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Significant Seizures

Heroin availability is increasing in areas throughout the nation.

Seizure data indicates a sizeable increase in heroin availability in the United States. According to National Seizure System5 (NSS) data, heroin seizures in the United States increased 81 percent over five years, from 2,763 kilograms in 2010 to 5,014 kilograms in 2014. (See Chart 1)


A review of law enforcement seizures of narcotics and currency in 2015 identified several significant events in western PA, including seizures of 4 and 8 kilograms of heroin, respectively, by PSP.

Significant currency seizures linked to heroin and opioid trafficking organizations occurred on multiple occasions, to include seizures of $120,000 USC, $130,000 USC, $263,600 USC, and $295,000 USC gathered as a result of search warrants.

Traffickers are also transporting heroin in larger amounts. The average size of a heroin seizure in 2010 was 0.86 kilograms; in 2014, the average heroin seizure was 1.74 kilograms. Law enforcement officials in cities across the country report seizing larger than usual quantities of heroin over the past two years.6

In addition, federal law enforcement agencies are working in concert with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Pennsylvania in the investigation and indictment of numerous heroin suppliers charged with possession with intent to deliver and distribution of heroin resulting in serious bodily injury and death.

5. (U) The National Seizure System (NSS) tabulates information pertaining to drug seizures made by participating law enforcement agencies. NSS also includes data on clandestine laboratories seized in the United States by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The records contained in the system are under the control and custody of DEA, and are maintained in accordance of federal laws and regulations.

6. (U) U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, All Domestic Field Division Reporting, January 2013 – June, 2014.