, Southeast Asian and Southwest Asian.

The presence of South American heroin manufactured in Colombia has been on the rise since 1993, and is most prevalent in New England and along the East Coast, according to the DEA's Web site.

The South American heroin is brought in onboard commercial flights by couriers who carry about a pound to 2 pounds at a time. That region's heroin sellers broke into an already saturated Northeastern drug market by offering higher purity at lower prices than the competition, the DEA states.

Mexico has been exporting its own brand of brownish heroin, as well as black tar heroin, to the states for decades. The drug exporters' border proximity allows them to evade agents by filling single customers' orders and keeping amounts that cross through checkpoints in weights smaller than a kilogram.

This practice also prevents agents from making large drug seizures. The Mexican product typically moves into the United States through migrant workers and illegal immigrants driving private vehicles. But while the potent drugs routinely land on U.S. soil, so far the dealers have not been able to penetrate the lucrative East Coast markets.

Far less prevalent is heroin from markets in Thailand, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan, which follows tortuous, roundabout trails through African and East Asian ports before entering the United States.

Although Chinese and Thai heroin was popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s, shipments from that region have declined since the indictment and extradition of more than a dozen drug lords to the United States. Still, the "war on drugs" remains a drawn-out battle.

"Everything we do is being thwarted," said former Boston-based undercover agent Paul E. Doyle. "It's like putting your finger in the dam. The only way we are going to stop it is if we make it a priority. It's in a holding pattern."


Save This Page to del.icio.us

Home Drug War Facts Public Service
Advertisements
Managing Chronic Pain
Get Active About Common Sense Addict In
The Family
Effective Drug
Control Strategy
Drug War Distortions Recommended
Reading

copyright © 2000-2007, Common Sense for Drug Policy
Kevin B. Zeese, President -- Mike Gray, Chairman -- Robert E. Field, Co-Chairman -- Melvin R. Allen, Board Member -- Doug McVay, Director of Research & Editor
1377-C Spencer Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603
tel 717-299-0600 - fax 717-393-4953
Updated: Thursday, July 09, 2009   ~   Accessed: 5012 times
Email us