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Iowa Factsheet   PDF  Print  Email 

State Facts

Population: 2,923,179
Law Enforcement Officers: 5,540
State Prison Population: 11,600
Probation Population: 22,061
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 36

Drug Situation: Methamphetamine, both that which is produced in Mexico or the southwest United States and locally produced, remains the principal drug of concern in the state of Iowa.

Cocaine, particularly crack cocaine, is a significant problem in the urban areas of the state.

Iowa also serves as a transshipment point for drugs being transported to the eastern United States via Interstate 80.

Interstates 29 and 35 also provide a critical north-south transportation avenue for drug traffickers.

2004 Federal Drug Seizures

Cocaine: 87.8 kgs.
Heroin: 0.0 kgs.
Methamphetamine: 39.1 kgs.
Marijuana: 425.9 kgs.
Ecstasy: 2.205 tablets
Methamphetamine Laboratories: 418 (DEA, state, and local)

Cocaine: Cocaine continues to be readily available throughout Iowa.

The cocaine is transported from the West Coast by motor vehicles, and mail services.

Suppliers from Chicago, Illinois, also supply cocaine to eastern Iowa.

Mexican polydrug traffickers bring some of the cocaine into the state with shipments of marijuana and methamphetamine.

Much of the cocaine HCl is converted into crack cocaine for sale at the retail level.

Street gangs control distribution in many of the urban areas of Iowa.

An increase in violence accompanies this gang presence.

Heroin: Heroin is sporadically available in retail-level quantities throughout the urban areas of Iowa.

Most of the heroin seizures are of the black-tar type, but intelligence from Des Moines and Cedar

Rapids also indicates the presence of white and Mexican brown powder heroin.

Methamphetamine Lab Saizures: 2000=283, 2001=580, 2002=867, 2003=1,240, 2004=418

Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine is the primary drug of concern in Iowa.

Caucasian males and females are equally the primary users.

Most of the methamphetamine in the state is brought in by Hispanic organizations via motor vehicles, commercial airlines, and mail delivery services.

The large Mexican communities in Iowa provide an infrastructure to import and distribute the methamphetamine.

The purity of imported methamphetamine is declining from earlier years and is cited to be as low as three percent with the average of 20-25 percent.

Local small toxic laboratories continue to be a significant problem throughout Iowa.

Most of the laboratories produce only ounce quantities at a time. Law enforcement reports that high purity crystal methamphetamine, or ice, is available in Northwest Iowa.

Predatory Drugs: The state of Iowa continues to see an increase in the abuse of “club drugs” such as MDMA and GHB.

MDMA (ecstasy) is found at rave parties in eastern and central Iowa.

There is also intelligence indicating the trafficking of MDMA by Asian trafficking organizations in the state.

Marijuana: Marijuana is readily available throughout eastern and northwestern Iowa, usually in combination with cocaine and/or methamphetamine.

The majority of the marijuana is imported from the southwest border by motor vehicles, and mail delivery services.

Domestically produced marijuana is also available in Iowa.

Small indoor and outdoor grow operations have been found in eastern and central Iowa.

"Ditchweed" marijuana is a continuing problem. The ditchweed is used as filler for higher purity imported marijuana.

Other Drugs: Law enforcement in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids report an increasing problem with PCP.

The most popular pharmaceutical substances abused in eastern and central Iowa are Vicodin®, Lortab®, propoxyphene, alprazolam, hydrocodone, Ultram®, diazepam, Hycodan®, Demerol®, Dilaudid®, and Percodan®.

Much of the diversion is through fraudulent prescriptions, doctor shopping, pharmacy break-ins, and hospital thefts.

OxyContin® is also noted to be a pharmaceutical drug of abuse in Iowa.

Drug-Violation Arrests: 2000=406, 2001=410, 2002=396, 2003=352, 2004=353

DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams: This cooperative program with state and local law enforcement counterparts was conceived in 1995 in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation.

Since the inception of the MET Program, a total of 436 deployments have been completed nationwide, resulting in 18,318 arrests.

There has been one MET deployment, in Ft. Dodge, Iowa, since the inception of the program.

Special Topics: Interstates 80 and 35 cross Iowa, providing a ready smuggling route for many drug trafficking organizations.

During 2004, highway interdictions in Iowa led to seizures including approximately 130 kilograms of cocaine, 1,700 pounds of marijuana, 114 marijuana plants, 16 pounds of methamphetamine HCl, five pounds of crystal methamphetamine, and over $700,000.

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