Drug Trends

South Florida Drug Trafficking

  • Primary area for money laundering and drug trafficking in the United States
  • Principle thoroughfare for cocaine and heroin into the U.S. and Canada
  • Drugs smuggled into the state by various means
    • Private boats
    • Small planes
    • Cargo freight
    • Interstate highways
  • The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Interdiction Unit battles drug trafficking by the following methods:
    • Highway Traffic Interdiction
    • Airport Enforcement
    • Parcel Inspections


  • Primary drug threat in South Florida
  • Most cocaine originates in South America
  • Recently, Mexican organizations have increased smuggling activities into South Florida


  • Top source of funding for street gangs


  • Top source of funding for street gangs


  • South Florida is #1 U.S. point of entry for South American heroin.
  • Primarily smuggled into U.S. via cruise ships via body carry.
  • Highest concentration of use is Orlando.

MDMA (Ecstasy)

  • These “club drugs” are readily available.
  • Incorrectly thought of as a “safe” drug by it’s users… just a few uses can alter dopamine levels in the brain causing life-long depression symptoms.
  • Often used in conjunction with other drugs


  • Cultivators of active grows can yield $20-30K every few months
  • Popular all over the state—mostly in rural areas.
  • Often very dangerous due to poor electrical wiring needed for lighting.

Pharmaceutical Diversion

  • Hydrocodone, vicodin, oxycodone, xanax and methadone top the list.
  • Sold via the internet and illegal sales from doctors and staff.
  • Users obtain drugs via forged prescriptions and Dr. Shopping.