This Indiana City Has Been Named the Drug Trafficking Capital of the State

Indiana, the fourteenth most populous state in the U.S., is home to around 5.9 million residents.

Although the northern region, bordering Lake Michigan, is marked by industrialization, the central and southern parts maintain a rural, agricultural way of life.

However, beneath the surface of this seemingly ordinary Midwestern state, a more troubling reality emerges: a notable issue with drug trafficking.

Northwestern Indiana: The Center of Activity

Specifically, the region covered by the Lake County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) in northwestern Indiana has been pinpointed as a hub for distributing drugs throughout the state.

Lake County, Indiana’s second-largest, is situated just 30 miles east of Chicago and spans approximately 500 square miles.

Lake County’s transportation infrastructure is diverse, including passenger and commercial railroad lines, the Port of Indiana, multiple truck depots, and two airports, including the recently expanded Gary Airport.

Taking advantage of this infrastructure, drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) utilize the Lake County area as a transshipment point for drugs destined for the Midwest.

Indianapolis’ Role

Indianapolis, the state’s largest city, functions as a secondary distribution center. The major east-west route, I-70, and the Lake Michigan-Gulf of Mexico link, I-65, intersect directly downtown, providing DTOs with convenient access to the city and other parts of the state.

The Drug Challenge

According to federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, Mexican DTOs are the primary carriers of cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin into Indiana. They source their supplies either directly from Mexico or through California, Florida, and Texas.

Legal Aspects

Indiana imposes severe penalties for drug trafficking. In the state, a drug trafficking charge doesn’t necessitate the sale, delivery, or purchase of illegal drugs; it can be applied based on the weight of the controlled substance involved.


Indiana’s drug trafficking challenge is a multifaceted issue influenced by geography, infrastructure, and law enforcement endeavors. As the state grapples with this problem, it becomes evident that a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach is essential for effective resolution.


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