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nationwide Drug Intelligence facility Guam Drug danger Assessment respectable 2003


Methamphetamine, especially high purity crystalmethamphetamine, poses a severe illicit drug hazard to Guam. Authorities reportthat decision methamphetamine abuse has increased top top Guam throughout the previous decade.Half of the individuals admitted because that substance abuse treatment in 1997 and also 1998(the most recent data available) were methamphetamine users. The boost inabuse of the medicine is attributed to multiple determinants including that readyavailability, low price (less 보다 heroin or cocaine), and also the term of itseuphoric effects, which have the right to last 12 hrs or more--considerably longer than theeffects connected with numerous other illegal drugs. Decision methamphetamine isoften called bad man"s cocaine as result of its fairly low cost and also similareffects.

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Crystal Methamphetamine

Crystal methamphetamine is a colorless, odorless, smokable kind ofd-methamphetamine the same, similar thing glass pieces or ice shavings. Its production (aprocess of crystallizing powdered methamphetamine) and also distribution typicallyare associated with eastern traffickers.

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

The room of mental Health and Substance Abuse (DMHSA) and lawenforcement officials report that decision methamphetamine abuse is evidentthroughout Guam"s population. Methamphetamine abuse spans all ethnic, cultural,and period groups--some abusers room as young together 12. The the student in grades 7through 12 who completed a 1999 drug use survey carried out by DMHSA, more than 7percent reported having used methamphetamine at the very least once in your lifetime.

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

The definition of the methamphetamine trouble on Guam is reflect in thenumber that drug-related arrests and also the variety of drug samples submitted tolaboratories for analysis. Methamphetamine-related arrests increased from 47 in1994 to 333 in 1999. In 1999 methamphetamine-related arrests comprised nearly75 percent that the 447 adult drug-related arrests in the territory. That the 558drug samples submitted to the Guam Police room Crime laboratory by every lawenforcement organ in 1999, 335 to be analyzed together methamphetamine. In addition,the Guam Customs and also Quarantine firm (CQA) seized 7,423.22 grams ofamphetamines in 2001, much more than any other medicine that year and boost from3,994 grams seized in 2000.

The Guam CQA conducts much more investigations regarded amphetamines than to anyother drug kind except marijuana. In 2001, the agency conducted 12amphetamine-related investigations, which represented 17 percent of allinvestigations conducted. In 2000, the company conducted 26 amphetamine-relatedinvestigations, which represented 15 percent of all investigations conducted.

Methamphetamine accounts because that the bulk of drug-related federal sentenceson Guam. Yearly from FY1997 through FY2001, methamphetamine-related federalsentences constituted over 90 percent of every drug-related commonwealth sentences onGuam, follow to U.S. Sentencing commission (USSC) data. The the 188drug-related federal sentences during this period, 178 weremethamphetamine-related. During the same period methamphetamine-related federalsentences nationwide accounted for a much smaller percentage. (See Table1.)

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

Source: USSC.

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Guam law enforcement authorities think that the rise indrug abuse and distribution, most of which is regarded crystalmethamphetamine, has contributed to climbing levels the violent crime. The numberof robberies entailing the use of a firearm increased 228 percent, indigenous 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 10hand grenades in drug-related incidents. Authorities, with undercover drugpurchases, have actually confiscated extr firearms from drug distributors. Lawenforcement authorities think that decision methamphetamine abuse additionally hascontributed dramatically to increases in residential violence.

Arrestees attached to wire of Violent Crimes

In February 2002 seven individuals were arrested in connection with fiverobberies and also a burglary. Among the arrestees was charged through attempted murderfor committing a shooting throughout one of the robberies. In among the robberiesapproximately 25 firearms were stolen from a local shooting range; the theif laterexchanged countless of the firearms for crystal methamphetamine. During the execution ofa find warrant in ~ the residence of one of the arrestees, regional police officersseized bullets and also 19 packets of decision methamphetamine with an estimatedstreet worth of $3,000.

Source: Guam Police Department.

There is no proof to imply that decision methamphetamine isproduced ~ above Guam. The Philippines, i m sorry serves together both a manufacturing andtransshipment area, stays the main source of the decision methamphetamineavailable top top Guam; however, the drug also is created in and also transported fromHong Kong, China, Taiwan, and also South Korea. DEA reports the the transportationof crystal methamphetamine native these locations is increasing; however, together ofthe second quarter the FY2002, there had not been any type of recent far-ranging seizuresof decision methamphetamine gift transported from these countries. According toDEA, eastern organized crime teams are doubt of transporting multikilogramquantities of decision methamphetamine to Guam from Hong Kong, and also smallerquantities indigenous other oriental countries.

Crystal Methamphetamine Seized

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

Source: DEA.

The primary means by which decision methamphetamine is transported come Guam isby couriers or "mules" bodycarrying the drug on advertising airlineflights. The drug frequently is wrapped in duct tape and also plastic, smeared through atopical analgesic to evade canine detection, and strapped come the body withgauze. Couriers move 1 to 6 kilograms of decision methamphetamine every trip.Other methods by which crystal methamphetamine is transported come Guam includeshipment in U.S. Mail, express business parcels such as FedEx and UPS,concealment in air and also sea cargo, and smuggling by private vessels operatingbetween Guam and also the commonwealth of the north Mariana islands (CNMI).

Direct airline flights indigenous the Philippines come Guam provide distributors onGuam through easy accessibility to crystal methamphetamine companies in the Philippines.In addition, in April 2000 an oriental airline expanded business by opened a newroute from Taipei to Guam, providing a direct link to providers in Taiwan.Crystal methamphetamine transporters also transship the medicine via commercialairlines v Saipan, the resources city the the CNMI, en route to industries onGuam, Hawaii, and also other locations in the Pacific, according to regulation enforcementauthorities in the CNMI.

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


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Limited amounts of methamphetamine additionally are transported intoGuam via package shipment services. U.S. Customs organization (USCS) public representative onGuam report the the Korean and also Japanese criminal teams that employ this methodof transportation are coming to be increasingly sophisticated. These criminal groupsship liquid methamphetamine in medicine bottles, liquor bottles, and also cannedgoods, every one of which show up to it is in factory-sealed. USCS likewise reports that packagessometimes are sent from the Philippines to European nations where castle arerepackaged and also sent to Guam so the they do not show up to have been shipped froma well-known 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 also theseizure of an ext than 17 kilograms of methamphetamine that had been sent to Guamfrom China via a package delivery service.

Source: DEA.

In 1999 2 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 around 1 oz of decision methamphetamine in thependant on she necklace, and also the 2nd had decision methamphetamine residue anddrug paraphernalia in she bag.

Source: Guam CQA.

Mexican criminal teams based in California periodically transport crystalmethamphetamine come Guam. Follow to the DEA Guam resides Office, in thesecond 4 minutes 1 of FY2002 there to be three far-reaching seizures of crystalmethamphetamine top top Guam totaling about 8 kilograms. The crystalmethamphetamine to be transported via commercial airline from two sources inCalifornia.

Asian criminal groups conquer all levels of decision methamphetaminedistribution ~ above Guam. Everyone distributors usually market to individuals withintheir very own ethnic group; however, midlevel and also retail distributors will offer tothose exterior their very own ethnic group. Midlevel distributors commonly purchasekilogram amounts of decision methamphetamine; however, lock occasionallypurchase 100- to 500-gram quantities.

Midlevel distributors commonly accept items of value rather of cash inexchange for decision methamphetamine. They administer gram amounts of crystalmethamphetamine to retailers in return for merchandise such together guns, televisionsets, cars, collectible coins, stereos, and computers. In one case, a retaildistributor attempted to profession a pit bull for decision methamphetamine.

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Crystal methamphetamine is not cut with other substances at any kind of level ofdistribution; thus, purity remains an extremely high. The drug frequently is distributedin clear straws or tiny plastic resealable bags referred to as plates. A clear straw,which is heat-sealed at both ends, has 1 to 2 grams of crystalmethamphetamine. A plate is easily accessible in two sizes: 0.05 gram, which costs $50,or 0.1 gram, which prices $100.