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Drug Trafficking Statistics

The United States Sentencing Commission has released its drug trafficking statistics for 2016. Which of the following drugs would you think commands the greatest number of prosecutions from the federal government?




Powder cocaine?

Crack cocaine?

The drug that is number one on this list is methamphetamine. There were 6,460 offenders in the federal system, constituting 33.6% of the drug trafficking offenses. Meth offenders have increased 26.4% since 2012.

Second was powder cocaine. There were 3,797 offenders, constituting 19.8% of the total. That is a 36.2% increase since 2012. Coming in at number three was heroin at 2,763 offenders. Those constitute 14.4% of the offenders in the federal drug trafficking prosecutions. That rate has climbed 29.4% since 2012.

Crack cocaine was fourth with 1,557 offenders, constituting 8.1% of those charged. Those offenses have increased 54.3% since 2012.

Surprisingly, oxycodone came in last with only 547 offenders, constituting only 2.8% of those prosecuted for drug trafficking crimes. Oxycodone has increased by 47.7% since the fiscal year 2014.

Do these numbers surprise you?