Cities of Crystal
You can walk around San Diego, and see the crystal. The homeless addicts who shuffle out of their lairs, around downtown and East Village, picking the scabs on their face, the kids on the trolley, eyes glazed black with meth.....The cheap, dirty, bleak motels all over Point Loma, Clairemont, Linda Vista, Ocean Beach, up and down the coast....outposts of crystal addicts, dealing out of the rooms, inhaling lungfuls from a pipe, weighing out grams on a small digital scale, like mice and rats fleeing from the light of day....The floors, tiers, holding tanks of South Bay, George Bailey, Vista, gang members, drug dealers, addicts, homeless fill the ranks of a dangerously overcrowded local jail system....The runners, mothers, working class, mules who cycle through the federal system, arrested coming through San Ysidro with dozens and dozens of tightly wrapped pounds of shimmering, pure, crystal meth.....
|Crystal seized in Tijuana, January 2016|
You see it in Tijuana too.....The tienditas, the addicted who roam around Zona Norte and colonias in Eastern Tijuana, where drug shops are protected by the municipal police, and their operators and owners engage in bloody wars for increasingly valuable turf....burned out, dim stash houses with victims tied to metal chairs, blindfolded and beaten....
California Attorney General Kamala Harris drug assessment in early 2014 revealed that 70% of the crystal meth in the United States comes through San Diego's San Ysidro point of entry. The result is staggering. Millions are spent annually as the state and federal systems overflow with drug possession and trafficking cases, federal prosectors indict, plea out, hundreds of people a year....yet it still comes. 47% of male detainees in local custody are under the influence of crystal meth. Crystal is linked in over 1,000 death since 2010, including murder, car accidents, overdoses.
|Crystal seized in 2011: Operation Jack Hammer|
The addicts schemes and crimes are wide ranging, credit card fraud, car theft, counterfeiting, property theft and car theft are among the most common. Like so many locusts and termites they steal, ravage, pillage, destroy, until they are arrested, and taken through the system. Men hack arms off with machetes in Southeast San Diego neighborhoods, execute young women, whom they had previously befriended, the amount of murder, chaos, depravity linked to meth is astounding.
In Tijuana, they murder, torture, kidnap in much greater numbers, due to the lack of infrastructure and government control/complicity. Tijuana has seen over 65 murders in the first 30 days of 2016, off hand, I would estimate 3/4 are linked to drug trafficking, the majority being crystal, or heroin. And the other crimes as well, theft of vehicles, property, etc, push the cities residents even further from security. Stash houses and vehicles are seized, dozens and dozens of pounds are confiscated, and yet it continues to pour into San Diego, un-phased.
|Crystal seized at the San Ysidro point of entry|
The crystal seeps into the city, pouring through open wounds, infecting the city and those who come across it....San Diego is a hub for big crystal loads heading all over, but the price has plummeted locally, pounds dropping to around 3,000 dollars. In 2010, Armando Villareal, 'El Gordo' ran a trafficking and enforcement crew that trafficked dozens of pounds weekly....The price was often as much as 5,500, even 10,000. The end result is very cheap, very available, very pure crystal. Everywhere.
Men and women filter in from the streets and jail, to rehabs, county funded halfway houses, recovery homes, sober livings which occupy real estate all across the city. They tell their stories in rooms across both crystal cities, addicts sharing their stories, getting another day clean. US Attorneys extradite suspects from Tijuana, and sentence them to decades in prison. Women take a hit and work out of a sleazy motel room off Imperial.
There is no answer here, there is no solution, it's an infection, a disease, a virus, mutating and defying everything has it shifts and adjusts to serve it's needs and wants...