General Question

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

When police make a large drug bust and list the street value at millions of dollars, how do they arrive at that street value?

Asked by The_Compassionate_Heretic (14596points) July 2nd, 2009

You’ve heard the news reports. “Police busted a drug ring and siezed 3 pounds of cocaine with a street value of 138 billion dollars”

I think they’re just making up those numbers.

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8 Answers

westy81585's avatar

Police know the going street value of given drugs. It’s kind of like a “stock market” type thing. Dealers/doers/police/whoever know the value of the drugs based on demand and availability. Based off that information the police are able to make a good estimate at how much the drugs would have gone for if they’d been sold, based on their weight/quality.

whatthefluther's avatar

They are probably breaking it down to the amounts normally sold on the street, such as eight-balls, teeners, etc., not that I have knowledge of anything drug related. See ya…wtf

AtSeDaEsEpPoAoSnA's avatar

Undercovers, or narcs have to be in the “game” to know the market. If someone “needs” it, there will be a market, ups and down. Numbers.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s very easy to find out what the going rate is on the street, even if you are not involved, and they are always involved.

chyna's avatar

@whatthefluther I’m sure you picked up the lingo from Homicide-Life on the Streets. Very good show to give those kind of life lessons.

jpasq03's avatar

They know because they turn around and sell it to the next guy.

Just kidding.

whatthefluther's avatar

@chyna…Yes of course, thank you for that (and all the other times you have covered my butt). Yes it was that show and Dragnet, of course. See ya….wtf

Jack79's avatar

I think they sell all the drugs first and then announce the total profits. Yes, police of course know how much drugs are wort in the street.

I do have a HUGE problem with these announcements however: drugs are supposed to be something evil and dangerous, which is why they are illegal in the first place. But saying things like “a kilo of heroin worth $200,000” just makes people think “wow, I wish I had 10 kilos of that then!”. I remember that’s what I thought when I first heard this as a child. I didn’t think of how many people would overdose on 10 kilos, or how many lives would be destroyed, what misery these drugs could bring and how they indirectly increase criminality. All I was thinking was how cool it is to be a drug-dealer and making all that money.

If the media want to really help in the war against drugs, they should never fail to remind us of how bad drugs are for society (and not just personal health), and not how valuable they are to their traders.

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