Surge of Cocaine hits island; law enforcement works to identify source

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Guam – Drug use is not an issue that is unique to Guam, in fact the DEA who shared that it is comparable to places like Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago, the difference is the effects in a smaller community are more pronounced and magnified.

Methamphetamine is undeniably an epidemic that has plague Guam for decades, but it is not the only drug that has been circulating the island, in fact according to the National Drug Intelligence Center cocaine has been on the island since before the 90’s.

While in recent weeks it may appear that Guam is facing a new threat with several arrests being made relative to cocaine, that is not the case, instead this is more likely a resurgence.

The NDIC stated in 2003 that cocaine posed a minor threat to Guam as abuse of the drug was minimal, and availability limited. Further stating, “the powdered cocaine supply on Guam was largely eliminated in 1990 when several successful operations by Guam law enforcement agencies resulted in the seizure of significant amounts of the drug as well as the arrests of several key individuals. These operations effectively dismantled the existing distribution infrastructure, and current law enforcement information indicates that it has not been replaced.”

The report states that the low levels of cocaine availability, distribution, and abuse on Guam are reflected in the number of drug-related arrests and the number of drug samples submitted to laboratories for analysis.

In 1999, 5 of the 447 adult drug-related arrests on Guam were for cocaine-related offenses.

In the same year, 5 of the 558 drug samples submitted to the Guam Police Department Crime Laboratory by all law enforcement agencies were analyzed as cocaine.

In March 1990, a resident of the CNMI was arrested at the Guam International Air Terminal in March 1990 after attempting to transport 14 grams of cocaine from Hawaii through Guam to the CNMI. This 14-gram seizure was the largest on Guam to that date.

In addition the report states, the Guam CQA seized only 0.01 gram of cocaine in 2001, a decrease from 16 grams seized in 2000.

According to the National Drug Threat Assessment, before 1990 cocaine sold for $120 to $150 per gram. As a consequence of increased law enforcement efforts, the price per gram increased overall to $1,000 in 2000. The average purity level was 86 percent.

Today, law enforcement indicates that cocaine is being sold for $600 to $700 a gram making cocaine exponentially profitable for drug dealers. Talbot shares that the price of drugs sold on the the streets is an indicator of the drugs availability, its supply and demand.

Nearly 18 years later, cocaine has made a reappearance. As you may recall, on March 17th, 4 pounds of cocaine washed up on the shores of Mangilao.

DEA Resident Agent Edward Talbot, shared that local and federal law enforcement continue to work collaboratively to investigate the incident as well as keeping an eye on the arrests made involving cocaine and no stone would be left unturned.

Following this discovery, police arrested a couple in the parking lot of Sunshine Plaza in Ordot, methamphetamine and cocaine was found in their vehicle.

Then on Tuesday, law enforcement raided a Sinajana home where they seized more than 50 grams of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana as well as two guns.

The next day, police raided another home this time in Toto, arresting a woman who admitted she sold cocaine and other drugs out of her home.

Law enforcement can not confirm if the recent resurgence of cocaine is linked to that discovery.

But since the discovery a PNC Source confirms that there is a new slang for cocaine, calling it “wet.” While the slang term “Wet” is typically in reference to marijuana laced in PCP or formaldehyde, it is apparently now being used in reference to the coke that washed ashore.

SOURCEJolene Toves
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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.