"This assessment provides a strategic overview of the illicit drug situation in the Lake County 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 Lake County HIDTA. Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) based in Lake County, Indiana, and neighboring Chicago, Illinois, control the transportation and wholesale distribution of illicit drugs in the Lake County HIDTA region; they also are increasingly using the area as a transshipment center for drugs that they supply to markets in the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Southeast Regions of the United States. Street gang members dominate retail drug distribution, particularly crack cocaine, in Lake County and are largely responsible for the high level of drug-related crime that occurs in metropolitan areas of the HIDTA region. Gang- and drug-related criminal activity is spreading from traditional high-crime urban areas in the state, such as Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago, into surrounding suburban communities in Lake County and neighboring Porter County. Gang members based in Lake County also contribute to violent crime in other cities, including Chicago; Detroit, Michigan; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by supplying firearms to their criminal associates in those cities."
United States Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center: http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/