In a report released by the Attorney General of the US State of California, researchers stated that organized crime groups were committing money laundering, cyber crimes, human trafficking, and drugs and arms trafficking through the border between San Diego and Mexico.
According to the report, approximately 70 percent of all the methamphetamine that is shipped to the United States passed through San Diego.
(How much does meth cost?)
Between 2010 and 2012, at least 1,300 people were identified by security officials as being trafficked through San Diego. An up to 250,000 weapons are smuggled across the border between the two countries each year.
(Cost of an AK-47 and guns on the black market.)
Source: Roxana Popescu, “State focusing on cross-border trafficking and financial crime,” UT San Diego, March 18, 2014.
The Venezuelan Association of Cosmetic Surgeons estimates that 2,000 women in the country receive butt injections on the black market each month. According to an interview with a doctor who provides the service, the cost to receive a black market butt injection in Venezuela is about $300.
In 2013, there were 17 deaths in Venezuela related to illegal butt injections.
Illegal butt injections is also occurring in the United States, as deaths from the black market injections have been reported in the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New York and Pennsylvania. The cost to get a butt injection in the United States is between $1,500 to $2,000.
Source: Alex Greig, “Meet the Venezuelan doctor who performs illegal, cut-rate injections on women who desperately want bigger butts,” Daily Mail, March 15, 2014.
Statistics released by the Medical Examiner showed that 195 people died in 2013 from overdosing on heroin in the Cleveland metropolitan area of Ohio. The number of heroin deaths in 2013 was a record high. In 2012, the number of reported heroin deaths was 161. Back in 2007, the number of heroin deaths in the Cleveland area was 40.
(How much does heroin cost?)
The rise in heroin deaths in Cleveland follows the trend across the United States. In 2007, there were 373,000 heroin abusers across the country. By 2012, the number of people who were using heroin in the United States climbed to 669,000.
Along with the rise in users, the number of heroin overdose deaths increased by 45 percent between 2006 and 2010.
Source: Alex Rogers, “Heroin Deaths Spike in Cleveland Area,” TIme, March 14, 2014.
According to the National Shoplifting Prevention Coalition, over $13 Billion worth of goods and merchandise is stolen from stores in the United States each year. This breaksdown to over $35 Million worth of goods shoplifted each day. Due to the loss of merchandise, impact to the stores business, and rising cost, shoplifting affects the typical American family about $400 a year. In the State of Illinois, up to $1.5 Billion worth of items is stolen each year.
Criminal justice officials and security professionals estimate that 3 percent of all shoplifting is done by organized crime groups or professionals shoplifters who steal the goods for resale and profit.
Source: “$7 million shoplifting case shines light on crime’s bottom line,” ABC 7 Chicago, March 6, 2014.
According to agents with the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation in Orlando, Florida, a woman told authorities that she was making up to $80,000 a month while working as a high class escort. Her friend, who was also working for the escort agency, told police that she made $500,000 a year, or about $42,000 a month.
Investigators stated that between 15 to 20 women were working for this group of illegal prostitution services. The illegal agency would charge customers $300 to $400 for one hour, with a five hour dinner date costing between $1,500 to $1,800.
(More earnings from the black market.)
Source: Amy Pavuk, “Arrest sheds light on ‘upscale’ escort business,” Orlando Sentinel, March 5, 2014.
According to a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, most people in the United States who are addicted to prescription drugs receive the drugs from doctors or friends and relatives for free and not from drug dealers.
Over 25 percent of people who abused painkillers daily said that they had received the pills from one or more physicians, a practice commonly called “doctor shopping.” Roughly the same amount of people reported that they received painkillers from their friends and family, and got the drugs for free.
15 percent of frequent prescription drug abusers stated that they bought the pills on the black market.
(Price of drugs and other items on the black market.)
Around 12 million people in the United States used a prescription opioid painkiller such as OxyContin or Vicodin each year.
Source: Lindsey Tanner, “Friends common source of abused prescription meds,” Associated Press, March 3, 2014.
In 2010, police in the US State of South Dakato arrested 6 people for prostitution charges.
In 2013, the number of prostitution arrests made by the Sioux Falls Police Department increased to 99. Despite a new focus on tackling sex trafficking and focusing on pimps and customers, police stated that there were more arrests for prostitution than for pimping in 2013.
(How much money a pimp makes from one trafficked girl?)
Source: Associated Press, “Shift in policing in South Dakota turns up heat on sex trade,” Rapid City Journal, March 2, 2014.
American broadcaster NBC reported that it shut down 45,000 illegally posted video clips or online pirate streams of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
Company officials state that 20,000 video clips of the competition was prevented from appearing on YouTube. This was done through filtering technology of the video, as well as flagging the video and manually pulling it down after its been posted.
An additional 20,000 videos was prevented from appearing on other video websites such as Dailymotion and VK.com.
The remaining 5,000 video was internet streaming sties that were providing coverage of the Winter Games.
According to officials, up to 98 percent of the people viewing the Olympics online were using legal channels.
NBC paid $775 Million for the exclusive American television and streaming rights of the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Source: Associated Press, “NBC Says Thousands of Illegal Video Stopped,” ABC News, February 27, 2014.
Paleontologists have reported that there is an active black market where traffickers provide customers dinosaur fossils for sale. The customers, who are usually in the high-income bracket, purchase dinosaur fossils as a collectable items or as artwork.
In certain countries where dinosaur fossils are known to be buried, the buying and selling of the remains is illegal. However, in certain countries, such as the United States allows for a commercial market in fossils. Yet, in the United States, it is illegal to take dinosaur fossils from public lands and then sell them to the public.
In a case from 2012, an American man pleaded guilty for smuggling fossils from Mongolia. The man was attempting to sell a 70 million year old Tyrannosaurus Bataar. The dinosaur’s fossils were valued at $15,000, but was set to be sold for $1 Million at an auction before US officials shut down the sale and returned the fossils to Mongolia.
The illegal dinosaur fossil seller also sold a Sauroplus angustirostris skeleton for $75,000.
Experts believe that the black market in dinosaur fossils took off after the bones of a Tyrannosaurus Rex was sold to a Chicago museum at a 1997 auction for $8.26 Million.
(More prices of wildlife and animals for sale on the black market.)
Source: Erik Ortiz, “Fossil Theft Raises Concerns About Bustling Black Market,” NBC News, February 21, 2014.
Based on media reports from 2014, the latest available figures on the number of overdose deaths in the United States from heroin and prescription drugs abuse is as follows:
In 2010, there were 13,652 deaths from overdosing on prescription drugs in the United States. The number of deaths from overdosing on prescription drugs was more than triple the deaths reported in 1999.
For heroin, there were 2,789 deaths caused by overdosing on heroin in 2010.
(Cost of heroin around the world.)
Source: Andrew Blankstein, “Heroin Overdose ‘Cure’ Exists, But Can Users Find It?,” NBC News, February 19, 2014.