Law enforcement officials have arrested two men from California with more than 300 pounds of dangerous drugs, including cocaine and heroin, at a traffic signal in New Jersey. The officials made the arrests on the New Jersey Turnpike after they stopped a tractor-trailer on August 27, 2017, for violating traffic rules while traveling through the Essex County.
The arrested persons have been identified as Abraham Castro, 33, from San Diego and Hector Leonel Lucas-Ramos, 42, from National City. According to a criminal complaint lodged in the U.S. District Court by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Castro was driving the vehicle northward, while Lucas-Ramos had tried to conceal the drugs by zipping up a bag. Subsequent inspection unearthed drugs, mainly cocaine and heroin, weighing more than 310 pounds. The drugs were hidden in five duffle bags tucked inside the cabin of the vehicle, media reports said.
Authorities said that both the accused knew about the contents of the bags. On interrogation, Lucas-Ramos revealed that they had made a previous trip to pick up loads of cash. Both have been charged with possession of illicit drugs and their distribution.
Drug trafficking rampant in US
There have been many instances wherein officials were tipped off about drug trafficking in the country. However, federal agencies have designed and implemented strict guidelines to curtail the illegal production, transport and distribution of illegal drugs that they hope will help end countless cases of addiction and dependence. The trafficking problem is grave despite desperate measures suggested and implemented by law enforcement agencies.
Statistics reveal that the DEA makes over 30,000 arrests each year pertaining to sales and disbursement of illegal narcotics. More than 32 percent of those housed in the U.S. state prisons were found to be dependent on drugs or had drugs with them when they had been arrested. Besides, data shared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reveals a rise in illegal transport of drugs into the U.S. through the Mexico border.
Rising prevalence of drug abuse is a cause for concern
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), about 2 million people aged 12 years or older were current users of cocaine in 2015 as against an estimated 1.5 million in 2013, registering a sharp surge of over 20 percent. Similarly, overdose death rates due to heroin abuse increased by 20.6 percent from 2014 to 2015.
More concerning is the fact that Americans try drugs for the first time when they reach adolescence. In addition, drug use is the highest among teenagers and young adults. The latest data shows that the number of young Americans who used cocaine for the first time rose to a dramatic 61 percent from 2013 to 2015. Various studies reveal that rates of illicit drug use have also gone up among people in their fifties and early sixties.
Deepening pervasiveness of drug abuse has resulted in authorities and health care providers organizing free programs/seminars for parents and guardians to raise awareness about addiction treatment, in addition to ways they can adopt to prevent their family members from falling prey to devastating effects of substances. The face of drug abuse has changed in recent years, and hence, additional caution is advised by experts.
Recovering from drug addiction
Sovereign Health understands the misery of someone who is unable to put an end to the use of deadly drugs despite the damaging consequences on his or her life. Experts at our customized drug addiction rehab centers treat an individual with addiction holistically. If you or your loved one is battling addiction to drugs like cocaine and heroin, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online to know more about our state-of-the-art addiction treatment centers spread across the U.S.