Methamphetamine trafficking into Maine from outside of the United States is quickly replacing opioids as one of the biggest threats in the state’s drug crisis, especially in the northernmost and southernmost counties.
The overall drug problem remains a “significant concern,” with meth, heroin and controlled prescriptions named as some of the most prevalent threats, according to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency’s 2018 annual report released in mid-August.
While out-of-state distributors were once at the forefront of the Maine drug scene, trafficking from beyond the U.S. border, particularly in Mexico, is becoming much more common.
Outside drug trafficking growing in some counties
In fact, methamphetamine trafficking has become one of the top concerns for some northern and southern Maine counties, according to the MDEA Director Roy McKinney.
As meth production decreases in Maine, the state is seeing increased drug trafficking from suppliers outside of the United States, McKinney said.
“Our drugs are coming from outside the state of Maine,” he said. “There is a conscious effort for the Mexican drug cartel to move more meth to New England.”
The agency’s report further cited, “Dominican criminal drug trafficking” as the primary mid-level distributors of heroin, cocaine and fentanyl, and listed Mexican organized drug and crime cartels as major drug suppliers.
“What is happening in Mexico is one lab might make several tons [of meth] in one day. The sheer amount is incredible … the amount that is coming over the border [or between points of entry] has increased significantly in recent years,” McKinney said.