Mexican cartels have basically given up on selling marijuana. Pure white high grade but cheap heroin is now the cash crop.
And the white heroin is killing white kids. So it's called an epidemic.
DEA 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Heroin availability increased in every region of the US between 2008 and 2015, according to the DEA.
“Most of the heroin available in the United States comes from Mexico and Colombia,” the DEA notes in its report.
“Despite significant decreases in Colombian heroin production between 2001 and 2009,” the report adds, “South American heroin continues to be the predominant type available in eastern US markets.”
Mexico and Colombia dominate the use market for the drug due to “their proximity, established transportation and distribution infrastructure, and ability to satisfy US heroin demand.”
Mexican cartels, however, have grown their share of the heroin market tremendously in recent years. Together, Mexican drug traffickers smuggled nearly a quarter-million pounds of heroin into the US in 2014, according to The Washington Post
The report finds that white-powder heroin made from Mexican poppies, but produced using South American methods, has been seized near the southwest American border and along trafficking routes that Mexican cartels have established over the last 20 years.
(Mexican black-tar heroin, historically found west of the Mississippi River, has also started appearing in the eastern US.)
"Davis is taking on this epidemic with a crime strategy based on the idea that most of the violent crime is confined to a small group of people – the department has a list of 614 “trigger pullers” – who are most likely to commit crimes, but also to be victims. Davis’s trigger puller initiative aims to intercept people like Moss, who carry guns, either for retaliation or protection, after being the victim of a crime. The goal is to take them off the streets, by prosecuting them for whatever they can, before a rival can do it with a gun..Davis says of the 614 people on the list more than 150 have been charged with crimes and 47 have been murdered. “We know we have the right group we’re looking at,” he said...
This strategy is a move away from the kind of corner-clearing “broken windows” policing from the early part of this decade, which Davis says “may as well be 100 years ago”. If you’re thinking in terms of The Wire, Davis wants the kind of investigation that targeted Stringer Bell (Idris Elba) and not the endless war with the corner boys that can harm relationships between the community and the police...
“Baltimore used to be the primary consumer of heroin in the region. Now we have surrounding counties and states, like Delaware and Pennsylvania, who are new consumers of heroin unlike they ever have been, so they’re coming to Baltimore to acquire their heroin. And if they’re not paying for the heroin with cash, one change we are seeing is that they’re exchanging firearms for heroin,” Davis said.
This creates a deadly mixture, which can keep homicides high even as gun arrests have gone up 77% in 2016.
And since Baltimore, like other cities seeing surges in violence, is hyper-segregated, a vast majority of these shootings are largely confined to some of Baltimore’s most impoverished African American neighborhoods, where young men face worse odds than their counterparts in almost any country in the world, leading back to Davis’s 614 trigger pullers.
“I’m not about putting drug addicts in jail. The fact that arrests are down – people should be happy about that. It’s the discretionary arrests that are down,” Davis said. “But the arrests I’m concerned with are murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft. Those are the arrests we should be making and the arrests our communities expect us to make.”
But, in another case, in which police shot a 14-year-old boy who had a pellet gun, Davis acknowledged that things probably would have played out differently if it had been his two kids with toy guns. “They’re two 13-year-old white kids,” Davis said at Morgan State University. “If they had a gun in their hand, would it be perceived differently? Yeah, I’d be the first one to admit that.”
If Davis is focusing on bad guys with guns, he is also, perhaps slowly, trying to root out some of the problems in his own department. He says he has fired five officers and five others have resigned in lieu of being fired, while also instituting programs to get more police out of their cars and into the communities, sometimes in ways that are shockingly basic.
“We have to train our cops to interact with people who aren’t under arrest,” Davis said at a forum. “We’re teaching community foot patrol, but really all that is is interaction skills 101.”