California border drug seizures rocket as cartels flood the U.S. with cheap meth

As Mexican drug cartels pump cut-rate methamphetamine into the U.S. at increasingly alarming rates, the DEA has reported record seizures of the drug at the California-Mexico border.

14,732 pounds of the drug were seized by the San Diego field office in the last fiscal year, ending September 30, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports. 

That's a whopping 63 per cent of all reported seizures by both land, sea, and air ports across the nation. 

As Mexican drug cartels pump cut-rate methamphetamine into the U.S. at increasing rates, the DEA has reported record seizures of the drug at the California-Mexico border

'The Mexican cartels are flooding the U.S. marketplace with their cheap methamphetamine,' Gary Hill, the special agent in charge of the DEA's San Diego operations, told U-T San Diego. 

'We have seen the trend of the price of meth decreasingly tremendously since 2008,' he added. 

Once produced mostly stateside, regulations on many of the precursor chemicals used to make the addictive synthetic drug have pushed manufacturing to Mexico, where labs now account for an estimated 90 per cent of production.

A pound of meth can be purchased by undercover agents for $3,500 as opposed to the $11,800 it would cost for an equal amount of cocaine. 

'The overhead is tremendous for cocaine,' Hill said. But for meth, 'the overhead is minimal. They oversee the manufacturing. There is no middleman.'

The Sinaloa cartel and the Knights Templar are the groups doing the most business, producing the drug and overseeing smuggling routes into California.