U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Defensive Strategies of the Street-Level Drug Trade

NCJ Number
Journal of Crime and Justice Volume: 15 Issue: 2 Dated: (1992) Pages: 31-51
Date Published
22 pages
Data were gathered in two separate phases of participant observation to examine the short-term battle being conducted by street-level drug suppression units in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Kansas City, Missouri.
This review of the Minneapolis and Kansas City efforts to combat street-level drug trade identifies features of point- of-sale drug markets that have not been explored widely in the research literature and elaborates on an aspect of the crack trade that has not been widely discussed, namely, the resilience and adaptability of drug dealers to street-level interdiction tactics. There are two different levels to be addressed regarding the active life of a drug location: when the location is active in fact, i.e., providing drugs to buyers, and when it is "active" in terms of accessibility to undercover officers. Failure to distinguish between the two types of markets means that street-level suppression efforts will almost inevitably flood the justice system with the most vulnerable rather than the most dangerous sellers. Approaches to effectively direct scarce investigation and prosecution resources at the local level toward "Businessmen" enterprises are identified. 7 footnotes and 10 references

Date Published: January 1, 1992