North Carolina is one of the original 13 colonies and its Blue Ridge Mountains, beaches and winding trails have lured visitors who never left, throughout the recent centuries. Boasting the first “heavier than air flight” by the Wright Brothers, North Carolina has continued to “take off” in other areas including banking, finance and biotechnology. Unfortunately, another area of expansion has been in the area of drug abuse. This leads to the need for effective drug rehab in the area. Narconon seeks to provide that treatment to residents of North Carolina.
North Carolina is considered a secondary regional distribution hub for most illicit drugs. Intelligence indicates a direct correlation between the increase in drug trafficking and the influx of illegal aliens and foreign nationals into the state. This reality is aided by the extensive highway and interstate infrastructure that connects North Carolina to northern Georgia and other states along the Eastern Seaboard.
North Carolina has one of the fastest growing populations: It is currently the 10th most populated state in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population at nearly 9.1 million during 2007 and projected that by 2025 the state will have 11.4 million residents, ranking it as the 8th largest state in the nation.
One of the factors fueling the population growth is the rate of migration of Spanish-speaking, specifically Mexican, nationals to the state. The Mexican population had traditionally been a migrant population that worked in the agriculture-based industries, but now is a permanent segment of the population, capitalizing on the many job opportunities available in the state.
Though most immigrants themselves are not involved in drug trafficking, their presence allows Mexican drug-trafficking organizations (DTOs) to conceal their presence and activities within immigrant communities in numerous North Carolina counties, frequently conducting local parceling to mid-level Caucasian and African-American distributors, as well as to out-of-state distributors.
Many of the Mexican DTOs are poly-drug distributors of cocaine hydrochloride (HCl), Ice, marijuana, and heroin.
Marijuana is one of the most prevalent drugs in North Carolina. Outdoor marijuana cultivation is common throughout the state. These outdoor sites include the federal forest lands in the lower Appalachian Mountain Range area and the swamps along the Atlantic coast.
Recently, several thousand marijuana plants were seized on public land in McDowell County. In the Charlotte metropolitan area, there is a local preference for Canadian, Sinsemilla, and exotic hydroponic strains over Mexican and domestic outdoor varieties.
Over the past six years, authorities have witnessed changes in domestic outdoor and indoor marijuana cultivation throughout the state, which corroborate the market shift. Vietnamese criminal groups import Canadian marijuana into the larger metropolitan centers from Canada, but Mexican DTOs control most of the wholesale market in foreign-grown, (Mexican grown) marijuana throughout the state.
The Mexican DTOs import multi-hundred pound quantities through the Southwest Border area from Mexico for in-state consumption and further distribution to surrounding states and the Northeast.
Marijuana is trafficked via the U.S. Postal Service, express mail and air freight services as well as by traditional land conveyances.
Recent intelligence indicates that cocaine HCl is less available in the state than it has been in previous years. Though seizures for 2008 increased, there was a noted decline in availability beginning in July, 2008. This phenomenon is due to the combined efforts of domestic and international law enforcement entities impeding the movement of cocaine through Mexico into the U.S. Because it has become increasingly difficult to transport cocaine into the U.S., some traffickers are supplementing their income by selling other drugs such as marijuana, MDMA and prescription drugs. North Carolina is a destination state for cocaine HCl, as well as a staging and transshipment point to the more northern states along the Eastern Seaboard and in the Midwest, including Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Traffickers take advantage of the state’s highway infrastructure, which provides major transshipment routes for cocaine HCl being transported from source areas to other states. The major source areas are Texas, California, and Arizona and are supplied by Mexico based traffickers. Cocaine Hydrochloride is usually conveyed in private or commercial vehicles. Commonly, shipments into North Carolina by Mexican organizations are used to supply crack cocaine distribution networks that further present an enormous social threat to North Carolina’s inner city communities.
Clandestine production of methamphetamine was a statewide epidemic; however, seizures stabilized by the end of 2005. Though there was a very small increase in the number of clandestine lab seizures over the last year, the amount of meth seizures were significantly decreased. This was due to coordinated efforts of law enforcement operations and sales regulation of precursor chemicals such as pseudoephedrine, iodine, and anhydrous ammonia, necessary for the production of methamphetamine. Although domestic methamphetamine production is waning, Mexican-manufactured methamphetamine, primarily in the crystalline form (Ice), is readily available in the large metropolitan centers of the state, and increasingly in the rural communities. Most methamphetamine in North Carolina is imported in multi-pound quantities from Mexico through the southwest border states, but a significant amount also comes from Mexican sources of supply based in the Atlanta metropolitan/northern Georgia area. Mexican traffickers rely on private and commercial vehicles and express parcel services to convey their product. Mexican-manufactured methamphetamine and Ice concealment often mimics those methods used for cocaine. Over the last few years, law enforcement statistics have fluctuated in the number of clandestine laboratories seized in the state. A decrease in lab seizures was noted between 2006 and 2007; due to the regulations stated above. During 2008, a small increase was observed (see chart above.); this is attributed to lab operators finding new sources of precursors to replace the regulated and monitored chemicals previously used.
Narconon has seen an increased number of clients entering into the rehab program from North Carolina.
Heroin use and availability is growing in North Carolina. It crisscrosses the state and is present in every metropolitan area. Statistics indicate a 77 percent increase in heroin seizures in the last year (2007 – 2008). Mexican DTOs transport small consignments of Mexican brown and black tar heroin from the Southwest Border states to North Carolina using private and commercial vehicles and express parcel services. Other Hispanic, Asian, and African-American traffickers transport South American, Southeast Asian, and Southwest Asian heroin from Miami, New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia by private vehicles and networks of commercial bus and airline couriers.