U.S. customs agents in Nogales, Az., announced a record heroin seizure, leaving no doubt: Heroin is back in style and in full force, reports the Arizona Republic. The 47-pound load of Mexican black-tar heroin agents found hidden in a car Monday is the kind that’s fueling the habits of teenagers in Phoenix. The availability of cheap heroin is growing. The 47 pounds amounts to one-tenth of all the heroin seized in an entire year in all of Mexico, where the opiate poppy grows. It’s more than what was seized by customs agents in west Texas for each of the past four years.
Since Oct. 1, Nogales agents have seized more heroin than in any full federal year, with three months left to count. Investigators noticed young people between the ages of 16 and 22 were the most frequent users. And they were shooting up, not smoking it. “It was shocking to me they were all so young, because when I started these cases years ago, we’d see people 35 or older and really destitute, down-and-out types. These kids were driving up in nice cars,” said Lt. Vince Piano, an investigator on Phoenix’s drug squad. A high costs as little as $10. The latest figures from the National Drug Intelligence Center show that Mexican heroin production rose from 8 metric tons in 2005 to 12.7 tons in 2006. About 95 percent of it made it into the United States.