War On Drugs: 70 Percent of Meth Supply in U.S. Enters Through California, Report Says
California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris released a report Thursday revealing that the state has become an entry port for methamphetamine sales in the country, the Los Angeles Times reported.
According to the Gangs Beyond Borders: California and the Fight Against Transnational Organized Crime report, an estimated 70 percent of the methamphetamine supply in the U.S. come from Mexican drug cartels traveling through the California-Mexico border.
In the 98-page report outlining transnational organized crime trends also revealed that the cartels, in cahoots with Southern California gangs, have been involved in maritime smuggling and money laundering.
The Times reported that in 2012, the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement was closed down because of budget cuts in the state's Department of Justice. State-led drug task forces dropped from 55 in 2011 to only 17 in 2013, resulting in more than 60 agents being laid off.
According to the report, law enforcement at the San Diego ports of entry has witnessed a substantial increase in methamphetamine confiscations. The amount of seizures tripled between 2009 and 2013, to more than 6,000 kilos, or 13,200 pounds.
On the Texas-Mexico border in 2013, only 1,000 kilos, or 2,200 pounds, of methamphetamine were confiscated.
Additionally, report also emphasizes the state's need to provide more funding to drug enforcement agencies and to pass tougher legislation against crime syndicates.
The report attributes the possible uprising to the growing Sinaloa Cartel, who remains the dominant syndicate in Baja California.
According to the report, Sinaloa produces the drug at its superlabs after importing precursor chemicals from India and China. The drugs are then shipped across the border in San Diego.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has lead the majority of the anti-drug enforcement efforts at the U.S.-Mexico border while numerous local and state agencies have leant helping hands.
Harris said state and local law enforcement needs to continue working with federal law enforcement and called on more sustainable funding.
"State and local law enforcement officers are on the front lines of this fight every day," Harris said. "Our response must include sustained funding for their work and strong coordination at all levels of government."
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