A new method of tracking system could give law enforcement the boost they need to crack down on cocaine distribution and the addiction it is causing. Cocaine tracking systems was created by the Michigan State University to help find cocaine sellers and link to the markets where they are being produced and sold, according to the publication Michigan State University Today.
Siddarth Chandra, an economist and professor at the university, is credited with coming up with the method that drug enforcement plans to use.
Cocaine Tracking System – Finding the targets
Chandra believes that studying prices of cocaine and their sales will enable authorities to link back to the source. Chandra studied 112 cities’ wholesale prices to see if there was a connection. Using data collected between 2002 and 2011 from the National Drug Intelligence Center, Chandra could measure where law enforcement officers made most of their arrests and conducted their investigations.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the North American cocaine market is valued at $38 billion. The United States profits about $23,000 to $28,000 per kilo, The New York Times reported.
Making the connection
Chandra studied prices for the cities by pairing them off. If the cities had a connection, there would be a correlation in price change. So, if there was a price change in one area, the cities that use that source area would all have price changes too. Chandra noticed that the source city often had prices that were lower, and the recipient cities had prices that were higher. Cities in the Northeast are often recipient cities, and cities along the southern and western coasts of the U.S. are usually source cities, with the influx of cocaine coming over the border.
Using that data, Chandra was able to narrow down cities that may have been overlooked in drug investigations and find patterns in drug sales. He was able to create a drug map with possible routes used by dealers. Chandra compared his map with the Drug Enforcement Agency’s and found that he had undiscovered routes. Using Chandra’s method, the DEA would be able to help local law enforcement crack down on drug crimes and sales.
Though Chandra’s method is only one small piece in a much larger puzzle, enforcement agencies think it is a good move in their attempt to get drugs off the streets.