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nationwide Drug Intelligence facility Guam Drug threat Assessment august 2003


Methamphetamine, particularly high purity crystalmethamphetamine, poses a severe illicit drug danger to Guam. Authorities reportthat decision methamphetamine abuse has actually increased top top Guam during the previous decade.Half the the people admitted because that substance abuse therapy in 1997 and also 1998(the most recent data available) to be methamphetamine users. The increase inabuse that the drug is attributed to multiple components including that is readyavailability, low expense (less 보다 heroin or cocaine), and also the duration of itseuphoric effects, which can last 12 hours or more--considerably longer than theeffects connected with countless other illegal drugs. Crystal methamphetamine isoften called negative man"s cocaine due to its fairly low cost and also similareffects.

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Crystal Methamphetamine

Crystal methamphetamine is a colorless, odorless, smokable form ofd-methamphetamine the same, similar thing glass fragments or ice shavings. Its production (aprocess that crystallizing powdered methamphetamine) and distribution typicallyare associated with asian traffickers.

On Guam crystal methamphetamine is known as shabu and also typically is exhilaration ina glass pipe or glass vial. Users warmth the glass pipe or vial with a lighter andinhale the methamphetamine vapors.

The department of mental Health and Substance Abuse (DMHSA) and also lawenforcement public official report that decision methamphetamine abuse is evidentthroughout Guam"s population. Methamphetamine abuse spans all ethnic, cultural,and period groups--some abusers are as young together 12. The the student in qualities 7through 12 who completed a 1999 drug usage survey performed by DMHSA, much more than 7percent reported having used methamphetamine at the very least once in their lifetime.

Crystal methamphetamine is readily accessible on Guam in gram to kilogramquantities due to the fact that of a stable supply of the drug from the Philippines as wellas indigenous Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and South Korea. The medicine EnforcementAdministration (DEA) reports the the price of decision methamphetamine in ~ theretail level--while tho high by mainland standards--decreased during the pastfew years. The price that 1 gram of crystal methamphetamine lessened from a rangeof $600 come $1,000 in budget year (FY) 1999 come $250 come $500 in FY2000 and also FY2001,according to DEA. Oz prices for decision methamphetamine continued to be stable ataround $8,000 from FY1999 with FY2001, and also kilogram prices ranged from$180,000 to $200,000 duringthat period. Purity ranged native 97 come 100 percent.

The definition of the methamphetamine difficulty on Guam is reflected in thenumber of drug-related arrests and the variety of drug samples submitted tolaboratories because that analysis. Methamphetamine-related arrests increased from 47 in1994 to 333 in 1999. In 1999 methamphetamine-related arrests constituted nearly75 percent the the 447 adult drug-related arrests in the territory. That the 558drug samples it is registered to the Guam Police department Crime laboratory by all lawenforcement organ in 1999, 335 to be analyzed as methamphetamine. In addition,the Guam Customs and also Quarantine agency (CQA) seized 7,423.22 grams ofamphetamines in 2001, more than any other medicine that year and boost from3,994 grams seized in 2000.

The Guam CQA conducts more investigations related to amphetamines than to anyother drug form except marijuana. In 2001, the company conducted 12amphetamine-related investigations, which represented 17 percent of allinvestigations conducted. In 2000, the firm conducted 26 amphetamine-relatedinvestigations, which stood for 15 percent of every investigations conducted.

Methamphetamine accounts for the bulk of drug-related commonwealth sentenceson Guam. Every year from FY1997 v FY2001, methamphetamine-related federalsentences constituted over 90 percent of all drug-related federal sentences onGuam, according to U.S. Sentencing board of directors (USSC) data. Of the 188drug-related commonwealth sentences during this period, 178 weremethamphetamine-related. During the same duration methamphetamine-related federalsentences nationwide accounted because that a lot smaller percentage. (See Table1.)

Table 1. Percent of commonwealth Drug-Related sentences forMethamphetamine Violations, Guam and United States, FY1997-FY2001GuamUnited StatesFY1997FY1998FY1999FY2000FY2001

Source: USSC.

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Guam law enforcement authorities believe that the boost indrug abuse and also distribution, most of i beg your pardon is concerned crystalmethamphetamine, has added to rising levels that violent crime. The numberof robberies including the use of a firearm enhanced 228 percent, from 32 in1990 to 105 in 1998--the most recent year for which data are available. SinceJanuary 1993 Guam Police room officers have actually seized end 75 firearms and also 10hand grenades in drug-related incidents. Authorities, v undercover drugpurchases, have actually confiscated added firearms from drug distributors. Lawenforcement authorities think that decision methamphetamine abuse likewise hascontributed dramatically to increases in domestic violence.

Arrestees attached to cable of Violent Crimes

In February 2002 seven people were arrested in link with fiverobberies and also a burglary. One of the arrestees to be charged through attempted murderfor committing a shooting during one of the robberies. In one of the robberiesapproximately 25 weapons were steal from a neighborhood shooting range; the theif laterexchanged many of the guns for crystal methamphetamine. Throughout the execution ofa find warrant in ~ the residence of one of the arrestees, local police officersseized bullets and also 19 packets of crystal methamphetamine through an estimatedstreet worth of $3,000.

Source: Guam Police Department.

There is no evidence to imply that decision methamphetamine isproduced ~ above Guam. The Philippines, i m sorry serves as both a production andtransshipment area, remains the main resource of the crystal methamphetamineavailable ~ above Guam; however, the drug additionally is produced in and transported fromHong Kong, China, Taiwan, and South Korea. DEA reports the the transportationof crystal methamphetamine indigenous these locations is increasing; however, as ofthe 2nd quarter the FY2002, there had not been any kind of recent far-reaching seizuresof decision methamphetamine being transported from this countries. Follow toDEA, eastern organized crime groups are doubt of delivering multikilogramquantities of decision methamphetamine come Guam native Hong Kong, and also smallerquantities indigenous other oriental countries.

Crystal Methamphetamine Seized

On November 30, 2000, agents indigenous the DEA Guam residents Office and the GuamCustoms and also Quarantine agency seized 2.65 kilograms of decision methamphetaminethat had been smuggled via commercial airline from the Philippines. The agentsarrested a Guamanian national and an Italian national following the seizure.

Source: DEA.

The primary means by which crystal methamphetamine is transported come Guam isby couriers or "mules" bodycarrying the drug on commercial airlineflights. The drug often is covering in duct tape and also plastic, smeared v atopical analgesic to evade canine detection, and strapped come the body withgauze. Couriers transfer 1 come 6 kilograms of decision methamphetamine per trip.Other methods through which crystal methamphetamine is transported come Guam includeshipment in U.S. Mail, express organization parcels such together FedEx and UPS,concealment in air and also sea cargo, and smuggling by personal vessels operatingbetween Guam and the commonwealth of the north Mariana archipelago (CNMI).

Direct airline flights from the Philippines to Guam administer distributors onGuam v easy accessibility to decision methamphetamine carriers in the Philippines.In addition, in April 2000 an asian airline expanded organization by opening a newroute native Taipei come Guam, offering a direct connection to suppliers in Taiwan.Crystal methamphetamine transporters also transship the drug via commercialairlines v Saipan, the funding city of the CNMI, en path to markets onGuam, Hawaii, and also other areas in the Pacific, follow to legislation enforcementauthorities in the CNMI.

Figure 1. Methamphetamine transportation from the Philippines,Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and also South Korea to Guam.


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Limited amounts of methamphetamine additionally are transported intoGuam via package distribution services. U.S. Customs business (USCS) public representative onGuam report that the Korean and Japanese criminal teams that rental this methodof transportation are becoming increasingly sophisticated. This criminal groupsship liquid methamphetamine in medication bottles, liquor bottles, and cannedgoods, all of which show up to be factory-sealed. USCS additionally reports that packagessometimes are sent from the Philippines come European nations where they arerepackaged and also sent to Guam so that they carry out not appear to have been transport froma recognized methamphetamine resource country.

Methamphetamine Smuggling

In early on 2000 a joint examination involving Guam and Hong Kong lawenforcement agencies caused the arrests of 3 individuals and theseizure of more than 17 kilograms the methamphetamine that had been sent out to Guamfrom China via a package shipment service.

Source: DEA.

In 1999 two Philippine beauty, beauty pageant contestants to be arrested in twoseparate occurrences for medicine possession at the Guam global Air Terminal.The very first arrestee to be carrying about 1 ounce of decision methamphetamine in thependant on she necklace, and the second had decision methamphetamine residue anddrug paraphernalia in her bag.

Source: Guam CQA.

Mexican criminal groups based in California sometimes transport crystalmethamphetamine to Guam. Follow to the DEA Guam residents Office, in thesecond quarter of FY2002 there to be three far-ranging seizures that crystalmethamphetamine ~ above Guam totaling about 8 kilograms. The crystalmethamphetamine to be transported via commercial airlines from two resources inCalifornia.

Asian criminal groups overcome all level of crystal methamphetaminedistribution on Guam. Wholesale distributors usually market to people withintheir very own ethnic group; however, midlevel and retail distributors will offer tothose exterior their very own ethnic group. Midlevel distributors commonly purchasekilogram amounts of decision methamphetamine; however, castle occasionallypurchase 100- to 500-gram quantities.

Midlevel distributors frequently accept item of value instead of cash inexchange for decision methamphetamine. They administer gram quantities of crystalmethamphetamine to retailers in return for merchandise such as guns, televisionsets, cars, collectible coins, stereos, and computers. In one case, a retaildistributor test to trade a pit bull for decision methamphetamine.

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Crystal methamphetamine is not cut with other substances at any type of level ofdistribution; thus, purity remains very high. The drug typically is distributedin clean straws or little plastic resealable bags called plates. A clear straw,which is heat-sealed in ~ both ends, consists of 1 to 2 grams of crystalmethamphetamine. A bowl is obtainable in 2 sizes: 0.05 gram, which prices $50,or 0.1 gram, which expenses $100.