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NCJ Number: 221101 Find in a Library
Title: Research on Upper Level Drug Trafficking: A Review
Journal: Journal of Drug Issues  Volume:37  Issue:4  Dated:Fall 2007  Pages:827-844
Author(s): Frederick Desroches
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 18
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines research on upper-level drug traffickers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the Netherlands.
Abstract: Results indicate that drug markets represent informal and loosely organized associations of relatively small syndicates or crews of independent drug entrepreneurs. They compete for market share and deal primarily or exclusively, with trusted associates chosen from ethnic, kinship, and friendship networks. Most dealers are highly cautious, eschew the use of violence, typically make huge profits, attempt to maintain a low profile, rationalize their conduct as business activity, and operate within geographically niche markets. Although there are gaps in our knowledge regarding the characteristics of upper-level drug traffickers and drug networks, research does indicate that the vast majority are male, and represent a variety of ethnic groups, many with ties to producers/exporters in third world source countries. Some studies suggest that dealers are likely to be middle age, come from working and middle class backgrounds, frequently have business experience, are typically nonusers, and live relatively conforming lifestyles apart from drug trafficking. A few studies suggest that direct entry into upper-level trafficking is more common than climbing the ladder from retail to wholesale. Little is known about the wealth and lifestyle of dealers, the proportion who are arrested, and the percentage who retire successfully. Based on the current state of knowledge, many scholars have argued that law enforcement strategies are likely to have modest success in limiting the drug trade. Because of the great demand for illicit drugs and the huge profit potential for dealers, there will always be people willing to fill the shoes of higher level operatives who are arrested and removed from the business. The fragmented nature of upper-level drug trafficking means that the removal of one drug syndicate, no matter how large, will have little overall effect on drug markets since so many other syndicates are operating and will quickly respond to market demand. References
Main Term(s): Drug smuggling
Index Term(s): Canada; Crime in foreign countries; Drug business; Netherlands; Organized crime; United Kingdom (UK)
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