South Florida is a gateway to the drug trafficking networks in the United States. According to the Department of Justice's National Drug Intelligence Center:
"Cocaine trafficking and abuse pose one of the greatest drug threats to the South Florida HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) region, as evidenced by the large quantities of cocaine available in the area, the level of violent and property crime associated with cocaine (particularly crack) distribution, and the number of cocaine-related treatment admissions to publicly funded facilities.
Cocaine usually is readily available throughout the South Florida HIDTA region because of the region's proximity to reliable international sources of supply; however, shortages in wholesale quantities of powder cocaine were reported by some law enforcement officers in the South Florida HIDTA region in early 2009. Cocaine prices also reflect the shortages; wholesale prices of cocaine increased in Miami from $15,250 to $17,500 per kilogram in October through December 2008 to $17,000 to $32,000 per kilogram in January through March 2009. Nonetheless, some law enforcement agencies in the South Florida HIDTA region report that quantities of cocaine are sufficient to meet local demand and to distribute to other markets.
The diversion, distribution, and abuse of CPDs pose a significant threat to the region. According to NDTS 2009 data, 20 of the 27 law enforcement respondents in the South Florida HIDTA region report that CPDs are available at high levels in the jurisdiction. CPDs are widely abused in the region, particularly among Caucasian adolescents and adults; law enforcement and public health officials report that the average age of abusers is decreasing.
The most widely available and commonly abused CPDs are methadone, morphine, OxyContin (oxycodone), Valium (diazepam), Vicodin (hydrocodone),
and Xanax (alprazolam)."
This national attention to the State of Florida shows that law enforcement agencies are on the lookout for trafficking activity. In recent years, trafficking in prescription drugs, as well as marijuana grow houses have become the subjects of major law enforcement crackdowns.
As I have discussed before on this blog, hiring a qualified South Florida criminal defense attorney is crucial in a trafficking case due to the mandatory minimum sentences in place on nearly all trafficking charges.
Trafficking is arguably one of the most serious crimes in the State of Florida. If you or a loved one has been charged with trafficking, call me today to discuss your options.