Local and federal law enforcement agencies are turning to the community to assist in combating the growing problem of ice on Guam.
Guam – As several local and federal agencies continue their efforts to prevent trafficking of drugs into the island, they are also becoming more forthright with the amount of drugs being smuggled in through the mail and our ports.
At a media conference today, it was revealed that through postal mail alone, over 60 pounds of methamphetamine have been seized with a street value of over $10 million.
At a price nearly 10 times more than the standard mainland price, combating a highly profitable drug trafficking market on Guam is no easy task and it certainly shows. At a press conference today put together by local and federal law enforcement agencies, the growing drug problem on Guam was indeed a highlight.
“We are seeing more drug cases than usual,” noted Assistant US Attorney Marivic David.
PNC: “Would you attribute that to the rise in meth coming into our island or is it more of a crackdown on ice?”
“I think it’s a combination of all those factors, as you mentioned. It’s highly addictive, it’s very profitable,” she said.
The average price of a gram of methamphetamine or ice in California is between $60 to $80. The average street price on Guam is between $400 to $600 a gram.
“If I compare it to like, say Hawaii or maybe the mainland, definitely the influx of meth into Guam I would say is higher than normal,” said Kevin Rho.
Rho is an assistant inspector with the San Francisco division of the US Postal Inspection Service who flew to Guam just to speak at today’s press conference. He talked about their drug interdiction efforts, noting that their agency seized about 3.5 pounds of ice during the four weeks they profiled postal mail and parcels coming through the island. Those four weeks were split into two weeks each; the first two week period was conducted in January/February and the next one was in August.
“That’s just what’s with our scheduling–what we do for our interdictions is our agency, our national headquarters actually, pays for inspectors from outside Guam. We fly them in here, they work here for two solid weeks helping our inspectors here,” explained Rho.
With a conservative price of $400 a gram, those 3.5 pounds seized using interdiction methods yielded about $584,000 worth of ice that could have hit the streets.
But after pressing Rho and the other agencies about the amount of meth entering the island, Rho revealed that in 2017 alone, so far, over 60 pounds of ice have been intercepted through the mail. At $400 a gram, that represents about $10.8 million.
But that still doesn’t include the ice that’s seized through the ports by Guam Customs and Quarantine. Director James McDonald could not provide the exact figure but estimates that it could be more than 60 pounds of ice in the last year.
“If anybody has any information regarding any type of crime, really, but in terms of narcotics, if anybody has any information–they wanna give a tip, an anonymous tip or whatnot–hey can definitely contact our law enforcement number that’s 877-876-2455,” said Rho, adding that a $50,000 reward can be given if a tip leaves to a significant arrest.
The experts emphasized that it will take the community’s help to combat the growing ice problem on Guam.