"This assessment is a strategic overview of the illicit drug situation in the Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) region, highlighting significant trends and law enforcement concerns related to the trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs. The report was prepared through detailed analysis of recent law enforcement reporting, information obtained through interviews with law enforcement and public health officials, and available statistical data. The report is designed to provide policymakers, resource planners, and law enforcement officials with a focused discussion of key drug issues and developments facing the Chicago HIDTA. Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) and criminal groups dominate the transportation and wholesale distribution of illicit drugs in the Chicago HIDTA region. These organizations operate as national-level distributors of illicit drugs, particularly to midwestern and eastern drug markets. African American and Hispanic street gangs such as Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, and Latin Kings dominate the retail distribution of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana in the HIDTA region. These street gangs are prevalent in urban areas and are becoming more active in suburban Chicago communities. Some street gang members have relocated their residences to suburban communities but still maintain control of drug markets in the city of Chicago, where most illicit drug sales occur. Increasingly, gang members distribute drugs inside residences or commercial properties, regularly changing sales locations in response to the Chicago Police Department's effective street corner initiatives that target open-air drug markets. The frequent relocation of indoor markets makes them inherently more difficult for law enforcement to penetrate than traditional openair markets."
United States Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center: http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/