Border Drug Seizures
Monday, December 1, 2008
SAN DIEGO Despite arrests and the border battle, drugs are still making it across the border. Reporter Amy Isackson gathered data from government agencies showing the trends.
Cocaine seizures have surged at Calexico and Calexico East during the last four years. Meanwhile, cocaine seizures have dropped sharply at San Ysidro and Otay Mesa.
There are a few hypothetical explanations for this. It could mean smugglers shifted their coke smuggling operations east to capitalize on an opening they saw in Calexico. It could also mean a new cartel consolidated its control of Calexico and/or of cocaine smuggling along the California Mexico border.
PHOTO GALLERY: Border Battle: Drug Seizures Charts
Meth seizures also increased at Calexico.
The total amount of drugs seized in 2005 compared to 2008 increased 15%. However, the amount peaked in 2006 and has decreased since.
- Cocaine: From 2005 to 2008 the amount of cocaine seized increased 293%.
- Marijuana: From 2005 to 2008 the amount of marijuana seized increased slightly, less than a percent. However, it dropped to a three year low in 2008. Meanwhile, the number of seizures increased 60%, from 368 to 592.
- Methamphetamine: From 2005 to 2008 the amount of methamphetamine seized rose 130%. The number of seizures fluctuated from 29 to 37.
Drug seizures at Calexico East skyrocketed, up 740%. This is the largest increase at any California border crossing during this time. Agents nabbed more than 600% more cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. Cocaine and meth seizures also surged a few miles to the west at the Calexico crossing. These increases suggest drug smugglers shifted their operations east.
The total amount of drugs seized in 2005 compared to 2008 surged by more than 740%. The total number of seizures tripled.
- Cocaine: From 2005 to 2008 the amount of cocaine seized rose 617%, to 957 kgs. The total number of seizures tripled to 210.
- Marijuana: From 2005 to 2008 the amount of marijuana seized rose 747%.
- Methamphetamine: From 2005 to 2008 the amount of meth seized shot up 623% to 124 kgs. The number of seizures fluctuated over the years. The low was 5 in 2005 and the high was 16 in 2008.
The amount of drugs seized at Andrade were on the rise through 2007, but then dropped by nearly half in 2008.
The most notable drop was with marijuana. From 2005 to 2008, seizures fell 55%. From 2007 to 2008 the amount of marijuana seized dropped a further 82% to 425 kgs. The number of seizures also fell from 31 to 23.
The total amount of drugs agents seized at Otay Mesa fell by half in 2008 compared to 2005. The amount of drugs seized at San Ysidro also dropped. This may mean smugglers shifted their operations east. Drug seizures there skyrocketed at both Calexico and Calexico East during this time.
- Cocaine: In 2008, the amount of cocaine seized fell 89% compared to 2005. The most notable drop was between 2007 and 2008 when seizures fell 89% from 381 to 41 kgs. The number of seizures fell 77% from 26 to 6.
- Marijuana: The total amount of marijuana seized between 2005 and 2008 fluctuated, but in the end dropped 50%. Agents made 288 seizures in 2008. This was the four-year low.
- Methamphetamine: From 2005 to 2008, the total amount of methamphetamine seized dropped 19%. However, it did increase 69% from 2005 to 2007, before dropping 52% between 2007 and 2008.
The number of seizures hit a high of 445 in 2007 and a low of 330 in 2008.
The total amount of drugs seized dropped about a third in 2008 compared to 2005. Seizures at Otay Mesa also dropped. Meanwhile, customs agents at Calexico East were busier than ever. Seizures there surged.
- Cocaine: The amount of cocaine seized from 2005 to 2008 dropped 72%. The most dramatic decrease was between 2006 and 2007 when it fell 60% to 412 kgs. The total number of seizures also fell. Again, the most dramatic decrease was between 2006 and 2007 when agents’ finds fell by nearly half.
- Marijuana: The amount of marijuana seized dropped 30%.
- Methamphetamine: The amount of methamphetamine seized dropped 4% from 2005 to 2008. Seizures spiked in 2006, jumping 50% to 577 kgs with 102 seizures. In 2008, seizures dropped 57% to a low of 367 kgs and 64 seizures.
Customs agents seized half the amount of drugs in 2008 compared to 2005. Though, seizures began to creep back up in 2008.
Seizures dropped between 2005 to 2007 but crept back up in 2008.
- Cocaine: The amount seized and number of seizures increased from 2005 to 2008. In 2005, agents found 30 kgs of cocaine in a total of one seizure. In 2008, they took in 113 kgs with 5 seizures.
- Marijuana: The total amount seized fell by more than half from 2005 to 2008. However after hitting a low of 808 kgs in 2007, the amount more than doubled in 2008.
Border Patrol Seizures:
From 2005 through 2008, the amount of drugs Border Patrol agents seized along the California-Mexico border increased 15%.
The Border Patrol divides California’s Mexican border into two sections: El Centro and San Diego.
In El Centro, the amount of drugs agents nabbed increased 12%. In San Diego, it grew by 17%. In both sectors, the amount of drugs seized increased steadily from 2005 through 2007 and then dropped off in 2008.
Total Value Of Drugs Seized:
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