The majority of methamphetamine present in the United States today originated in Mexico. The ingredients required to manufacture meth are difficult to acquire in the U.S., due to state and federal crackdowns on products containing ephedrine. Mexico has more relaxed laws which have allowed Mexican drug cartels to operate methamphetamine super-laboratories and the cartels’ largest market is Americans.
While most of Mexico’s northern territory borders Texas, surprisingly, almost three-quarters (70 percent) of all Mexican meth enters the country through San Diego, California, according to a report conducted by the California Department of Justice.
The report highlighted the need for increased coordination between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. As transnational organized crime cells become more sophisticated, it requires an equally sophisticated and coordinated response from law enforcement.
In 2013, California border authorities seized over 6,200 kilograms of methamphetamine entering California, a three-fold increase since 2009.
Earlier this week, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced that a new task force is being formed to combat the spread of methamphetamine, the Los Angeles Times reports. The task force will consist of six agents that will investigate the production and distribution of methamphetamine. The anti-meth unit will be funded by a federal grant secured through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) within the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Transnational criminal organizations have made California the largest point of entry for methamphetamine into the United States,” Harris said in a statement. “This funding supports the California Department of Justice’s crackdown on this devastating drug by strengthening our enforcement capabilities.”
“The production and use of meth is a serious threat to the health and safety of our communities,” Ronald L. Davis, COPS Office Director said.