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Vermont Factsheet   PDF  Print  Email 

State Facts

Population: 613,090
Law Enforcement Officers: 1,320
State Prison Population: 1,400
Probation Population: 9,266
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 35

Drug Situation: Marijuana, domestic and imported, is the most widely abused drug in the State of Vermont.

High-purity level heroin is available throughout the state.

Cocaine is also a significant problem throughout the state, particularly in urban areas.

Law enforcement officials report minimal availability of methamphetamine.

Vermont’s two interstate highways, I-89 and I-91, terminate at the U.S./Canada border, providing drug traffickers easy access to metropolitan areas in Canada and the United States.

2004 Federal Drug Seizures

Cocaine: 0.4 kgs.
Heroin: 0.0 kgs.
Methamphetamine: 0.0 kgs.
Marijuana: 874.2 kgs.
Ecstasy: 3,902 tablets
Methamphetamine Laboratories: 1 (DEA, state, and local)

Cocaine: Cocaine is readily available throughout Vermont and is widely abused by illicit drug users.

The drug is available in all quantities from fractional ounces to kilogram quantities.

Cocaine traffickers in Vermont, most often Caucasians, obtain the drug from source areas in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York.

The cocaine is brought into the state mostly through the use of passenger vehicles; often it is then distributed in bars.

Crack cocaine is not widely available in the state, although there is limited availability in the areas of Burlington, Rutland, and Barre.

Crack is most often distributed by African-American violators who obtain the drug in New York and Massachusetts.

Heroin: There is widespread availability of heroin in the state in street/user level quantities.

The purity level in the state is quite high, ranging from 55 to 60 percent.

A typical heroin distributor in Vermont is a heroin user who distributes the drug in order to support his/her heroin addiction.

Heroin is obtained by individuals who travel to source areas in Massachusetts and New York.

The most common method of transport of heroin between Vermont and source areas is the use of automobiles.

Methamphetamine Lab Seizures: 2000=0, 2001=0, 2002=0, 2003=0, 2004=1

Methamphetamine: There is not a significant methamphetamine problem in Vermont.

No clandestine methamphetamine laboratories have been seized in Vermont for the past several years; the last one was seized in 1990.

Club Drugs: MDMA (Ecstasy) appears to be widely available in Vermont, particularly in the Burlington area.

Until June 2001, MDMA possession was not a crime under Vermont state statutes.

Several thousand tablet seizures of MDMA have been made at the ports of entry in Vermont.

The seized MDMA, often from Toronto, Canada or Montreal, Canada was destined to other states in New England.

There have not been any reports of widespread availability of other club drugs such as GHB and ketamine.

In December 2003, a clandestine MDMA laboratory was seized in Castleton, VT.

This was the first clandestine laboratory seized in the state since 1990.

Marijuana: Marijuana is readily available in all areas of Vermont, and it is the drug of choice for illicit drug users.

Marijuana is brought into Vermont from the southwestern U.S. through the use of automobiles, campers, and tractor-trailers.

Another significant source area for marijuana in the state is Canada.

Canadian-based drug trafficking organizations smuggle high quality hydroponically grown marijuana from Canada across the U.S./Canada border for distribution in Vermont and in transit to Massachusetts, New York, and other states.

The marijuana often is carried in backpacks across remote areas between the ports of entry; tractor-trailers containing marijuana loads also transport the drug across the U.S./Canada border.

In addition to marijuana transported to Vermont, marijuana continues to be grown within the state. In the past, local growers maintained large-scale outdoor cultivation operations.

However, the current trend of local marijuana cultivation has changed to small outdoor plots which can be difficult to detect. Indoor grows and hydroponic systems are maintained on a small scale.

Drug-Violation Arrests: 2000=64, 2001=15, 2002=51, 2003=34, 2004=46

Other Drugs: Vicodin, Fentanyl, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Ritalin, Xanax, and Diazepam are the most commonly diverted pharmaceutical drugs in Vermont.

Impaired practitioners are a concern in the state.

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 no MET deployments in the State of Vermont.

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 Vermont.

Special Topics: U.S./Canada Border: Vermont shares approximately 95 miles of border with Canada.

The cross-border terrain is remote with no large cities and few inhabitants providing an ideal situation for cross-border illicit activities.

Several large-scale international investigations have stemmed from seizures of MDMA and hydroponically grown marijuana.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, border law enforcement activity has increased which has led to an increase in drug and money seizures.

Treatment Centers: The Vermont Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs (ADAP) contracts with 18 nonprofit agencies which provide alcohol and drug treatment services.

According to ADAP, the use of hallucinogens (including marijuana) accounted for 16 percent of treatment admissions, opiates (including heroin) seven percent of treatment admissions and stimulants (including cocaine) for four percent of treatment admissions in Vermont fiscal year 2000 (July 1, 1999 - June 30, 2000).

Twelve persons reportedly were treated for methamphetamine abuse during Vermont fiscal year 2000.

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