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Tag: Heroin

Departing DEA Leader in El Paso Warns of Cartels Smuggling Heroin, Meth to U.S.

Getting HighBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the leader of the DEA in El Paso prepares to leave his job for a promotion to lead the Houston Division, he warned that the Mexican cartels are continuing to expand their heroin and meth trafficking business. 

“Every day we try to answer the prayers of those parents who are praying that drugs, violence and crime will pass over their children,” Will R. Glaspy said in an interview last week with El Paso Times

Glaspy, who served more than three years as the special agent in charge of the DEA’s El Paso Division, is scheduled to start working in Houston on Sept. 18.

Glaspy said drug cartels are turning away from marijuana in favor of meth and heroin.

The El Paso Times wrote:

During his time in El Paso, Glaspy said that his agents handled cases such as the arrests of Sinaloa-cartel affiliated drug traffickers in El Paso, Albuquerque meth traffickers and “Operation Crystal Mountain,” which targeted meth dealers on the Mescalero Apache Reservation.

The No. 1 priority in the El Paso region is fighting Mexican drug cartels, with the No. 2 priority being “community impact cases” that target local drug-dealing groups, Glaspy said.

DEA agents deal more with border drug-trafficking issues in El Paso, Las Cruces and Alpine, which covers the vast Big Bend area.

“Basically, what we are trying to do is target command-and-control of the Mexican organizations sending the drugs up here,” Glaspy said.

Weekend Series on Crime: The Rise of Mexican Black Tar Heroin

Two New Drugs Targeted in Opioid Epidemic Battle

Kratom leaf

Kratom leaf

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

The fight against the opioid epidemic has targeted two new recreational drugs being used on the streets as substitutes for heroin and fentanyl. Both U-4700 and Kratom have been on DEA’s radar screen, as well as US Poison Control Centers, in the last few months because of their increased use in 2016, their potential for abuse and health dangers.

U-4700, a synthetic opioid, is known on the streets as “44,” and “pink” and until recently has been easily available on the internet. It has been reported that it contributed to the death of rock star Prince last summer. It was originally developed for use in the 1970s as an analgesic, but it has many times the strength of morphine.

Last month DEA classified it under Schedule I as presenting an imminent hazard to the public safety.

Kratom, known on the streets as “Ketum,” thang” and other names, is actually an herb that has been used as a recreational drug for several years. Poison Center calls about overdoses have greatly increased this past year. The drug continues to be freely available on the internet and has no age restrictions on purchasing.

However, Kratom has increasingly been found in combinations with opioids in cases of overdoses, and it can independently produce symptoms such as tachycardia, nausea, and hypertension.

DEA’s journey toward its regulation in the last few months presents an interesting study in the agency’s frustrations over getting drugs that are contributing to the opioid epidemic off the streets. DEA originally announced its intention to classify it under Schedule I, but physicians and scientists complained to Congressmen that it has legitimate medical value. These members urged DEA to delay the ban for a period of public comment, which is presently under way. DEA placed it on the Drugs of Concern List and is continuing to consider its appropriate classification.

This report relied on articles from Medscape Internal Medicine (12/9/16), Forbes (8/22/16), and the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (12/16).

Parker: Two New Drugs Targeted in Opioid Epidemic Battle

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office. 

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

The fight against the opioid epidemic has targeted two new recreational drugs being used on the streets as substitutes for heroin and fentanyl. Both U-4700 and Kratom have been on DEA’s radar screen, as well as US Poison Control Centers, in the last few months because of their increased use in 2016, their potential for abuse and health dangers.

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

U-4700, a synthetic opioid, is known on the streets as “44,” and “pink” and until recently has been easily available on the internet. It has been reported that it contributed to the death of rock star Prince last summer. It was originally developed for use in the 1970s as an analgesic, but it has many times the strength of morphine.

Last month DEA classified it under Schedule I as presenting an imminent hazard to the public safety.

Kratom, known on the streets as “Ketum,” thang” and other names, is actually an herb that has been used as a recreational drug for several years. Poison Center calls about overdoses have greatly increased this past year. The drug continues to be freely available on the internet and has no age restrictions on purchasing.

However, Kratom has increasingly been found in combinations with opioids in cases of overdoses, and it can independently produce symptoms such as tachycardia, nausea, and hypertension.

DEA’s journey toward its regulation in the last few months presents an interesting study in the agency’s frustrations over getting drugs that are contributing to the opioid epidemic off the streets. DEA originally announced its intention to classify it under Schedule I, but physicians and scientists complained to Congressmen that it has legitimate medical value. These members urged DEA to delay the ban for a period of public comment, which is presently under way. DEA placed it on the Drugs of Concern List and is continuing to consider its appropriate classification.

This report relied on articles from Medscape Internal Medicine (12/9/16), Forbes (8/22/16), and the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (12/16).

DEA Helps Seize 20 Tons of Drugs in ‘Largest Known Seizure of Heroin in Afghanistan’

DEA makes major drug bust in Afghanistan.

DEA makes major drug bust in Afghanistan.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA, with the help of American Special Forces and an Afghan counternarcotics, seized a whopping 20 tons of drugs in what officials have described as “the largest known seizure of heroin in Afghanistan, if not the world.”

“This drug seizure alone prevented not only a massive amount of heroin hitting the streets throughout the world but also denied the Taliban money that would have been used to fund insurgent activities in and around the region,” DEA spokesman Steven Bell told ABC News Thursday. 

The estimated street value was $60 million for 12.5 tons of morphine base, 6.4 tons of heroin base, 134 kilograms of opium, 129 kilograms of crystal heroin and 12 kilograms of hashish, all of which was seized during an Oct. 17 raid that was just made public.

“If that was Pablo Escobar‘s stash, that would be considered a lot of frickin’ heroin,” said one combat veteran of the DEA’s 11-year counternarcotics mission to blunt the country’s heroin trade, referring to the Medellin, Colombia, narcotics kingpin killed two decades ago. “That’s going to make a dent in the European market.”

Other Stories of Interest

FBI’s Fight Against Rising Heroin Use Leads to Arrest of Man Linked to Overdoses

800px-HeroinBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s fight against the rising use of heroin led to the arrest of a man accused of selling the drug to people who overdosed in the greater New Orleans area.

Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Sallet said the FBI investigation was in response to a recent rise in heroin overdoses, the Associated Press reports. 

The New Orleans Violent Crime Task Force led the investigation, which resulted in the arrest of 39-year-old Gary Hagan on Friday on a charge of distributing heroin.

As of Sunday, Hagan remained in jail after a $140,000 bond was set.

Other Stories of Interest

DEA to Reduce Opioid Manufacturing by 25% in 2017 to Curb Abuse, Overdoses

Fentanyl tablets

Fentanyl tablets

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA’s fight against painkiller abuse has prompted the agency to reduce opioid manufacturing by 25% in 2017.

The cutback will affect drugs such as fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone, the Verge reports. 

The good news is, fewer prescriptions are being written for opioids as doctors are becoming more aware of painkiller abuse and its link to heroin use.

The abuse of heroin and opioids are a major reason that 2014 was the deadliest year on record for drug overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 60% of the overdoses involved an opioid.

Opioids also have become the second most popular drug for non-medical use after marijuana.

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DEA Travels to China to Crack Down on Fentanyl That’s Added to Heroin

Fentanyl tablets

Fentanyl tablets

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fentanyl has been used as a powerful additive to heroin, and its use has been killing Americans.

Now the DEA is in China to help the government crack down on the manufacture of fentanyl, Chicago Sun Times reports.

While Mexico is the biggest heroin supplier, China is the leading supplier of fentanyl that is added to heroin to increase it strength, said Dennis Wichern, the special agent in charge of the DEA in Chicago and a five-state region.

“In the last three years we’ve seen an explosion of fentanyl,” Wichern said. “In Chicago, heroin- and fentanyl-related investigations have been priority No. 1.”

The DEA said the Chinese government is cooperating with U.S. drug agents.

“They recognize they have a problem with the synthetic drug explosion, as I call it,” Wichern said.

“The Chinese are all aboard. They’ve outlawed it. We’re working with them,” Wichern said. “We have agents on the ground every day in Beijing and Hong Kong working with the Chinese to stop this.”

Other Stories of Interest