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2016 Drug Trends in Omaha

The city of Omaha is home to some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies. This city of 446,599 sits almost dead center in the heart of America, making it the perfect destination point for most drug cartels. It’s a city large enough to hide in, and central enough to work as one of the major drug hubs in America. Thanks to its efficient infrastructure, illicit drugs can be distributed to the rest of the country through this carefully laid out ‘pipeline network’.  

Recent developments in the meatpacking industry have seen an influx of immigrants move into the city. In 1999, there were an estimated 4,000 illegal immigrants of Hispanic ethnicity. That figure might have gone higher seeing as there are now close to 55,000 undocumented people living in Nebraska as of 2009. Many of these immigrants were drawn to the city by the development in the growing meatpacking industry. As a result, the Mexican government took action and set up a consulate in Omaha at the beginning of 2001.

How Drugs Move in Omaha

The state of Nebraska has a good transportation network. Omaha has benefitted immensely from the state having multi-national corporations within it. Infrastructure and roads have been built and developed extensively across the city. A good road system makes drug transportation easier and has seen Omaha suffer from illicit drug shipments along Interstate 80 and Highways 81 and 77. Commercial vehicles and private trucks are mostly used for the movement, but sometimes airplanes are used as well. In June 2000, airport security seized an estimated 1kg worth of cocaine in powder form at the Omaha airport from a flight coming from Phoenix, Arizona.

How Drugs Are Distributed In Omaha

Mexican cartels in other cities recruit local Caucasian drug dealers in Omaha to distribute drugs in the city. Some Native Americans from the Omaha reservations also take part in these criminal activities on a regular basis. Selling drugs is good business for street peddlers. One pound of Meth is sold for $7,000-$12,000; marijuana goes for $700 for an ounce; and one kilo of cocaine sells for $18,000 – $24,000.

Mexican criminal groups overshadow and run the distribution networks of meth, marijuana and cocaine in Omaha. These criminal groups can range from 18 people to 100 people.  

Drug Admission Rates into Treatment Facilities

Different drugs had different admission rates to treatment facilities in the years between 1997 and 2001 according to the Treatment Episode Data Set. The results can be seen in the table below:

Teen Drug Abuse

Teenage drug abuse is fast becoming a cause for concern in Omaha. In a survey carried out by Nebraska Teen Drug & Alcohol Rehab in 2013, 9.8% of students said they were sold or given illegal substances at school in the preceding year. Juvenile drug related cases are also increasing, with at least 1 out of every 10 teenager ages 12 to 17 saying they had abused at least one illicit drug in the month prior to the survey being carried out.

Another cause for concern in Omaha is the increasing number of drug related arrests. The arrests have been on the rise since 1999. What local authorities are worried even more about are the number of juveniles who are being convicted of cases of possession with the intent to sell and possession of illicit drugs for use. Drug related crimes by both adults and juveniles have continued to soar in recent years. A case involving a 12 year old child, Jarrell Milton, shocked residents of the city when he was arrested and charged with a drug related murder in 2015.

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