Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mexicans bring black-tar heroin to rural America

"Farm boys" from an isolated Mexican county have brought cheap black-tar heroin to "vast stretches of America's heartland . . . cities and small towns across the United States, often creating demand for heroin where there was little or none," Sam Quinones reports for the Los Angeles Times.

"The dealers have been especially successful in parts of Appalachia and the Rust Belt with high rates of addiction to OxyContin, Percocet and other prescription painkillers. They market their heroin as a cheap, potent alternative to pills," Quinones writes. They "drove black tar's eastward expansion, moving into Columbus and from there to parts of rural Ohio and Pennsylvania," where powdered heroin, usually from Colombia, is relatively rare. "Their product began to appear in communities where users weren't prepared for its potency," and competitionamong the dealer groups cut prices to $12.50 a dose.

The groups "have no all-powerful leader and rarely use guns, according to narcotics investigators and imprisoned former dealers," Quinones relays. "Their acumen and energy are a major reason why Mexican heroin has become more pervasive in this country." His report will be in three parts; as a teaser for tomorrow's he wries that one of the places plagued is "a small town in West Virginia, 160 miles south of Columbus, where before the fall of 2007, few people had ever heard of black-tar heroin." (Read more)

1 comment:

Jon said...

We can thank Washington, DC for this. They're purposefully destabilizing rural areas for future "economic-based" land grabs. The federal government has NEVER cared about the rust belt nor Appalachia and it's obvious because many of these parts of this nation (especially Appalachia) have been poor for decades.