Prices for illegal drugs rise during lockdown

Heroin is shown in a DEA photo.

Prices for street drugs are up in New York City due to the impact of the coronavirus, federal authorities say.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says that drug trafficking operations, production, packaging, transportation, distribution, and money laundering are all more costly right now and the prices on the street are rising to cover them.

"In our line of work, drug prices are the tell-tale sign of a change in supply and demand," Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan says.


Since March, marijuana prices are up 55%, cocaine prices increased 12%, and heroin prices jumped 7%.

The DNA says drug production and processing are down in countries that typically produce drugs.

Less cross-border traffic, international airport closures, higher drug transportation fees, difficulty entering New York City, and fears of the virus by traffickers are some of the reasons for the price increases.


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The DEA says that drug cartels’ money laundering networks have also been impacted by the pandemic.

"Drug prices may not be of the highest concern at this time, but one of our jobs is to relay recent trends in drug trafficking to the public," said Donovan.

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