San Diego: Nation's Meth Gateway

Report shows 70% of US supply enters through the city
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2014 10:31 AM CDT
California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, speaks during a news conference, Thursday, March 20, 2014, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
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(Newser) – If you're talking about our country's meth crisis and looking to point fingers, go ahead and direct yours to California, and San Diego in particular. "California is now the primary source for methamphetamine nationwide with as much as 70% of the US foreign supply of methamphetamine being trafficked through the San Diego point of entry alone." That from a new 98-page state attorney general report that calls for more funding and tougher laws to target organized crime in the state, particularly in the south, where gangs have aligned with the Mexican drug cartels, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Some standout numbers: 2,200 pounds of meth were seized at border crossings in south Texas last year; 13,200 pounds were nabbed at San Diego crossings. State and local agencies have recently been lending a hand to federal authorities, but a large part of the problem can be traced to the rise of Baja California's Sinaloa drug cartel, which imports chemicals from China and India, refines the drug in Mexican labs, then drives the stuff across the border to San Diego, where the meth is sometimes further refined in rural labs. "California is a global leader on a number of fronts and, unfortunately, transnational criminal activity is one of them," Kamala Harris tells the Christian Science Monitor, which notes the state also leads in the number of identity fraud and computer hacking victims. (Click to read about widespread meth use in North Korea.)

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