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Mexican meth in US

11-05-2012 10:53 BJT

Mexican drug cartels are quickly expanding into the American methamphetamine market, just as they did with heroin. Offering a cheaper, more pure and addictive form of the drug. As CCTV’s Ginger Vaughn reports, it’s a drug war being fought on both sides of the border.

Mexican drug traffickers have become the main producers and distributors of methamphetamine -- known as "meth" on the street - to major cities throughout the US. Mexican meth accounts for up to 80% of the drug in the U.S., according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Thomas Hinojosa, special agent of Drug Enforcement Agent, said, "The seizures we’re seeing on meth are on the increase, as well as the purity. Our chemists are tracking it and we’re seeing that they’re able to make it in much larger quantities, it’s sent out, and poured on the street."

Houston DEA Special Agent Thomas Hinojosa notes that Mexican cartels are sending meth through the same drug pipeline they already use for marijuana and cocaine.

Mexican meth can be up to 90 percent pure, offering a high that is more intense than American-made meth.

Reporter:"Along the Southwest border, seizures of methamphetamine have quadrupled over the past 5 years, totalling more than 7200 kilograms in 2011. Since 2007, the price of the drug dropped from $290 per gram, to less than $90."

Making meth is a multi-step cook process, using over-the-counter drugs ephedrine or pseudoephedrine as the main ingredient. One step in cracking down on distribution is to stop meth makers from acquiring chemicals in bulk used to make the highly-addictive drug.

Since 1994 the DEA’s SouthWest Initiative (SWBI), a cooperative effort to combat Mexico-based trafficking groups on large shipments of meth, heroine, and marijuana has resulted in the seizure of 22,000 kilos of illegal drugs.

Hinojosa said, "They understand it’s a big problem in Mexico, we in the US have a big demand for methamphetamine, and it takes the efforts on both side of the border to attack the problem."

While the war on drugs continues, special agents like Hinojosa say stronger efforts between agents in the U.S. and across the border are in full force to get the meth problem under control.

Editor:James |Source:

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