Publication Date: respectable 2002

Document ID: 2002-L0424-005

Archived on: July 1, 2009. This paper may contain dated information. It remains accessible to provide accessibility to historical materials.

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This info bulletin gives an upgrade on the availability of, demand for, production, transportation, and distribution of decision methamphetamine.

her questions, comments, and also suggestions because that future subjects space welcome at any kind of time. Addresses are detailed at the finish of the page.







List the Tables

Table 1. Approximated U.S. Methamphetamine Prices, Powdered and also Crystal, June 2002
Cover picture Courtesy the DEA Gulf coastline HIDTA.


High purity decision methamphetamine, commonly known as ice or glass, is ending up being increasingly obtainable in the joined States. Asian criminal groups that traditionally dispersed crystal methamphetamine in Hawaii and on the West coastline are currently distributing the medicine in other areas of the country as well. Moreover, Mexican drug trafficking institutions (DTOs) and criminal groups are ending up being increasingly connected in the production and distribution of crystal methamphetamine, according to the drug Enforcement management (DEA) and many state and local law enforcement officials.


Crystal methamphetamine is a colorless, odorless form of d-methamphetamine, a powerful stimulant. It each other glass pieces or shiny blue-white "rocks" of assorted sizes. Street names for the drug include batu, crystal, glass, hiropon, ice, shabu, shards, Tina, ventana, and vidrio. Crystal methamphetamine and also powdered methamphetamine both contain the same energetic chemical compound; however, crystal methamphetamine commonly has a higher purity level and also may develop longer-lasting, more intense physiological effects. In small doses crystal methamphetamine have the right to heighten alertness, stimulate physical activity, and suppress appetite. Chronic abuse can cause psychotic and also violent habits characterized by extreme paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and out-of-control rages.

Crystal methamphetamine often is contrasted to cracked cocaine. The drugs produce comparable physiological effects, are highly addictive, and typically space smoked making use of a glass pipe. Decision methamphetamine additionally may it is in injected. Instantly after cigarette smoking or injecting crystal methamphetamine, abusers endure a brief, intense sensation, or rush, that is adhered to by a high that might last 12 hours or more. Crack cocaine abusers endure the same impacts for just 20 come 30 minutes. Withdrawal symptoms linked with both crystal methamphetamine and crack cocaine incorporate drug cravings, paranoia, and also depression.

Crystal methamphetamine is produced using a "washing" an approach that requires dissolving powdered d-methamphetamine in a solvent such together acetone or denatured alcohol. The mixture is enabled to evaporate, resulting in crystals to form around the sheet of the container in which it is being mixed. Huge crystals form when the systems evaporates in ~ room temperature, and small crystals form when the solution evaporates in a cold setting such as a frozen refrigerator or freezer. The crystals climate are built up and dried, typically on a record towel. The purity that the finished product varies relying on the lot of washing and also the activities operator"s level the experience.

risk of Explosion

Law enforcement personnel should exercise excessive caution once opening refrigerators and freezers found at crystal methamphetamine manufacturing sites. The vapors native the solvents offered to convert powdered methamphetamine to decision methamphetamine are very volatile and can accumulate in a frozen fridge or freezer during the evaporation process. These vapors may explode when the appliance"s within light activates together the door is opened. Legislation enforcement personnel should instantly unplug all refrigerators and also freezers uncovered at crystal methamphetamine laboratories to avoid this risk.

Source: central Valley California High Intensity medicine Trafficking Area (HIDTA).

Crystal methamphetamine production and also distribution traditionally have been connected with eastern criminal groups. These teams either produce the medicine in the United claims or smuggle it right into the nation from laboratory sites situated in nations such as China, the Philippines, southern Korea, and Taiwan. Since the mid-1990s mexican DTOs and criminal groups have provided powdered methamphetamine to oriental criminal teams in Hawaii and on the West shore for switch to crystal methamphetamine. Mexico DTOs and also criminal groups now develop crystal methamphetamine in Mexico, California, and also southwestern states and also use their created transportation networks to distribution the medicine throughout the unified States.

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Crystal methamphetamine was once obtainable only in oriental American communitiesin Hawaii and to a lesser extent on the West Coast; however, the medicine is nowavailable in various other communities and also areas of the united States. Law enforcementofficials attribute the increasing access of crystal methamphetamine tothe involvement of mexican DTOs and criminal groups in the production anddistribution the the drug, and to increasing eastern criminal group activityin other areas of the country. Further, DEA reports the Mexican DTOs andcriminal groups are producing and selling decision methamphetamine forsignificantly less than rival oriental criminal groups.

The purity of decision methamphetamine normally is much higher than powdered methamphetamine, and crystal methamphetamine typically regulates a higher price.Nationwide, the price of 1-pound amounts of crystal methamphetamine rangesfrom $10,000 come $30,000, contrasted with $3,500 to $20,000 for powderedmethamphetamine. The DEA Southwest activities reports that the purity ofpowdered methamphetamine samples indigenous Arizona, California, and also Nevada averages35 percent; however, the is not unusual for the purity the crystalmethamphetamine samples to exceed 90 percent.

Table 1. Estimated U.S.Methamphetamine Prices, Powdered and also Crystal, June 2002QuantityPowderedCrystalPoundOunceGram

Source: DEA.

Arizona. Follow to the Peoria Police Department, the primary drugproblem in its jurisdiction is decision methamphetamine, recognized there as shards.Crystal methamphetamine sell for roughly $8,000 per pound in the Phoenixarea, which contains the city that Peoria. The DEA Phoenix department reports thatin that is jurisdiction decision methamphetamine, well-known as glass in Phoenix,typically is produced by live independence Caucasian producer who run small-scalelaboratories that are capable of creating 1 oz or much less of the medicine perproduction cycle.

California. Throughout the an initial quarter the FY2002, legislation enforcementauthorities dismantled two separate institutions distributing multipoundquantities the methamphetamine and crystal methamphetamine in the mountain FranciscoBay Area. Many of the methamphetamine seized in those incidents exceeded 95percent purity. In a separate incident the san Francisco urban TaskForce, v the help of the san Francisco Police Department, seizedapproximately 3 pounds of crystal methamphetamine v a purity of 98 percent.According to the DEA Western regional Laboratory, the cleanliness and also purity ofthe methamphetamine seized had not been checked out for some time. It is unknownwhether the methamphetamine to be domestic- or foreign-produced, although severaltraffickers in the bay Area appear to have actually mastered the procedure of washingmethamphetamine to create high purity decision methamphetamine. According toDEA, 1 lb of decision methamphetamine (known in that area as ice) sold for$13,500 to $18,000 in the san Francisco area in the 2nd quarter that FY2002.

MSM used as a cut Agent

MSM, the usual commercial surname for the chemical methylsulfonylmethane, alsois recognized as methylsulfone and dimethylsulfone (DMSO2).

As a cutting agent because that methamphetamine, MSM offers numerous advantages. Pure MSMis an odorless, white, crystalline powder the is extremely soluble and also mixesreadily with most substances there is no leaving a residue. MSM commonly is included tomethamphetamine during the final stages of production. Methamphetamine cut withMSM often shows up to be uncut due to the fact that after the chemicals are merged and themixture cools, the MSM recrystallizes, resembling pure methamphetamine.

MSM distributors insurance claim the problem is advantageous as a pain reliever and foranimal and human connective organization regeneration. Various other alleged benefits for bothanimals and humans incorporate the palliation of inhalant allergen reactions; relieffrom the symptom of lung dysfunction; relief of leg and earlier cramps, musclespasms, and also general soreness; improved all at once health; and elevated mood. MSM isreadily accessible in powder and tablet computer forms in ~ livestock feed and also equine tackstores, "super" pets food chains, warehouse stores, human being nutritioncenters, and also upscale grocery store stores. MSM is obtainable through mail order equineand veterinary supply catalogs and also on numerous Internet sites.

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According come the DEA Oakland resides Office, the bulk of methamphetamineinvestigations in that is jurisdiction involve decision methamphetamine. In thesecond quarter of FY2002, there to be two large crystal methamphetamine seizuresin the Oakland area. In one incident DEA agents seized approximately 3 pounds ofcrystal methamphetamine and 1 pound of MSM, which to be being used as a cuttingagent. In a separate event the Oakland police seized around 2 poundsof crystal methamphetamine at a Hayward home. In that occurrence an estimated$50,000 worth of the medicine was dispersed on a weekly basis. Follow to lawenforcement resources in southerly Alameda County, Filipino and other AsianAmerican traffickers are associated in the production and also sale the crystalmethamphetamine in their jurisdictions.

According come the central Valley HIDTA, crystal methamphetamine production andabuse appear to be boosting in the center valley. Filipino and also Hawaiian drugtraffickers room the primary teams responsible because that methamphetamine manufacturing inthe central Valley (San Joaquin) region. According to the main Valley HIDTA,in November 2001 a full of 7.5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine to be seized inthe area roughly Hanford in majesties County. Throughout 2001 the central Valley HIDTAtask pressures seized 3 crystal methamphetamine laboratories in the southernvalley. In 2001 decision methamphetamine sold for $12,000 to $15,000 every pound.According to the HIDTA, as a marketing ploy food coloring occasionally is addedduring the crystallization process, turning the methamphetamine black;"black ice" is supposedly an ext potent.

The DEA Los Angeles department reports that decision methamphetamine is readilyavailable in the Los Angeles area, and ease of access is concentratedpredominately in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Spain criminal groupsand gangs proceed to arise as the dominant crystal methamphetaminedistributors in its jurisdiction. These teams sell high purity crystalmethamphetamine for considerably less than rival asian groups. DEA reports thatthe Los Angeles area is the resource of supply for the bulk of crystalmethamphetamine dispersed in Hawaii. On October 11, 2001, agents native the DEALos Angeles department seized 7 pounds of crystal methamphetamine in van Nuys. Thedrugs were covert in seven 1-pound bags in a water cooler. ~ above December 4,2001, 499 grams to be seized in southern Gate. On respectable 8, 2002, DEA announced thatmore 보다 57 individuals in southerly California to be arrested in link witha 2-year examination involving the production and also distribution ofmethamphetamine, distribution of MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, knownas ecstasy), and drug money laundering. During the food of the investigation,over 33 pounds the methamphetamine, 8 pounds of decision methamphetamine, 196gallons of methamphetamine oil, and 100 pounds of pseudo-ephedrine to be seized,as to be weapons, currency, vehicles, and 30,000 MDMA tablets.

The Santa Ana Police department reports that Mexican criminal teams dominatethe methamphetamine sector in the city of Santa Ana and sell both powdered andcrystal methamphetamine. In this area high purity crystal methamphetamine, knownas ice, sells because that $10,000 come $13,000 every pound. Medium purity crystalmethamphetamine, known as glass, sells because that $5,000 to $8,000 per pound and isreported to be the many popular type of methamphetamine distributed in the city;it is smuggled into the area from Mexico.

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Colorado. DEA and numerous state and also local task forces and also policedepartments report that the accessibility of decision methamphetamine (known asglass) has actually increased transparent Colorado. Crystal methamphetamine selling forapproximately 40 percent an ext than powdered methamphetamine in Colorado, and also ithas end up being the kind of methamphetamine the is most famous with abusers.

Florida. Follow to the DEA Miami Division, on November 27, 2001,agents seized 1 kilogram of crystal methamphetamine that was yielded to aresidence by a package distribution service. The agents arrested 3 individualsand seized 28 MDMA tablets and also 8 vials the GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate). Accordingto DEA, some members that the homosexual community in fort Lauderdale use crystalmethamphetamine extensively.

Georgia. Follow to the DEA Atlanta Division, there has actually been a largeincrease in the supply of crystal methamphetamine accessible in Atlanta. Clubs indowntown Atlanta space a focal suggest for the abuse of crystal methamphetamine. Onesample of decision methamphetamine tested 99.7 percent pure. In February 2002 theOklahoma Highway Patrol seized 42 pounds the methamphetamine destined forAtlanta. One pound of the seized methamphetamine to be tested and also found to becrystal methamphetamine.

Hawaii. In Hawaii, unlike other states, decision methamphetamine is thedrug of an option and is much more commonly abused 보다 powdered methamphetamine.Crystal methamphetamine counter laboratories are an ext prevalent thanproduction laboratories. Mexican criminal teams have replaced traditional Asiancriminal groups as the main transporters and also wholesale distributors ofcrystal methamphetamine in Hawaii. In the early 1990s legislation enforcementauthorities in Hawaii dismantled several huge Asian, generally Korean, criminalgroups that overcame the transportation of decision methamphetamine right into Hawaiifrom Asia. Oriental criminal groups continue to transport and distribute somecrystal methamphetamine in Hawaii, but to a lesser extent.

Currently many of the crystal methamphetamine easily accessible in Hawaii istransported into the state currently in crystal form. Mexico criminal groupstransport decision methamphetamine from the West Coast, mainly California, aswell as from Mexico. To a lesser extent, that is transported from eastern sourcesvia couriers on advertisement aircraft. Crystal methamphetamine likewise is developed inHawaii. Powdered methamphetamine is processed through "conversion" orwash laboratories whereby it is treated through acetone to create crystalmethamphetamine. This laboratories are discovered predominantly top top the island ofOahu, however some have been seized top top the outer islands. According to 2000 datafrom procedure Jetway--a nationwide interdiction routine that operates atairports, train stations, bus stations, package distribution facilities, postoffices, and also airport hotels and motels--in Hawaii there were eight seizures ofcrystal methamphetamine totaling slightly much more than 11 kilograms. According tothe Hawaii HIDTA Airport job Force, an ext than 21 kilograms the crystalmethamphetamine to be seized at the Honolulu international Airport native July 1999through June 2000. According to DEA, decision methamphetamine sold for $30,000 inthe an initial quarter of FY2002, back inflated prices on the island the Hawaiireached $45,000 come $70,000 every pound.

Illinois. The Chicago HIDTA reports that asian criminal teams nowdistribute decision methamphetamine in the Chicago area. Decision methamphetamineis derived from sources of supply in Asia and also smuggled by couriers aboardcommercial airlines right into the area. Eastern criminal groups also obtain powderedmethamphetamine native criminal teams composed of mexico nationals situated onthe West Coast, convert the powder into crystal methamphetamine, and also thendistribute it in the Chicago area.

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Kansas. The DEA Kansas City ar Office reports the Mexicannationals are involved in the circulation of decision methamphetamine in thearea. Legislation enforcement investigations have actually revealed ties to methamphetaminelaboratories operated by mexican nationals in Phoenix, Arizona, and also Riverside,California. According to DEA, decision methamphetamine sells because that $18,000 perpound in the Kansas City area.

Mississippi. According to the DEA brand-new Orleans Division, recently obtainedinformation shows that decision methamphetamine is being sold in Hinds,Copiah, and Forrest Counties in Mississippi. Decision methamphetamine onlyrecently has end up being common in Mississippi. It most likely is gift transported fromsources in California, Texas, and Tennessee by exclusive vehicle.

An ounce of crystal methamphetamine with a purity level that 97 percent wasseized in Jackson. The Mississippi office of medicine reported that the crystalmethamphetamine (known there as ice) had actually been developed in California or Texas.The Mississippi bureau of Narcotics also has encountered crystal methamphetaminein northeastern Mississippi.

Missouri. Increasingly, reports have actually been got that crystalmethamphetamine is being distributed in Kansas City (MO). The MetroMethamphetamine medicine Task force in Kansas City reported that a 16-year-oldCaucasian woman was found unconscious in a Kansas City motel room indigenous anoverdose of crystal methamphetamine.

Nebraska. Follow to the Omaha Police Department and also the WesternIntelligence Narcotics team (WING) medicine Task force in Scottsbluff, in July 2002two seizures of crystal methamphetamine were made in Omaha and also Hemingford. Inone that the seizures the decision methamphetamine, i beg your pardon resembled shards ofglass, had been mailed native Phoenix, Arizona. In Nebraska crystalmethamphetamine is well-known as ice.

Nevada. The DEA ras Vegas district Office reports that crystalmethamphetamine is accessible in the jurisdiction in limited quantities, butdemand for the medicine is increasing. Mexico criminal teams transport the crystalmethamphetamine from southern California, primarily Los Angeles, right into Nevada.These criminal groups also distribute the drug in the state. In las Vegascrystal methamphetamine sells for $10,000 to $12,000 every pound and $1,000 to$1,500 per ounce.

New Mexico. Follow to the FY2003 Southwest Border HIDTA report, someinternational DTOs operating in new Mexico have actually production cells in Mexico thatproduce methamphetamine; however, the capability of this laboratories havenot been plainly reported. The HIDTA likewise reports that a six-member criminalgroup in new Mexico obtains crystal methamphetamine indigenous California anddistributes the in gram quantities. The Lea County drug Task pressure in Hobbs, NewMexico, reports that officers have actually encountered crystal methamphetamine from LosAngeles, California, in that jurisdiction. One pound of crystal methamphetaminein Lea county sells for $16,000--more than dual the price because that powderedmethamphetamine. However, in Lincoln County, narcotics police officers report thatcrystal methamphetamine (locally well-known as ice) is frequently available for saleat practically the exact same price as powdered methamphetamine.

South Dakota. The southern Dakota department of Criminal investigation DrugTask pressure reports the Mexican criminal teams are now distributing crystalmethamphetamine in the state. Previously, methamphetamine was accessible only inits powdered form and was supplied by mexican criminal groups and localindependent producers.

According to the southern Dakota department of Criminal examination Drug TaskForce, crystal methamphetamine remains accessible in south Dakota. A seizure ofcrystal methamphetamine was made in fast City in October 2001. Mexicannationals residing in rapid City were carrying the decision methamphetaminefrom Salt Lake City, Utah, to fast City, where it was being sold for $300 pereight sphere (one-eighth ounce).

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Texas. According to the DEA Houston Division, crystal methamphetamine isbeing sold in nightclubs in Houston and also is abused by Asians and AfricanAmericans. During a car stop in Montgomery ar (north the Houston) ~ above May13, 2002, officers from the Montgomery ar Special investigation Unit and theTexas department of Public security Narcotics department seized 122.9 grams ofcrystal methamphetamine--one-half of which was hidden in a hollowed-outcandle. The individuals affiliated were Caucasian males in your twenties.Officers native the Austin Police Department likewise report the the access ofcrystal methamphetamine has recently raised in your jurisdiction, and theybelieve the drug is being created locally. In July 2002 the Austin PoliceDepartment seized a decision methamphetamine activities that to be being operatedby one 18 year old.

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Wisconsin. The Douglas County job Force an initial identified theavailability of crystal methamphetamine in January 2002. Mexican and also Asiancriminal teams are the main sources of supply because that the drug, i m sorry is nowreadily accessible in the area. In this area crystal methamphetamine frequently issold in tiny retail quantities; however, one-half ounce to 1-ounce quantitieshave to be seized. The drug generally sells for double the price of powderedmethamphetamine.