Drug Trafficking Across the U.S. – How This Occurs

Drug trafficking. This is a type of crime that is generally speaking not that well understood amongst the average Americans. For the most part, people don’t really know what occurs with drug trafficking, or what all it entails. In this article, we will define drug trafficking, and we will show some of the more intricate “tricks of the trade” that drug traffickers use to transport addictive substances across the United States.

First of all, what is drug trafficking? Drug trafficking is defined as simply the transportation of addictive substances and illegal narcotics from one point to the next. One could traffic a drug across the entire nation or just across the city. The term simply means the illegal activity of transporting mind-altering substances from one spot to the next.

Though we may not know about it (because we never really see it) drug trafficking occurs all across the United States, every day of the week, and is perpetrated by millions of Americans daily. All one has to do is look in their local news newspaper under the crime section and they will find several incidences of drug busts were police officers have caught other individuals attempting to move drug products from one spot to the next with the intention of selling those drugs to other people. This is a pretty serious crime, as it is the sole contributor to the spread of addictive substances across the nation.

How People Traffic Drugs

Did you know that you can do your part to prevent drug trafficking, even if you don’t work in law enforcement? If the average American knew what to look for to spot trafficking and suspicious behavior that alluded to trafficking, we might be able to reduce this problem significantly. In the list below are some of the more common methods and means for moving drug products from one place to the next. Keep in mind, in each of these categories, there are several different variations of the category that are always changing and developing and improving, so law enforcement officers need to be aware of that:

  • One of the classic methods of moving drugs is by putting them on tractor-trailers along with other products that are shipped illegally across the United States. The inventory of tractor-trailers is very difficult to watch and monitor, as hundreds of thousands of semi trucks travel across the contiguous United States every day. With our current technology, it is difficult to simply do a sweep of such vehicles and know for sure what is in their contents. There are certainly routine inspections and weight checks for semis, but it is not that difficult for truckers to get through these checks undetected with narcotics substances somewhere in the tractor-trailer, if that’s what they wanted to do.
  • Another common way that people traffic drugs is by driving a van to a location that sells such substances in mass quantity, pick them up and bring them back to a geographic area that has a strong desire for those substances, and then selling them to the locals there. This was happening a lot a lot from 2010 to 2015 between Florida and Appalachia. Appalachian drug dealers would drive vans down to Florida to illegal pill mills, (which are essentially pharmacies that sell drugs out the back door illegally), and the drug dealers would stock their vans with narcotic substances. Then they would drive back to the Appalachian states and cities and sell their drugs there.
  • Another way that drugs are trafficked on a smaller scale is by passenger vehicles. Individual drug dealers would often hide drugs in the trunk of their car or elsewhere and sell them out of their car in different parts of the state or city. The same process is often replicated simply by keeping drugs on one’s own person and selling them that way.
  • Drugs are also trafficked by planes and trains, though these methods are less common as the security details for plane and train-based shipping is usually much tighter than it is for tractor trailers. But drug busts have been known to occur where law enforcement officers have found massive quantities of narcotic drug substances on trains and airplanes.
  • One of the most common methods that drugs are brought over into the United States is by shipping containers from China. China already sends millions upon millions of products over to the United States every year for sale and consumption, so it was not that much of a stretch for illegal drug labs in China to create their own covert trafficking lines on the shipping containers themselves. In fact, much of the synthetic opioids currently being misused in the United States today came from Chinese drug cartels that use massive freighter ships to bring their drugs into U.S. ports of call undetected.

The above are the most common methods of drug trafficking, but they are by no means the only methods. How drugs are trafficked into and through the States varies a lot depending on the scale and size of the organization that is trafficking them and which trafficking methods fits their resources and needs best.

The important thing to remember is that we must stay vigilant and we must stay aware of these risks and threats, and we must work towards apprehending those involved in such crimes. It is one thing to develop a drug habit and fall prey to an addiction. When this happens to people, they should be helped with the assistance of a treatment program. But when people knowingly transport and sell drugs to other people, when they knowingly get other people addicted and when they knowingly get people hooked on drugs that might kill them, this is very much so a criminal offense and should be dealt with accordingly.

Sources:

https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/crime-penalties/federal/drug-trafficking.htm

https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/drug-trafficking-distribution.html

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/drug-trafficking/index.html

https://www.justia.com/criminal/offenses/drug-crimes/drug-trafficking/

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