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Michigan Factsheet   PDF  Print  Email 

State Facts

Population: 9,990,817
Law Enforcement Officers: 23,228
State Prison Population: 67,100
Probation Population: 170,967
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 14

Drug Situation: Cocaine, heroin and marijuana continue to be the primary drug threats in the state of Michigan.

Narcotic traffickers of varying degrees are supplied with controlled substances from source cities and areas from around the country.

In addition, traffickers of Russian, Israeli and Middle Eastern descent, as well as Vietnamese criminal syndicates are involved in the importation and distribution of MDMA, with the metropolitan Detroit area serving as a transshipment point. Much of the MDMA is obtained through sources of supply based in Toronto, Ontario.

Detroit-based Middle Eastern trafficking groups distributing large quantities of pseudoephedrine prior to the successes of Operation Mountain Express III and Northern Star have now focused their efforts on the distribution of MDMA.

2004 Federal Drug Seizures

Cocaine: 124.6 kgs.
Heroin: 9.7 kgs.
Methamphetamine: 1.5 kgs.
Marijuana: 6,535.0 kgs.
Ecstasy: 4,873 tablets
Methamphetamine Laboratories: 157 (DEA, state, and local)

Cocaine: Within Michigan, the primary emphasis continues to be placed on targeting major cocaine distribution and transportation organizations.

The larger metropolitan areas of Michigan continue to experience high availability in cocaine trafficking and abuse.

Wholesalers utilize the major cities as distribution centers for smaller cities. Wholesale distribution cells operating in these metropolitan areas are managed and directed by command and control cells operating along the southwest border, New York, Los Angeles and Miami.

The primary ethnic groups that dominate cocaine trafficking are large Mexican and Dominican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) with local distribution cells and links to Colombian cartels and local African American distribution organizations that typically have Mexican sources of supply.

A large majority of the cocaine transported to Michigan by these Mexican and African American organizations is transported in personal vehicles equipped with traps and/or concealed within the legitimate cargo on large semi tractor-trailers.

With purity levels ranging between 60 percent to 90 percent, cocaine remains the primary drug threat in Michigan.

Heroin: Heroin is widely available throughout the Detroit area and the more densely populated areas of Michigan.

Heroin destined for the Michigan region continues to originate from different parts of the world.

Large quantities of heroin are imported from South America, Mexico and Africa.

Southeast and southwest Asian heroin are prevalent in the metropolitan Detroit area.

However, the domestic monitoring program (DMP) shows that South American heroin is the most abundant type of heroin in the Detroit area.

Major heroin traffickers in Michigan are mainly Nigerian, African American and Hispanic.

The city of Detroit continues to serve as both a consumption and transshipment point to other communities in Michigan and Ohio.

Methamphetamine Labs Seized: 1999=10, 2000=21, 2001=121, 2002=228, 2003=275, 2004=157

Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine continues to be available in the state of Michigan with the western and northern counties experiencing an increase in the amount of locally produced and Mexican methamphetamine.

A recent seizure of ½ kilogram of methamphetamine in Detroit supports the assertion that methamphetamine is being transported from the western part of the state into the metropolitan Detroit area, thereby increasing the availability of methamphetamine.

MDMA and Other Club Drugs: The international border between the United States and Canada, particularly in the metropolitan Detroit area, serves as a conduit for the transshipment of predatory and club drugs like MDMA and GHB.

Fueled by the vigorous trafficking of Russian, Israeli, Middle Eastern and Vietnamese criminal syndicates, large amounts of MDMA enter the U.S. distribution market through ports of entry covered by this division.

While a large portion of the MDMA available in U.S. cities is clandestinely manufactured in Western Europe and the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg), an even greater proportion is trafficked through the international border with Canada.

Much of this MDMA is obtained from sources of supply based in Toronto, Ontario.

MDMA also enters the U.S. drug market from Western Europe via frequent non-stop flights into the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Recent intelligence indicates that Detroit-based Middle Eastern trafficking groups, distributing large quantities of pseudoephedrine prior to the successes of Operation Mountain Express III and Northern Star, have now focused their efforts on the distribution of MDMA.

Chaldean (Iraqi Christians) criminal organizations operating in the metropolitan Detroit area frequently utilize couriers to smuggle multi-thousand quantity dosage units of MDMA in personal vehicles across the border into the United States.

MDMA is then distributed at local rave parties and college and university campuses in Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky. Michigan has experienced an increase in MDMA use and abuse due to the large volume of colleges and universities within the area.

Current MDMA investigations in Michigan reveal that multi-thousand dosage unit quantities of the drug are being transported into Michigan from New York, NY. Russian criminal syndicates controlling and operating in the metropolitan New York area are supplying Russian distributors in Michigan.

These organizations are utilizing traditional concealment methods such as personal vehicles equipped with traps and couriers on aircraft, buses and Amtrak trains to transport the MDMA into Michigan.

MDMA distribution cells operating in the greater metropolitan Detroit area have direct ties to a large scale MDMA manufacturing plant in the Netherlands. Intelligence indicates that the organization has ties to large scale drug traffickers and criminal syndicates throughout the world. The organization has direct access to millions of MDMA tablets being manufactured at the clandestine laboratory in the Netherlands.

Marijuana: Marijuana continues to be the most commonly used and readily available illicit drug throughout the state of Michigan.

Marijuana is popular among every racial and ethnic group in the region and is particularly popular among high school students.

Canadian indoor grown marijuana smuggled into Michigan is often known as British Columbia Bud (B.C. Bud). This particular type of marijuana has a much higher tetrahydrcannabinol (THC) content than domesticly and Mexican produced marijuana and demand has grown significantly as a result.

The increased demand has resulted in significant increases in marijuana seizures occurring at ports of entry within Michigan.

Multi-hundred pound seizures of Canadian grown marijuana transported in tractor-trailers, trash haulers, automobiles and railroad cars have occurred with increasing and alarming frequency.

The Ambassador Bridge at the Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario port of entry (POE) is the busiest commercial land border entry port in the world. This makes detecting marijuana commingled with legitimate goods such as earth worms, futon mattresses, metal lockers and trash a daunting task.

The smuggling of marijuana from Canada, via Michigan, into the United States using watercraft has been suspected without substantiation for many years and has resulted in a new method of concealment for marijuana traffickers.

The ease of travel without detection across the narrow body of water that separates several areas of Ontario and Michigan cannot be overly expressed. The large number of pleasure watercraft registered in Michigan and the province of Ontario provide substantial opportunity for legitimate travel, and recreation in addition to smuggling.

Although Canadian BC Bud is finding its way into mainstream drug markets in Michigan, Mexican and African American trafficking organizations, are responsible for the majority of marijuana distributed in Michigan.

These organizations continue to utilize traditional trafficking routes and concealment methods to transport marijuana into Michigan. Recent trafficking trends and seizures indicate that they are responsible for distributing multi-thousand pound quantities on a monthly basis.

African American trafficking organizations transport marijuana into Michigan from the southwest border utilizing personal vehicles, semi-trucks and tractor-trailers.

Two recent multi-ton seizures revealed that the organization was commingling the marijuana with legitimate shipments of produce. This is a common trend utilized by Mexican drug trafficking organizations operating along the southwest border.

A recent $4.8 million dollar seizure in Michigan supports the assertion that large, multi-ton shipments of marijuana are destined for Michigan from the southwest border on a monthly basis. In this instance, the money seized was from a large scale Mexican trafficking group with direct links back to a major Mexican marijuana drug trafficking organization operating out of Mexico.

The money seized has been linked to multiple, multi-ton shipments of marijuana which were transported to Michigan and other cities in the Midwest.

OxyContin®: OxyContin® demand is increasing throughout the state.

The Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) program indicates that the state’s OxyContin® prescriptions have increased by 31 percent.

Michigan is ranked number 30 for its OxyContin® comsumption per capita.

Straits Area Narcotic Enforcement (SANE) Task Force, located in Cheboygan County, Michigan reported that 90 percent of the problems encountered are related to OxyContin®.

The number of charges for OxyContin® abuse has also increased. In 2002, there were 37 charges made as compared to 60 in 2003.

OxyContin® abusers are obtaining this drug through break-ins and robberies, doctor shopping, stealing from legitimate patients, selling parts of legitimate prescriptions, home break-ins and forged prescriptions.

Drug-Violation Arrests: 1999=780, 2000=668, 2001=511, 2002=443, 2003=423, 2004=531

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 have been ten MET deployments in the state of Michigan since the inception of the program, in Pontiac, Ypsilanti, Lincoln Park/Melvindale, Inkster, Muskegon, Benton Harbor, Mt. Clemens, Flint, Lansing, and Detroit.

DEA Regional Enforcement Teams: This program was designed to augment existing DEA division resources by targeting drug organizations operating in the United States where there is a lack of sufficient local drug law enforcement.

This program was conceived in 1999 in response to the threat posed by drug trafficking organizations that have established networks of cells to conduct drug trafficking operations in smaller, non-traditional trafficking locations in the United States.

As of January 31, 2005, there have been 27 deployments nationwide, and one deployment in the U.S. Virgin Islands, resulting in 671 arrests.

There have been no RET deployments in the state of Michigan.

Special Topics: High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas. Based on drug trafficking trends, in 2002, specifically the increased production of methamphetamine in the western portion of Michigan, additional funding was secured from ONDCP to expand HIDTA.

This expansion was comprised of the addition of the five counties of Allegan, Genesee, Kalamazoo, Kent, and Van Buren.

The HIDTA is now known as the Michigan HIDTA and its area of responsibility includes the cities of Grand Rapids, Flint, Kalamazoo, and Detroit and accounts for approximately 60 percent of the population of Michigan.

The Michigan HIDTA is responsible for supplying funding and assistance to 22 initiatives, of which 17 are federal, state and local drug task forces. These initiatives have been designed to address specific drug related threats in their areas of responsibility.

The Michigan HIDTA also funds an Intelligence Support and Deconfliction Center (ISDC) located in Detroit. The mission of the ISDC is to provide law enforcement agencies with timely deconfliction and intelligence support through the sharing of multi-agency information related to international and domestic narcotics trafficking, violent crimes, and terrorists activities.

Currently, the following agencies participate in the Michigan HIDTA: Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Bureau of Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Marshall Service, Michigan State Police, Detroit Police Department, Grand Rapids Police Department, Kalamazoo Police Department, Flint Police Department, Sheriff’s Departments from the nine HIDTA counties, Michigan National Guard, Michigan Office of Drug Control Policy and many other local law enforcement agencies.

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