[Smuggling Mexico DEA ICE FDA2015 Drug Threat Assessment  Continued from Part 87 MDMA (3,4-Methylene dioxy methamphetamine) ]

U.S. Justice Department Drug Enforcement Administration

2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Phencyclidine (PCP)

The US Drug Enforcement Administration 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA) is a comprehensive report of the threat posed to the United States by the trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs, the nonmedical use of CPDs, [Controlled Prescription Drugs] , money laundering, TCOs [Transnational Criminal Organization] , gangs , smuggling, seizures, investigations, arrests, drug purity or potency, and drug prices, in order to provide the most accurate data possible to policymakers, law enforcement authorities, and intelligence officials.  


Part 88 United States Drug Enforcement Administration  Releases 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary for Phencyclidine, PCP, hallucinogenic, snorted, smoked, or orally ingested, mimic schizophrenia, delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, disordered thinking, sensation of distance from one’s environment, impaired memory, speech problems, stuttering, inarticulate, chronic anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies, aggressive or hostile behavior, paranoia, and delusional thinking.

Overview Phencyclidine (PCP)

PCP is a hallucinogenic drug that is often sold in a variety of tablet, capsule, and colored powder forms that are normally snorted, smoked, or orally ingested. In pure form, PCP is a white, crystalline powder that dissolves easily in water or alcohol. As a liquid, it is clear, yellow, or tan and often sold in vanilla extract bottles.


PCP user symptoms mimic schizophrenia, such as delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, disordered thinking, and a sensation of distance from one’s environment. Long-term use of PCP causes impaired memory, persistent speech problems including stuttering and inability to articulate, chronic and severe anxiety and depression, suicidal tendencies, aggressive or hostile behavior, paranoia, and delusional thinking.

PCP poses a low threat to the United States due to relatively low levels of use. Use is highest in the Washington, DC area, and the majority of PCP available in the United States is produced in the Los Angeles, California area.

Availability Phencyclidine (PCP)

PCP remains available in Washington DC, especially the southeast quadrant of the city, in multi-gallon quantities. Established dealers in DC maintain connections to PCP sources of supply in southern California, or mid-level suppliers in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Landover, Maryland: In February 2014, US Marshals went to a home in Landover, Maryland, with a bench warrant for a male for the possession and intent to distribute cocaine. As a result of the search, US Marshals seized two clear bottles of suspected PCP in addition to 44 grams of cocaine, and a digital scale. (See Photo 28.)

  (U) Photo 28. PCP in bottle  Source: DEA

Photo 28. PCP.

PCP availability and use are reportedly increasing throughout Philadelphia. Investigations revealed PCP dealers operating in Philadelphia’s public housing projects, as well as in sections of north and northeast Philadelphia. California and New York City are the primary sources for synthetic drugs, in particular PCP, entering the Philadelphia FD AOR.

Use Phencyclidine (PCP)

PCP use remains low throughout the United States, with the notable exception of Washington, DC. Data from the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program II indicates that less than two percent of male arrestees in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, New York, and Sacramento tested positive for PCP in 2013, with Atlanta and Denver reporting zero percent of male arrestees testing positive for PCP. These percentages have remained steady at these low levels since 2007, and, with the exception of Chicago, the other four cities’ percentages for males testing positive for PCP have not risen above two percent. (See Chart 37.)

(U) Chart 37. Percentage of Male Arrestees Testing Positive for PCP, FY2007 – FY2013         Source: Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program II

Chart 37. Male arrestees.

The District of Columbia Pretrial Services Agency reports that the two age groups of arrestees in Washington DC with the highest percentage of positive tests for PCP are the 26 to 30 and 31 to 35 age groups. In 2013, 14.1 percent of arrestees between the ages of 31 and 35 tested positive for PCP, down from 18.3 percent in 2012. However, the percentage of arrestees between the ages of 26 and 30 testing positive for PCP nearly doubled from 2012 (9.1%) to 2013 (18.0%).

TEDS information reveals there were 5,732 PCP-related treatment admissions aged 12 and

(U) Photo 28. PCP in bottle Source: DEA [89] older in 2012, the last year for which data is available. These admissions accounted for 0.3 percent of the total treatment admissions aged 12 and older for 2012. Further, TEDS data reveals that PCP was reported to be the primary substance of abuse in just two admissions per 100,000, indicating PCP’s relatively low use levels across the United States. The largest numbers of admissions for PCP abuse were 1,851 admissions in the Middle Atlantic Census divisionxxv followed by 1,343 admissions in the South Atlantic Census division.xxvi

The Middle Atlantic Census division includes New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

xxvi The South Atlantic Census division includes Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC, and West Virginia.

Nevertheless, these admission numbers still represent only 0.5 percent of the admissions in the Middle Atlantic and 0.4 percent of the admissions in the South Atlantic.

Production Phencyclidine (PCP)

African American street gangs in Los Angeles, California, dominate the manufacture and production of PCP. Specifically, the Compton area of Los Angeles continues to serve as the source area for PCP destined for other parts of the country. DEA Los Angeles FD reporting indicates PCP precursor chemicals are readily available and are diverted locally and from other states.

Long Beach, California: In November 2014, two individuals were arrested for the manufacture of a controlled substance, in connection with the seizure of a clandestine PCP lab in Long Beach.

Transportation Phencyclidine (PCP)

Large quantities of PCP are typically transported from Los Angeles across the country via motor vehicles and other commercial road transportation with smaller amounts transported by bus, rail, as well as shipped by commercial parcel services. DEA Washington FD reporting reveals that in some cases, couriers are sent to southern California or, rarely, Texas to pick up PCP and transport the drug back via commercial air, private vehicle, or train. However, most of the PCP supplied to the Washington DC area is sent via mail services to established distributors.

Corona, California: In June 2014, one individual was arrested for transporting 165 gallons of diethyl ether, a precursor chemical used to manufacture PCP. (See Photo 29.)

Photo 29. Drums of diethyl ether  Source: DEA

Photo 29. Drums diethyl ether.

Distribution Phencyclidine (PCP)

African American criminal groups are the primary PCP distributors in the Washington, DC area. Street-level and mid-level dealers in Washington, DC are generally African American males who represent a mixture of recent (past few years) versus established (decades) dealers. Local distribution of PCP in the Philadelphia FD AOR is controlled by African American, Jamaican, and Caucasian criminal groups, and its use is frequently reported in conjunction with marijuana use. [91]

Outlook Phencyclidine (PCP)

United Nations Decade Against Drug Abuse Oman

Los Angeles, California, will continue to serve as the primary source for PCP in the United States, as is evidenced by the number of seizures involving large quantities of precursor chemicals in the Los Angeles area. PCP will continue to be used in high amounts in Washington DC, relative to other areas in the United States, as local African American criminal groups will continue to use established networks to dominate the distribution of PCP in the city. However, the overall rates of PCP abuse will continue to remain low compared to other major drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, CPDs, and cocaine.

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[2015 Drug Threat Assessment continues next at Part 89

 Illicit Finance & Money Laundering]