The Most Commonly Trafficked Drugs in Arizona

Fentanyl and cocaine are commonly trafficked drugs in Arizona.

The Most Commonly Trafficked Drugs in Arizona

Drug trafficking is a serious crime in Arizona, with the state laying down harsh penalties for offenders. In addition to trafficking drugs across state lines, Arizona faces an international drug trafficking problem as a result of drugs being smuggled across the Mexican border into the state, with some drugs, such as fentanyl, being an increased issue.

Drug Trafficking News in Arizona

As reported by Quinn Owen, Mireya Villarreal, and James Scholz of ABC News, fentanyl has become an increasingly major issue within the state. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has seized 860% more fentanyl than in previous years since 2019, with Arizona becoming a major through point for it being smuggled in from Mexico.

ABC News further reported that fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Consequently, the Center for Disease Control has found the majority of current drug overdoses seen in the United States stem from its usage.

Much of the fentanyl being trafficked into Arizona comes through Nogales, smuggled in by the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico.

In addition to the ever-growing fentanyl problem in Arizona, KTAR reported in September 2023 that methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana are a considerable issue as well. In April 2023, The Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking operation was able to close down a drug trafficking ring operating out of Maricopa and Yavapai counties, seizing these drugs specifically. In addition to various drug charges, the offenders were also charged with operation of an illegal enterprise, selling methamphetamine, and selling fentanyl.

Penalties for Trafficking Prevalent Drugs in Arizona

Arizona’s penalties for drug trafficking can be especially harsh, with specific sentencing outcomes dependent upon the type of drugs involved: dangerous, narcotic, prescription, or marijuana.

Fentanyl and cocaine, two of the most highly trafficked drugs in the state, are classified as narcotics. The trafficking of narcotic drugs is a class 2 felony, which can result in incarceration of up to 12.5 years for a first-time offender.

While methamphetamines are classified as dangerous drugs, they come with increased penalties as compared to trafficking other dangerous drugs. While a class 2 felony offense, first-time offenders of methamphetamine trafficking can actually be incarcerated for up to 15 years.

Marijuana trafficking is a class 2 or class 3 felony offense, depending on the weight of marijuana involved, with incarceration of up to 12.5 years for a first-time offender trafficking more than two pounds.



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