Border To Border Drugs

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Drug distribution rings operate a sophisticated export business along the freeways that stretch from Southern California and Arizona up to the Canadian border. Drugs are smuggled across the border and distributed up and down the West Coast through a broad array of subcontractors, unwitting accomplices and cartel deputies within our communities.

This is an industry that reaches every city and every small town in every state of the West.

In a collaborative series, Fronteras: The Changing America Desk and the Northwest News Network explore these distribution networks, the smuggling strategies and trends, and the devastating impact of America's insatiable appetite for illegal substances.


During a recent five-year period, three times more methampehtamine was seized at San Diego ports of entry than all other U.S.-Mexico border crossings combined. And meth seizures this year are on track to far surpass 2012.
For drug smugglers, getting a truckload of illegal narcotics past border authorities means potentially huge profits. But they're often up against two levels of security: that of U.S. law enforcement, and that of private export and shipping companies.
In part three of the Border To Border Drugs series, Northwest News Network correspondent Austin Jenkins unravels a drug distribution ring that stretched from Arizona to Washington state.
In the final installment of our series, Border To Border Drugs, we look at the new consumers of heroin in the Pacific Northwest.