Here’s Proof of How the Drug Trade Is Evolving

In cities like Miami, today's criminals are young, tech savvy — and ready to repeat their crimes over and over again

Victor Yanez may be young — just 25 — but the Miami-area resident is representative of the new problems that exist in the war on drugs in this country. Yanez was arrested for possessing counterfeit labels to hide high-strength cough syrup two years ago, according to the Miami Herald.

Then, back in September, Yanez was pulled over for speeding in his Mercedes-Benz and arrested on marijuana possession charges. When federal agents raided his girlfriend’s luxury condo, they seized 2,274 grams of marijuana, 1,004 grams of the club drug Molly (MDMA), and more than 100 counterfeit prescription labels.

But that’s not all. Last week, Miami-Dade County Schools police and U.S. Homeland Security agents found 105 pounds of marijuana, 91 vials of cannabis oil, 24 counterfeit prescription labels, and about $16,000 in the home of Victor Yanez during another raid.

Even when caught for his crimes, this individual doesn’t seem to quit dealing. Earlier this week on “The Ingraham Angle,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham discussed the situation with Miami Herald reporter David Ovalle. “He can’t seem to say ‘no’ to crime,” she said of Yanez.

Ovalle said that as crazy as it sounds, the repetition of crimes by drug dealers and their possession of hundreds of pounds of drugs at a time is not unheard of where he lives.

“We’ve had a lot of these cases with younger folks. These are not the stock in trade cocaine toughs from the cowboy days of the 1980s.”

The younger criminals are “tech savvy,” he added. “They know how to order drugs from China on the internet from the dark web … [They] know how to buy marijuana out of state and get prescription-strength cough syrup to a lot of the club scenes around here.”

There’s long been a problem with drugs such as fentanyl coming into the U.S. via China, Ingraham noted; and Chinese dealers have even been known to use the U.S. Postal Service to ship drugs, according to The Guardian.

“We had all of these people involved with bringing drugs over to Miami, making it one of the largest synthetic drug capitals in the country.”

Synthetic chemicals in the drug Molly are produced in China and often wind up in southern Florida, said Ovalle. “We had all of these people involved with bringing drugs over to Miami, making it one of the largest synthetic drug capitals in the country. And certainly, when the police invaded [Yanez’s] girlfriend’s house, that’s what they were looking for.”

Related: The Truth Behind the Push to Legalize a Street Drug

The state must continue working hard to make sure people like Yanez are not able to obtain massive amounts of drugs with such ease.

Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the south shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, ESPN, and other outlets.