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How Mexican cartels target Hawaii with meth, fentanyl
By Selected News Articles @ 7:04 PM :: 1185 Views :: Law Enforcement, Drugs

Poisons in paradise: How Mexican cartels target Hawaii with meth, fentanyl

by Beth Warren, Louisville Courier Journal, June 27, 2024 (excerpts)

… Locals tout the tangerine sunsets from Oahu's quieter west coast, but homeless tents that dot the ocean's edge hint at a growing problem — poisons in paradise brought in by Mexican cartels.

The dominant super cartels — Sinaloa and its rival, the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación, known as CJNG — run drug pipelines through California and Nevada to flood Oahu with meth and other drugs, including fentanyl, said Victor Vazquez, assistant special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's operations in Hawaii.

Similar to remote Alaska, cartels face less competition in Hawaii, when compared to the mainland, so they can demand a higher price.

"It's alarming," he said. "If it wasn't for the ocean, the drugs would be driven straight to Waikiki," referring to the bustling tourist spot of Honolulu's south shore, lined with high-rise hotels, restaurants and shops….

"It is somehow making its way through TSA operations," Connor said, referring to the federal Transportation Security Administration checkpoints….

Yabuta and DEA agents also have noticed an increase in fentanyl, a manmade opioid that now reigns as the No. 1 drug killing Americans.

A "Blue 30" or fake oxycodone pain pill sells for as low as $2 in Los Angeles, but can fetch $16 or more in Hawaii, exemplifying what attracts the cartel powerhouses to the islands…

Dr. Mark Baker, an Oahu emergency medicine specialist, said he often asks those who survive an overdose when they first used meth. Some admitted they first tried the highly addictive drug as young as age 11.

"Long-term problems from meth are mostly heart failure and psychiatric problems," Baker told The Courier Journal in a recent interview during a brief break from emergency room duties.

"If somebody is homeless, their chances of starting to use meth are pretty high, and if somebody starts to use meth, their chances of becoming homeless are pretty high."

Baker founded endmeth.org and spends much of his free time on a mission to warn Hawaiians about the dangers of meth use….

on average, Native Hawaiian-Pacific Islander men and women are three times less likely to receive treatment for mental health services and medication for mental health issues compared to non-Hispanic white men and women…

read … Sinaloa Cartel and CJNG target Hawaii with fentanyl and meth. (courier-journal.com)

FLASHBACK: Mehau in Majuro – How the US Meth Epidemic Began

 

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