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I-TEAM: Jacksonville area identified as a primary drug market

12 counties in North Florida singled out as areas where drugs being transported

The Nassau County Sheriff's Office says a vehicle was stopped last week on I-95 and a plastic bag with 3.69 pounds (1 ½ kilos) of crystal methamphetamine, with a street value of more than $100,000.00, was found inside the glovebox during a search of the vehicle.
The Nassau County Sheriff's Office says a vehicle was stopped last week on I-95 and a plastic bag with 3.69 pounds (1 ½ kilos) of crystal methamphetamine, with a street value of more than $100,000.00, was found inside the glovebox during a search of the vehicle. (Nassau County Sheriff's Office)

The Nassau County Sheriff's Office made a huge drug bust on Interstate 95 last week when a traffic stop led to the discovery of 3.69 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, with a street value of more than $100,000, inside the glovebox of a vehicle.

The bust is just one of many the Drug Enforcement Administration will be alerted about, after designating North Florida as a high trafficking area more than a decade ago.

On Wednesday, the News4Jax I-TEAM looked into where the drugs on our streets are coming from, and the counties that see the most drug confiscations. 

According to information the I-TEAM obtained from the North Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking initiative, the majority of drugs confiscated in North Florida come from the Southwest border. The federal government has identified the Jacksonville area as a primary drug market with a significant amount of drugs transported from Miami to drug markets on the East Coast and south from Atlanta. 

According to the DEA, 12 counties in Florida have been singled out as the regions where drugs are being transported daily along highways: Alachua, Baker, Clay, Bradford, Columbia, Duval, Flagler, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns and Union. There also locations where Mexican drug trafficking organizations are said to be the dominant transporters and wholesale distributors of cocaine, heroin and crystal meth. 

The drugs most commonly trafficked in the United States, according to 2017 federal statistics, are:

Methamphetamine (36.9 percent)
Powder cocaine (20.3 percent)
Marijuana (14.1 percent)
Heroin (13.8 percent)
Crack cocaine (8.2 percent) 
Oxycodone (2.8 percent) 
Other drugs (3.9 percent) 

Drug busts like the crystal methamphetamine confiscation in Nassau County are also important for authorities in identifying who is the main supplier, but according to federal statistics, only 21.3 percent of last year's arrests resulted in the suspect assisting with the prosecution of other drug offenders. 


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