Statistics on the extent of crime are notoriously behind. For instance, the most recent complete information that is available on drug trafficking statistics is from 2020, with a few preliminary 2021 reports available.
What the data shows is that drug trafficking in the US is down in some types of substances but up in others. Want to learn more about what types of drugs are trafficked, where they come into the country, and who traffics them? Read on for more.
Where Are the Drugs Coming From?
Most drugs come into the US either by sea or by land through the southern border of the US. The top five federal districts for drug trafficking cases include:
- Southern District of California
- Western District of Texas
- Northern District of Texas
- Southern District of Texas
- District of Puerto Rico
Most of the drugs that are trafficked through these areas come from Mexican drug cartels. However, there are opioids that are trafficked into the US via mail. These drugs often come from China or other Asian countries.
What Types of Drugs Are Trafficked?
The most common types of drugs that are trafficked into the US include:
- Crack cocaine
- Powder cocaine
With the exception of opioids, which often come via mail, most of these drugs are trafficked into the country via land. The numbers of meth trafficking offenders and fentanyl trafficking offenders both increased between 2016 and 2020. For meth, the increase was nearly 14% and for fentanyl, a whopping increase of nearly 2000%.
The number of both powder cocaine crack cocaine decreased (by 22.8 and 30.3% respectively) as did heroin (33.2%), oxycodone (47.5%), and marijuana (67.3%).
Who Are the Drug Traffickers?
In 2020, drug traffickers are men. In fact, less than 20% are women. Almost 44% were Hispanic and they were, on average, 37 years old. 80% were U.S. citizens and over 42% of them had no criminal history.
About 25% had weapons along with the drugs, resulting in increased sentences, and about 6% had a supervisory role in the offense, which also increased their sentence.
What Are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking is a federal offense and as a result, offenders face very stiff penalties. According to the United States Sentencing Commission, the average sentence for drug trafficking in 2020 was 61 months (or just over five years) in prison. The average sentence length varies depending on the substance being trafficked.
On the high end, methamphetamine traffickers received an average sentence of 95 months in prison while on the low end, marijuana traffickers received an average sentence of only 29 months in prison.
If you are facing these charges, you need a drug trafficking attorney. Do not try to navigate the legal system on your own.
Drug Trafficking Statistics and You
For most people, drug trafficking is nothing more than a second thought when you hear a news story. However, if you live in one of these areas of the US, you may be very familiar with drug trafficking and drugs coming over the U.S. border.
You may also be familiar if you have found yourself involved in a drug trafficking operation. If this is the case, seek legal representation immediately.
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