United States Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from the United States black market. Intelligence and security data collected from government agencies, news articles and other public information sources.

According to statistics released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). security agencies worldwide seized 36 tons of methamphetamine in 2012. Back in 2008, a total of 12 tons of meth was seized around the world.

(Cost of meth per gram.)

In 2012, nearly 45 percent of the worldwide total of meth seizures took place in China. In North America, Mexico account for around 60 percent of all seizures in the region in 2012.

Between 2007 and 2012, the seizure rate of ecstasy in the United States declined by 85 percent.

(See all meth facts.)

Source:  Amar Toor, “New legal highs are flooding the market faster than governments can ban them,” The Verge, May 20, 2014.

In the first five months of 2014, anti-narcotics agents in New York City seized 288 pounds of heroin within the city. The heroin seized was worth about $40 to $60 Million on the black market.

In all of 2013, security agents seized a total of 175 pounds of heroin.

(How much does heroin cost per gram?)

Heroin abuse in NYC has seen a rise in recent years. In the 2014 fiscal year, Drug Enforcement Administration agents based in New York have seized about 35 percent of all heroin intercepted by the DEA. Typically, New York DEA agents are responsible for 20 percent of all heroin seizures.

(See all heroin addiction statistics.)

Source:  Christian Science Monitor, “Heroin Is Cheaper, More Pure, And More Of A Problem Than Ever Before,” Business Insider, May 21, 2014.

Data and statistics from the United States Government estimated that there were 336,000 people in the United States over the age of 55 who were misusing or addicted to prescription pain relievers in 2012. Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed that the figures for 2012 were 132,000 higher than 10 years previous.

Between 2007 and 2011, the number of seniors who were admitted to substance abuse treatment centers for a prescription pain medicine addiction increased by 46 percent, while the number of patients over the age of 65 who misused a prescription drug and had to be admitted to an emergency room increased by over 50 percent to 94,000 ER admissions during the time period.

Between 1999 and 2010, the overdose death rate of people over 55 increased by 3 times  to 9.4 deaths per 100,000.

Public health officials attribute the problem to an increase in prescription to older Americans for pain relief and anxiety. According to federal statistics,  about one in four adults over the age of 50 in the United States use psychoactive medications, most of which are opioids for pain relief or benzodiazepines for anxiety.

(See all prescription drug abuse statistics here.)

Source:  Peter Eisler, “Older Americans hooked on Rx: ‘I was a zombie’,” USA Today, May 21, 2014.

In the fiscal year 2013, the United States Federal Government spent $320 Million on drug addiction research, according to a report by the Cincinnati Enquirer. The amount of federal spending was down 20 percent when compared to the inflation adjusted amount of $402 Million in 2010.

When adjusted for inflation, the amount of federal spending for 2013 was the same as FY 2002.

According to the Association for Addiction Professionals, about 10 percent of people in the United States who are addicted to prescription drugs or are heroin addicts have received any sort of treatment.

Source:  Carrie Blackmore Smith and Terry DeMio, “No way out: Heroin addicts trapped in deadly maze,” Cincinnati Enquirer, May 19, 2014.

A man in the United States plead guilty in federal court for fraud after being arrested for selling fake diplomas.

Between 2003 and 2012, the man sold up to $5 Million worth of fake degrees and diplomas for fake schools that he created. None of the colleges that he made diplomas for had any faculty or courses, and none were officially recognized by the US Department of Education.

The man also created a fake accrediting body that was meant to accredit the fake universities.

The making of the fake degrees took place in Connecticut, but the 7 different websites that provided fake diplomas targeted customers around the world. The package for an Associate Degree was $475, a Bachelor’s Degree was $495, Masters Degree was $525, and a Doctoral Degree was offered for $550. If the customer bought several degrees, then a discount would kick in.

(More statistics on diploma mills.)

Source:  Aaron Katersky, “Connecticut Man Pleads Guilty to Churning Out Fake College Diplomas,” ABC News, May 8, 2014.

The self proclaimed top drug dealer on the online black market website Silk Road plead guilty in US federal court in May 2014.

Connelis Ja Slomp, aka “SuperTrips”, is a 23 year old man from the Netherlands made over $3 Million in revenue from selling drugs on Silk Road.

According to court documents, the man was equipped with only a laptop, iPhone and a backpack when conducting his international drug ring.  The man shipped 104 kilograms of MDMA, 566,000 ecstasy pills, four kilos of cocaine and other drugs through the mail to customers who bought his product on the website.

He was arrested when he came to the United States in order to party in South Beach. He had already rented a Lamborghini when he was arrested at the airport.

After being arrested, he forfeited $3,030,000 that he earned from drug proceeds that wee in bitcoins, which the United States Government converted to cash.

(See more profits and earnings from illegal jobs.)

Source:  Kim Janssen, “World’s most prolific online drug dealer pleads guilty in Chicago,” Chicago Sun Times, May 8, 2014.

In the 2013-2014 fiscal year, agents with the Secret Service in the United States seized $88.7 Million in counterfeit dollars within the U.S. Nearly 60 percent of the fake dollar bills seized were made by using inkjet or laser printers.

Overseas, Secret Service agents seized $68.2 Million in counterfeit dollars during the fiscal year. Most of the fakes seized outside of the United States were made by offset presses. and in more professional “counterfeiting mills”.

Security agents in the Untied States arrested 3,617 people for counterfeiting in the fiscal year.

(More on counterfeit money.)

Source:  Del Quentin Wilber, “Woman With Printer Shows the Digital Ease of Bogus Cash,” Bloomberg, May 8, 2014.

A baggage screener working for the Transportation Security Administration at Los Angeles Airport was sentenced to six years in federal prison for taking bribes to let cocaine pass through the station.

According to court documents, the woman was paid at least $2,400 for each incident where she let a suitcase filled with cocaine to pass through the X-ray machine.

(Police corruption examples here.)

Source:  “Baggage screener at LAX gets nearly 6 years in prison for letting cocaine through,” Los Angeles Daily News, May 5, 2014.

Sate officials the US State of Colorado reported on the tax collected from the state’s legalized marijuana program.

Marijuana smoking became legalized in the state at the start of 2014. In the time span of January and February 2014, the state of Colorado collected about $4.2 Million in sales and excise taxes on recreational marijuana. The amount collected was half of the $5.5 Million to $8.9 Million in taxes that state officials estimated it would collect.

(More crime in the United States data.)

When voters in Colorado approved the recreational use of marijuana, the law included a 10 percent sales tax and a 15 percent excise tax on the wholesale prices of marijuana. In addition, consumers must pay local sales taxes and a 2.9 percent sales tax at the retail level.

Analysts interviewed by Bloomberg Businessweek stated that the low levels of tax collection were due to smokers choosing to remain enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program, where the tax levied on marijuana is lower. Also, experts believe that many smokers are continuing to buy their marijuana on the black market due to its cheaper price.

(How much does marijuana cost around the world?)

Source:  Jennifer Oldham, “Colorado Pot Revenue Lags Forecasts as Licensing is Slow,” Bloomberg Businessweek, May 1, 2014.

Based on previous intelligence and reports, the average price that a person from Cuba pays to human smugglers to be transported across the Florida Straits to the United States is $10,000.

A United States Federal Security Agent testified that when the person being smuggled out of Cuba is a potential Major League Baseball Player, then the smuggling fee can be up to 25 times higher, or $250,000.  In addition to these fee that must be paid to the smugglers, the baseball player and his family must agree to give up to 20 percent of the initial contract that is signed with a professional baseball team.

According to the Los Angeles Times, there are some current major league players from Cuba who are currently making payments to the smugglers while their families back home are threatened with violence is payment is not received.

Source:  Kevin Baxter and Brian Bennett, “In booming marketplace for Cuban players, Puig’s tale far from unique,” Los Angeles Times, April 26, 2014.