Across America, increases in the use of heroin and methamphetamine have been accompanied by a rise in heroin and meth arrests for distribution. In fact, drug trafficking is rising at such a rate that police face daunting challenges, including confusing distribution patterns for heroin.
Suppliers reportedly are using numerous drug “mules” (individual carriers) to transport heroin, so the arrest of one doesn’t halt drug-selling operations. Indeed, vast networks of addicts are being used by major dealers to distribute their supply. Thus, arrests for distribution often involve low-level sellers of the drug, rather than one big individual distributor.
National Drug Arrest Rate Rising
The national drug arrest rate has risen dramatically in recent years. Heroin seizures throughout America rose 80 percent from 2011-2015.
According to a National Heroin Threat Assessment issued by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), the heroin threat has risen since 2007, with heroin now available in larger quantities and used by a larger number of people.
Increased use inevitably involves increased arrests:
- In Virginia, roadside drug arrests rose from 3,163 in 2014 to 3,354 in 2015.
- In Maryland, roadside arrests for illegal drugs increased from 1,752 in 2015 to 1,971 in 2016.
- In the Washington, D.C. area, Virginia and Maryland police said drug seizures have seen a major rise.
Texas Meth, Heroin Arrests
In East Texas, meth remains the dominant drug for arrests for possession and distribution, though heroin has some trafficking.
- In the Longview area recently, three persons were arrested and indicted in federal court in connection with a meth and heroin drug-trafficking operation to distribute the drugs in East and North Texas.
- In February, a Gladewater man was arrested by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper after a traffic stop and charged with manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance between 4 and 200 grams, that substance being heroin.
- In the Houston area of Fort Bend County last fall, seven persons were arrested in near Pecan Grove after authorities had conducted undercover operations into illegal sale and distribution of heroin, meth and other drugs.
- In Dallas last summer, 19 persons were arrested and charged in a felony indictment in connection with a meth distribution conspiracy operating out of the Balch Springs, Seagoville and Pleasant Grove areas in Dallas County. The drug trafficking arrests were made by officers of the DPS and Dallas Police. They confiscated 2.5 grams of heroin and 6,700 grams of meth, among other drugs. Those arrested were indicted by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
- In the Austin area last summer, nine persons were arrested for conspiring to distribute heroin after an 11-month investigation by the DEA, DPS, Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Austin Police and Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office. If convicted, the nine persons face sentences of 10 years to life in federal prison.
- Shortly before that, the DPS arrested 15 persons following an eight-month investigation into an operation to distribute meth in Austin.
- Last fall, five Houston-area residents were indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute meth. They were allegedly part of large-scale meth ring in Pinehurst and Tomball.
- Earlier this year in the Houston area, nine persons were arrested in a drug raid at a Northwest Harris County house which revealed meth in amounts “consistent with distribution,” authorities said.
Distribution of meth and possession with intent to distribute meth bring a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine of $1,000,000.
Males, Hispanics Dominate Trafficking Arrests
According to the Recovery Village, which provides addiction treatments, 24 percent of drug trafficking offenses in a recent year were for meth, while 9.8 percent were for heroin.
More than 85 percent of arrested drug traffickers were male. Almost half (47.9 percent) were Hispanic, 26.7 percent were black and 22.3 percent were white. Just under half (49.5 percent) had no prior criminal history.
More than 96 percent of those arrested went to prison, serving an average sentence of six years.
Two of the five top districts sentencing drug trafficking offenders were the Western and Southern Districts of Texas.
Video courtesy of Recovery Village.
About the Neal Davis Law Firm
Persons facing drug charges can discuss their case with Houston drug charge defense attorney Neal Davis. For over 20 years, Neal has represented hundreds of individuals charged with state and federal drug offenses, from marijuana to cocaine and methamphetamine to synthetic drug cases. Contact the Neal Davis Law Firm today for a consultation.