“The Mexican cartels have been sending loads up to New York and telling traffickers, ‘See if you can get customers,’ ” said James Hunt, Drug Enforcement Administration agent in charge in New York. “They want to create an addict population.”
Mexican traffickers are supplying the New York City area with methamphetamine, attempting to create new clients in what has been a weak market for the drug, the Wall Street Journal reports. “The Mexican cartels have been sending loads up to New York and telling traffickers, ‘See if you can get customers,’ ” said James Hunt, Drug Enforcement Administration agent in charge in New York. “They want to create an addict population.” DEA in New York has seized more methamphetamine in 2017 than any other year in the past decade. Meth, a stimulant often taken in the form of a white powder or pill, has been more widely used in other regions, particularly the West and Midwest. In the Northeast, the drug largely hasn’t taken off for unexplained reasons.
Through August, the DEA seized 106 kilograms (234 pounds) of meth in New York State, up from 34 kilograms in all of last year. While seizures increased through 2014, then decreased as traffickers focused on heroin laced with fentanyl. This year, supply of the drug has returned, although there isn’t yet any indication that dealers are selling it successfully in the region. There are two categories of meth manufacturers, regional dealers who work in home laboratories and make small batches, and large labs in Mexico. The Mexican dealers usually ship the drug, often with others such as cocaine or fentanyl, in tractor trailers that cross the border in Arizona, California or Texas. For Mexican traffickers, meth makes financial sense. “It’s very easy and cheap to make and they get a good return,” Hunt said. “They’re effective business people.” While methamphetamine use hasn’t been widespread in the New York City area, one population that does use the drug is some gay men, say law-enforcement and health officials.