Publication Date: august 2002

Document ID: 2002-L0424-005

Archived on: July 1, 2009. This paper may contain date information. That remains obtainable to provide accessibility to historic materials.

You are watching: How much is an ounce of crystal meth

This details bulletin offers an upgrade on the accessibility of, need for, production, transportation, and also distribution of decision methamphetamine.

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List the Tables

Table 1. Approximated U.S. Methamphetamine Prices, Powdered and also Crystal, June 2002
Cover photo Courtesy of DEA Gulf shore HIDTA.


High purity crystal methamphetamine, generally known together ice or glass, is becoming increasingly available in the united States. Asian criminal teams that traditionally dispersed crystal methamphetamine in Hawaii and also on the West coast are currently distributing the medicine in other areas of the nation as well. Moreover, Mexican medicine trafficking institutions (DTOs) and criminal teams are ending up being increasingly connected in the production and also distribution of decision methamphetamine, according to the medicine Enforcement administration (DEA) and also many state and also local legislation enforcement officials.


Crystal methamphetamine is a colorless, odorless form of d-methamphetamine, a powerful stimulant. It resembles glass fragments or shiny blue-white "rocks" of miscellaneous sizes. Street names because that the drug include batu, crystal, glass, hiropon, ice, shabu, shards, Tina, ventana, and also vidrio. Decision methamphetamine and also powdered methamphetamine both save the same energetic chemical compound; however, decision methamphetamine frequently has a greater purity level and may create longer-lasting, an ext intense physiological effects. In little doses crystal methamphetamine have the right to heighten alertness, stimulate physics activity, and also suppress appetite. Chronic abuse can cause psychotic and violent habits characterized by extreme paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and out-of-control rages.

Crystal methamphetamine regularly is contrasted to cracked cocaine. The medicine produce comparable physiological effects, are very addictive, and also typically space smoked making use of a glass pipe. Decision methamphetamine additionally may it is in injected. Automatically after smoking or injecting crystal methamphetamine, abusers endure a brief, intense sensation, or rush, that is adhered to by a high that might last 12 hrs or more. Cracked cocaine abusers endure the same impacts for just 20 to 30 minutes. Withdrawal symptoms associated with both decision methamphetamine and also crack cocaine incorporate drug cravings, paranoia, and also depression.

Crystal methamphetamine is created using a "washing" method that requires dissolving powdered d-methamphetamine in a solvent such together acetone or denatured alcohol. The mixture is allowed to evaporate, causing crystals to form around the sheet of the container in which the is being mixed. Large crystals type when the equipment evaporates in ~ room temperature, and little crystals type when the solution evaporates in a cold setting such together a frozen fridge or freezer. The crystals climate are built up and dried, commonly on a file towel. The purity the the finished product varies depending upon the lot of washing and also the laboratory operator"s level the experience.

danger of Explosion

Law enforcement personnel have to exercise extreme caution when opening refrigerators and also freezers discovered at decision methamphetamine manufacturing sites. The vapors native the solvents supplied to transform powdered methamphetamine to crystal methamphetamine are exceptionally volatile and also can accumulate in a frozen fridge or freezer during the evaporation process. These vapors may explode when the appliance"s within light activates as the door is opened. Regulation enforcement personnel should instantly unplug every refrigerators and also freezers discovered at decision methamphetamine laboratories to avoid this risk.

Source: central Valley California High Intensity drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).

Crystal methamphetamine production and also distribution traditionally have been linked with oriental criminal groups. These teams either develop the medicine in the United claims or smuggle it right into the country from activities sites located in countries such together China, the Philippines, south Korea, and Taiwan. Due to the fact that the mid-1990s mexico DTOs and criminal teams have gave powdered methamphetamine to asian criminal teams in Hawaii and also on the West shore for counter to decision methamphetamine. Mexican DTOs and criminal groups now produce crystal methamphetamine in Mexico, California, and southwestern states and also use their created transportation networks to distribute the drug throughout the joined States.

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Crystal methamphetamine was once available only in asian American communitiesin Hawaii and to a lesser extent on the West Coast; however, the medicine is nowavailable in various other communities and also areas the the unified States. Regulation enforcementofficials attribute the increasing availability of crystal methamphetamine tothe involvement of mexican DTOs and criminal teams in the manufacturing anddistribution the the drug, as well as to increasing asian criminal group activityin other areas of the country. Further, DEA reports that Mexican DTOs andcriminal groups are producing and also selling decision methamphetamine forsignificantly less than rival eastern criminal groups.

The purity of decision methamphetamine generally is much greater than powdered methamphetamine, and also crystal methamphetamine typically regulates a greater price.Nationwide, the price of 1-pound amounts of crystal methamphetamine rangesfrom $10,000 to $30,000, contrasted with $3,500 to $20,000 because that powderedmethamphetamine. The DEA Southwest laboratory reports that the purity ofpowdered methamphetamine samples indigenous Arizona, California, and Nevada averages35 percent; however, that is not uncommon for the purity of crystalmethamphetamine samples to exceed 90 percent.

Table 1. Approximated U.S.Methamphetamine Prices, Powdered and also Crystal, June 2002QuantityPowderedCrystalPoundOunceGram

Source: DEA.

Arizona. Follow to the Peoria Police Department, the predominant drugproblem in that is jurisdiction is decision methamphetamine, known there as shards.Crystal methamphetamine sell for approximately $8,000 per lb in the Phoenixarea, which includes the city of Peoria. The DEA Phoenix division reports thatin its jurisdiction decision methamphetamine, known as glass in Phoenix,typically is developed by independent Caucasian producer who operate small-scalelaboratories the are qualified of developing 1 ounce or much less of the medicine perproduction cycle.

California. During the first quarter the FY2002, legislation enforcementauthorities dismantled 2 separate institutions distributing multipoundquantities of methamphetamine and also crystal methamphetamine in the san FranciscoBay Area. Most of the methamphetamine seized in those cases exceeded 95percent purity. In a separate occurrence the san Francisco city TaskForce, with the aid of the san Francisco Police Department, seizedapproximately 3 pounds of decision methamphetamine v a purity of 98 percent.According come the DEA Western regional Laboratory, the cleanliness and purity ofthe methamphetamine seized had not been checked out for part time. The is unknownwhether the methamphetamine to be domestic- or foreign-produced, return severaltraffickers in the just Area show up to have actually mastered the procedure of washingmethamphetamine to produce high purity decision methamphetamine. According toDEA, 1 pound of crystal methamphetamine (known in that area as ice) sold for$13,500 come $18,000 in the san Francisco area in the 2nd quarter the FY2002.

MSM used as a cut Agent

MSM, the common commercial surname for the chemistry methylsulfonylmethane, alsois recognized as methylsulfone and also dimethylsulfone (DMSO2).

As a cutting agent because that methamphetamine, MSM offers many advantages. Pure MSMis one odorless, white, crystalline powder the is highly soluble and mixesreadily with many substances without leaving a residue. MSM normally is added tomethamphetamine throughout the final stages that production. Methamphetamine cut withMSM often shows up to be uncut since after the chemistry are merged and themixture cools, the MSM recrystallizes, resembling pure methamphetamine.

MSM distributors claim the substance is beneficial as a pain reliever and foranimal and also human connective organization regeneration. Other alleged services for bothanimals and humans include the palliation of inhalant allergen reactions; relieffrom the symptom of lung dysfunction; relief of leg and ago cramps, musclespasms, and general soreness; improved overall health; and also elevated mood. MSM isreadily obtainable in powder and tablet forms in ~ livestock feed and also equine tackstores, "super" pet food chains, warehouse stores, human nutritioncenters, and upscale grocery stores. MSM is easily accessible through mail order equineand veterinary it is provided catalogs and on numerous Internet sites.

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According to the DEA Oakland resides Office, the majority of methamphetamineinvestigations in its jurisdiction involve decision methamphetamine. In thesecond 4 minutes 1 of FY2002, there to be two big crystal methamphetamine seizuresin the Oakland area. In one incident DEA agents seized about 3 pounds ofcrystal methamphetamine and also 1 lb of MSM, which to be being offered as a cuttingagent. In a separate incident the Oakland police seized about 2 poundsof decision methamphetamine at a Hayward home. In that incident an estimated$50,000 precious of the medicine was dispersed on a weekly basis. According to lawenforcement sources in southerly Alameda County, Filipino and other AsianAmerican traffickers are associated in the production and sale of crystalmethamphetamine in your jurisdictions.

According to the main Valley HIDTA, crystal methamphetamine production andabuse show up to be boosting in the middle valley. Filipino and Hawaiian drugtraffickers room the primary groups responsible because that methamphetamine production inthe main Valley (San Joaquin) region. Follow to the central Valley HIDTA,in November 2001 a total of 7.5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine was seized inthe area about Hanford in queens County. Throughout 2001 the central Valley HIDTAtask pressures seized three crystal methamphetamine laboratories in the southernvalley. In 2001 crystal methamphetamine marketed for $12,000 to $15,000 every pound.According to the HIDTA, together a marketing ploy food coloring occasionally is addedduring the crystallization process, transforming the methamphetamine black;"black ice" is supposedly more potent.

The DEA Los Angeles department reports that decision methamphetamine is readilyavailable in the Los Angeles area, and availability is concentratedpredominately in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Hispanic criminal groupsand gangs continue to emerge as the dominant crystal methamphetaminedistributors in the jurisdiction. These teams sell high purity crystalmethamphetamine for considerably less than rival asian groups. DEA reports thatthe Los Angeles area is the source of supply because that the bulk of crystalmethamphetamine dispersed in Hawaii. On October 11, 2001, agents native the DEALos Angeles department seized 7 pounds of crystal methamphetamine in van Nuys. Thedrugs were concealed in seven 1-pound bags in a water cooler. On December 4,2001, 499 grams to be seized in south Gate. On august 8, 2002, DEA announced thatmore 보다 57 individuals in southern California to be arrested in connection witha 2-year investigation involving the production and distribution ofmethamphetamine, circulation of MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, knownas ecstasy), and drug money laundering. During the course of the investigation,over 33 pounds of methamphetamine, 8 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, 196gallons of methamphetamine oil, and 100 pounds the pseudo-ephedrine to be seized,as to be weapons, currency, vehicles, and also 30,000 MDMA tablets.

The Santa Ana Police room reports the Mexican criminal groups dominatethe methamphetamine market in the city that Santa Ana and also sell both powdered andcrystal methamphetamine. In this area high purity decision methamphetamine, knownas ice, sells for $10,000 come $13,000 per pound. Tool purity crystalmethamphetamine, well-known as glass, sells because that $5,000 to $8,000 every pound and also isreported to be the many popular kind of methamphetamine spread in the city;it is smuggled right into the area native Mexico.

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Colorado. DEA and numerous state and local task forces and policedepartments report that the ease of access of decision methamphetamine (known asglass) has increased transparent Colorado. Decision methamphetamine selling forapproximately 40 percent much more than powdered methamphetamine in Colorado, and also ithas become the kind of methamphetamine that is most renowned with abusers.

Florida. Follow to the DEA Miami Division, on November 27, 2001,agents seized 1 kilogram of crystal methamphetamine that was delivered to aresidence through a package delivery service. The agents arrested 3 individualsand seized 28 MDMA tablets and 8 vials the GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate). Accordingto DEA, part members of the homosexual community in fort Lauderdale usage crystalmethamphetamine extensively.

Georgia. Follow to the DEA Atlanta Division, there has been a largeincrease in the supply of crystal methamphetamine easily accessible in Atlanta. Clubs indowntown Atlanta space a focal allude for the abuse of crystal methamphetamine. Onesample of crystal methamphetamine experiment 99.7 percent pure. In February 2002 theOklahoma Highway Patrol seized 42 pounds of methamphetamine destined forAtlanta. One pound of the seized methamphetamine to be tested and also found to becrystal methamphetamine.

Hawaii. In Hawaii, unlike other states, decision methamphetamine is thedrug of selection and is much more commonly abused 보다 powdered methamphetamine.Crystal methamphetamine switch laboratories are much more prevalent thanproduction laboratories. Mexican criminal teams have replaced timeless Asiancriminal teams as the primary transporters and also wholesale distributors ofcrystal methamphetamine in Hawaii. In the beforehand 1990s regulation enforcementauthorities in Hawaii dismantled several big Asian, mainly Korean, criminalgroups that overcame the transportation of crystal methamphetamine right into Hawaiifrom Asia. Asian criminal groups continue to transport and distribute somecrystal methamphetamine in Hawaii, but to a lesser extent.

Currently most of the crystal methamphetamine accessible in Hawaii istransported into the state currently in decision form. Mexico criminal groupstransport decision methamphetamine indigenous the West Coast, mostly California, aswell together from Mexico. Come a lesser extent, the is transported from asian sourcesvia couriers on advertisement aircraft. Decision methamphetamine also is produced inHawaii. Powdered methamphetamine is processed v "conversion" orwash laboratories where it is treated through acetone to create crystalmethamphetamine. These laboratories are uncovered predominantly ~ above the island ofOahu, however some have actually been seized on the outer islands. According to 2000 datafrom operation Jetway--a nationwide interdiction routine that operates atairports, train stations, bus stations, package delivery facilities, postoffices, and airport hotels and also motels--in Hawaii there were eight seizures ofcrystal methamphetamine totaling slightly much more than 11 kilograms. According tothe Hawaii HIDTA Airport task Force, more than 21 kilograms of crystalmethamphetamine were seized in ~ the Honolulu global Airport indigenous July 1999through June 2000. Follow to DEA, decision methamphetamine offered for $30,000 inthe first quarter the FY2002, return inflated price on the island of Hawaiireached $45,000 come $70,000 every pound.

Illinois. The Chicago HIDTA reports that eastern criminal groups nowdistribute crystal methamphetamine in the Chicago area. Crystal methamphetamineis acquired from resources of supply in Asia and also smuggled by couriers aboardcommercial airlines into the area. Oriental criminal groups also obtain powderedmethamphetamine indigenous criminal teams composed of mexican nationals located onthe West Coast, transform the powder into crystal methamphetamine, and also thendistribute that in the Chicago area.

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Kansas. The DEA Kansas City ar Office reports that Mexicannationals are connected in the circulation of decision methamphetamine in thearea. Law enforcement investigations have actually revealed ties come methamphetaminelaboratories activate by mexico nationals in Phoenix, Arizona, and also Riverside,California. According to DEA, crystal methamphetamine sells because that $18,000 perpound in the Kansas City area.

Mississippi. According to the DEA new Orleans Division, newly obtainedinformation shows that crystal methamphetamine is being sold in Hinds,Copiah, and Forrest Counties in Mississippi. Decision methamphetamine onlyrecently has come to be common in Mississippi. It most likely is being transported fromsources in California, Texas, and also Tennessee by personal vehicle.

An oz of crystal methamphetamine with a purity level of 97 percent wasseized in Jackson. The Mississippi bureau of narcotics reported that the crystalmethamphetamine (known there as ice) had been developed in California or Texas.The Mississippi office of Narcotics also has encountered decision methamphetaminein northeastern Mississippi.

Missouri. Increasingly, reports have been received that crystalmethamphetamine is being dispersed in Kansas City (MO). The MetroMethamphetamine medicine Task pressure in Kansas City reported that a 16-year-oldCaucasian woman was found unconscious in a Kansas City motel room indigenous anoverdose of crystal methamphetamine.

Nebraska. Follow to the Omaha Police Department and also the WesternIntelligence Narcotics team (WING) medicine Task pressure in Scottsbluff, in July 2002two seizures of crystal methamphetamine were made in Omaha and also Hemingford. Inone the the seizures the crystal methamphetamine, which resembled shards ofglass, had been mailed from Phoenix, Arizona. In Nebraska crystalmethamphetamine is known as ice.

Nevada. The DEA ras Vegas ar Office reports that crystalmethamphetamine is obtainable in the jurisdiction in limited quantities, butdemand because that the medicine is increasing. Mexican criminal teams transport the crystalmethamphetamine from southerly California, mainly Los Angeles, right into Nevada.These criminal groups additionally distribute the drug in the state. In las Vegascrystal methamphetamine sells for $10,000 come $12,000 per pound and also $1,000 to$1,500 every ounce.

New Mexico. According to the FY2003 Southwest Border HIDTA report, someinternational DTOs operation in brand-new Mexico have production cell in Mexico thatproduce methamphetamine; however, the capabilities of this laboratories havenot been plainly reported. The HIDTA likewise reports that a six-member criminalgroup in new Mexico obtains decision methamphetamine native California anddistributes that in gram quantities. The Lea County medicine Task pressure in Hobbs, NewMexico, reports that officers have encountered decision methamphetamine from LosAngeles, California, in its jurisdiction. One lb of decision methamphetaminein Lea ar sells because that $16,000--more than double the price for powderedmethamphetamine. However, in Lincoln County, narcotics police officers report thatcrystal methamphetamine (locally recognized as ice) is frequently easily accessible for saleat virtually the same price as powdered methamphetamine.

South Dakota. The southern Dakota department of Criminal examination DrugTask force reports that Mexican criminal groups are currently distributing crystalmethamphetamine in the state. Previously, methamphetamine was available only inits powdered kind and was provided by mexican criminal groups and localindependent producers.

According come the southern Dakota division of Criminal investigation Drug TaskForce, crystal methamphetamine remains obtainable in southern Dakota. A seizure ofcrystal methamphetamine to be made in quick City in October 2001. Mexicannationals residing in quick City were transporting the crystal methamphetaminefrom Salt Lake City, Utah, to fast City, where it to be being offered for $300 pereight sphere (one-eighth ounce).

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Texas. Follow to the DEA Houston Division, crystal methamphetamine isbeing offered in nightclubs in Houston and also is abused by Asians and AfricanAmericans. During a auto stop in Montgomery county (north the Houston) on May13, 2002, officers from the Montgomery ar Special investigation Unit and theTexas room of Public safety and security Narcotics division seized 122.9 grams ofcrystal methamphetamine--one-half of i beg your pardon was concealed in a hollowed-outcandle. The individuals affiliated were Caucasian males in their twenties.Officers indigenous the Austin Police Department additionally report that the accessibility ofcrystal methamphetamine has actually recently increased in their jurisdiction, and also theybelieve the drug is being created locally. In July 2002 the Austin PoliceDepartment seized a crystal methamphetamine laboratory that was being operatedby an 18 year old.

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Wisconsin. The Douglas County task Force an initial identified theavailability of crystal methamphetamine in January 2002. Mexican and Asiancriminal groups are the major sources of supply for the drug, i beg your pardon is nowreadily accessible in the area. In this area decision methamphetamine frequently issold in little retail quantities; however, one-half oz to 1-ounce quantitieshave been seized. The drug usually sells for twice the price that powderedmethamphetamine.