On March 25th, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released its annual National Drug Threat Assessment report, a massive account of drug trafficking within the borders of the United States. Its findings span the underworld of the domestic drug trade. Read it and you can find out about the 1.63 million kilograms of drugs seized in transit in 2009, the average price per gram of cocaine as of last September ($174.03, up 75% from January 2007), and the top in-country origination points and destinations for drug shipments intercepted by law enforcement officials (McAllen, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia, respectively).
Arguably, the most startling finding in this year's drug threat assessment involves Mexican drug trafficking organizations, or DTOs. The flow of Mexican drug trafficking into the U.S. is an unstoppable force, it seems: the DOJ’s 2008 report found that Mexican DTOs had established networks in at least 230 American cities. The 2010 report has no comparable numbers, but a Justice Department official, when asked why, indicated that the department was "reanalyzing" its numbers and predicted that the total, when known, would prove to be higher. Mexican DTOs, the 2010 assessment concludes, "are more deeply entrenched in drug trafficking activities in the United States than any other DTOs." They are the only ones to be found in each of the nine regions of the country defined by the department as part of its efforts to bust traffickers. In fact, the Mexican cartels now reportedly control most wholesale cocaine, heroin, and meth distribution in the U.S.