JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Drug Enforcement Agency recently released its 2019 National Drug Threat Assessment, which outlines threats posed by illegal drugs and drug traffickers.
According to what’s in the report, while there has been a 13% decline in opioid overdoses across the United States, methamphetamine trafficking and usage continues to be an overwhelming problem for law enforcement.
The DEA Jacksonville District Office said it’s having a hard time keeping meth off the streets because drug cartels south of the border are not only mass producing some of the purest meth on the planet, but they’re also making it more affordable and using a network of people on this side of the border to make sure the meth gets to local dealers.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Mike Dubet said the cartels are flooding Florida streets with crystal meth, especially Northeast Florida.
“Although the general public doesn’t hear about cartels living here in Jacksonville, every time we seize a significant amount of methamphetamine, that is coming from a cartel in Mexico,” Dubet said.
According to the recent DEA threat assessment, Mexican drug cartels are mass producing major quantities of meth at alarming rates.
“It’s no longer being produced in someone’s trailer or someone’s ranch house, a pound or two at a time,” Dubet said.
And there’s another trend that’s been studied during the last three years.
“The price of meth (is) going down anywhere from between $600 to $800 an ounce to between $250 and $350 an ounce," Dubet said.
Dubet attributed the price decrease to large supplies on hand that have been mass produced. And even though it’s smuggled thousands of miles, when it arrives here in Northeast Florida, it’s still 100% pure, he said.
“This is not being stepped on or cut on by street dealers here," he said. "People are able to buy pure methamphetamine.”
Despite stereotypes of meth users only being poor blue-collar people, data shows that even affluent white-collar citizens are choosing to use meth because it allows them stay awake for up to three days straight.