Snippets from the Associated Press:
Long portrayed as a white crime, Hispanics now make up the overwhelming majority – 60 percent – of federal offenders facing powder cocaine charges.
Until the last decade, when the price of cocaine dropped sharply, consumers were largely affluent and educated. That fed into the misperception – often reported by The Associated Press and other news organizations – that most powder cocaine offenders were white, experts say.
In fact, data show, more Hispanics than whites or blacks have been sentenced on federal powder charges as far back as 1992. Law enforcement officials say that’s because federal agents almost exclusively pursue cocaine traffickers from South America and Mexico instead of end-of-the-line U.S. consumers.
By 2000, half of all cocaine traffickers facing federal charges were Hispanic, U.S. Sentencing Commission data show. Additionally, Hispanics made up 61 percent of traffickers smuggling in more than 5 kilograms (about 11 pounds).
Update on May 2, 2008 at 05:47PM by Blakely