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

Learn More...


  • 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


  • 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.

Grey Death

  • A mixture of opioids that can include Heroin, U-47700, Fentanyl and Fentanyl Analogs, is a new drug that has made its way to South Florida. The drug has a similar appearance to concrete mix and can be injected, snorted or smoked.


  • A synthetic opiod. Due to the potency level, only 2 to 3 milligrams of fentanyl can lead to respiratory depression, coma, and death. The opioid has a quick onset with a potency 50 times more potent than street level heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.


A synthetic opioid, carfentanil is approximately 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl.

Carfentanil or carfentanyl (2-hydroxypropane-1, 2, 3-tricarboxylic acid; methyl 1-(2-phenylethyl)-4-(N-propanoylanilino) piperidine-4-carboxylateor) is a Scheduled II synthetic opioid analgesic fentanyl that is considered to be the most potent commercially used opioid and one of the most potent opiates. The drug, marketed under the trade name Wildnil, is typically only used as an anesthetic for large animals. According to the National Center for Biotechnology, carfentanil is approximately 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times stronger than fentanyl. Carfentanil is used as a tranquilizing agent for elephants and other large mammals. The lethal dose range for carfentanil in humans is unknown; however, carfentanil is approximately 100 times more potent than fentanyl, which can be lethal at the 2-milligram range (photograph), depending on route of administration and other factors.