Mexican Cartels 'Flooding' NYC with Meth to Create Market Fueled by Addicts

By Victoria Kim 05/04/15

Drug cartels are pushing harder drugs like meth into the U.S.

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Meth seizures are on the rise in New York City. Just earlier this month, authorities seized 25 kilos of meth in a traffic stop near the Holland Tunnel, Newsweek reports.

The seized drugs, which authorities believe to be of Mexican origin, are just one piece of the puzzle. In recent years, meth seizures in New York have become more frequent and in higher quantities than in the past, when typical meth seizures would hover between one or several pounds. Newsweek notes that the Drug Enforcement Administration reported seizing six kilos of meth in fiscal year 2012; by fiscal 2015, that number grew to 66 kilos.

In the past, meth never took off in New York the way heroin, cocaine, and marijuana have. But officials believe what’s happening now is the “meth outbreak” they have been anticipating.

According to James Hunt, special agent in charge of the DEA’s New York Division, Mexican cartels are “flooding the market” to try and create a customers for the drug. “They’re sending more meth here, probably more than the market demands right now, but they’re trying to create a market. They want a big addict population,” Hunt said.

But academics are more careful to subscribe to Hunt’s theory. Jeffrey Miron, a senior lecturer in economics at Harvard, says in the long run, illegal drug use remains relatively static. Predicting drug use upswings and “epidemics” is difficult due to the lack of data about supply or demand in the illegal drug market, and one should be careful in making such claims, Miron told Newsweek.

Last year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported meth production is proliferating to different parts of the globe, especially in developing countries. Amphetamine-type stimulants are the second most widely used drugs in the world, surpassing both cocaine and heroin combined.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr