Home News US Sentencing Commission Releases Report on Methamphetamine Trafficking Trends

US Sentencing Commission Releases Report on Methamphetamine Trafficking Trends


WASHINGTON, D.C.—June 13, 2024 – The United States Sentencing Commission has released a comprehensive report analyzing trends in methamphetamine trafficking offenses, sentencing patterns, and the impact of increasing methamphetamine purity over the past 20 years.

The report underscores methamphetamine’s rise as the most prevalent drug in the federal criminal justice system, dominating the federal caseload since fiscal year 2014. In fiscal year 2022, methamphetamine accounted for approximately half of all federal drug trafficking offenses.

Key Findings:

  • Prevalence of Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine has consistently been the predominant drug in the federal system since 2014. In FY22, it comprised nearly 50% of all federal drug trafficking offenses.
  • Increasing Purity: The purity of methamphetamine trafficked in the United States has significantly increased. The Commission’s data shows that two-thirds of the methamphetamine tested in federal cases is 96% pure.
  • Shift in Production: Methamphetamine production has largely moved outside the United States. Consequently, sentencing enhancements targeting domestic production and importation have become less common, with only ten individuals receiving enhancements related to environmental harm in FY22.
  • Impact of Purity on Sentences: Sentences for methamphetamine offenses are influenced by statutory and guideline penalties that consider drug purity. However, varying laboratory testing practices across the nation affect the sentences imposed.
  • Length of Sentences: Individuals convicted of methamphetamine trafficking received the longest average sentences among all federal drug trafficking offenses, averaging 91 months.
  • Mandatory Minimum Penalties: A higher percentage of individuals sentenced for methamphetamine trafficking were subject to mandatory minimum penalties compared to other drug trafficking offenses (74.2% vs. 56.6%).

The full report, which provides detailed insights into methamphetamine trafficking trends and sentencing practices, is available on the United States Sentencing Commission’s website.

Read the Report

This report highlights the evolving nature of methamphetamine trafficking and its significant impact on the federal criminal justice system, providing critical data to inform policy and sentencing practices.