‘CNMI’s fight vs drugs is making headway’


The CNMI’s battle against the spread of crystal methamphetamine, or “ice,” in the community appears to be making some headway, with the street value of the drug skyrocketing to about $500 a gram these days, which Division of Customs acting director James Deleon Guerrero attributes to a shortage in the drug’s supply.

Speaking at a news briefing last week, Deleon Guerrero said the fact that a gram of the drug now costs $500 could only mean one thing—there is not enough amount of the drug to go around.

“Currently, the street value for crystal methamphetamine runs at around $500 per gram. What that tells us is that there is a short supply on the amount of crystal meth out on the street, which is a good thing actually. Usually the higher the price, that means the less available the merchandise is,” he said.

Deleon Guerrero credits the shortage of supply to the vigilance of Customs officers who work tirelessly to ensure that “ice” and other illegal substances are stopped at the border.

The acting director explained that stopping drugs at the borders serves two purposes—it ensures that there are fewer drugs circulating in the community, and this helps other law enforcement partners in the fight against drugs.

“We also have to be mindful that stopping contraband at the border really does go a long way in terms of helping our other law enforcement partners so that they don’t have to commit as much resources toward their particular drug enforcement efforts. That’s why the border is very critical,” he said.

Deleon Guerrero noted that Customs is currently committing most of its resources to monitoring all CNMI ports of entry, which has proven successful as seen in the back-to-back interception of “ice” these past two months.

“Customs, of course, has been committing as much resources as we possibly can at the ports of entry. We’re increasing our activities in terms of inspections, like making sure that there’s more inspections being done as cargo and merchandise go through our various ports of entry daily,” he said.

Deleon Guerrero thanks the support of the community and the administration, thus allowing the CNMI Customs Division to successfully stop the entry of drugs at the source.

“I think one of the biggest things that we have going for us here in the CNMI is we have the support, and we have better equipment compared to, say, 10 years ago, 15 years ago. We have better x-rays; we have a lot more canine handlers and dogs at our ports,” he said.

MD: The CNMI has been battling the spread of Methamphetamine within the community for years now. Fortunately, it seems as if the fight has not been in vain with the CNMI Division of Customs reporting what they believe is a shortage of supply of “ice”,
Keywords: CNMI, customs, meth, street, value, shortage, supply, Saipan

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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