Homicide is common for people involved in illegal drug trafficking. Trafficking tends to attract violent individuals and the profits are enormous.


A drug murder involves killing someone to further an illegal drug business. The murder may be used either (1) to remove an obstruction or hindrance or (2) to facilitate operations.


Motivation for the homicide:

(1) to enforce discipline and to punish someone in the organization who steals drugs or money or to punish someone who has not paid a debt

(2) to punish an informant to law enforcement or to a rival organization

(3) robbery from another drug dealer, which may include drugs or money

(4) territorial dispute, especially between rival gangs

(5) elimination of an anti-drug advocate

(6) eliminate a rival in the same organization


Anti-drug advocates may include:

(1) social workers

(2) clergy

(3) judges

(4) politicians

(5) law enforcement officer

(6) people involved in drug rehabilitation

(7) neighborhood residents who speak out against drug dealing


Methods used in a drug murder:

(1) Automatic weapons may be used.

(2) The victim may be killed with a drug overdose ("hotshot").

(3) Overkill may be done intentionally to send a message or for revenge.

(4) Injuries are intended to be lethal.


Features of the murder scene:

(1) The murder may be performed in a public place if the motive for the murder is to send a message.

(2) There is no attempt at concealing the bodies.

(3) Drugs and money are usually removed from the scene.


Features of the victims:

(1) The victim may or may not be involved in drug dealing, depending on the motive for the murder.

(2) A drug screen on the victim may be positive.

(3) Multiple people may be killed, especially in a territorial dispute between gangs.

(4) The victim may be a prostitute or involved in prostitution.


Features of the perpetrator(s):

(1) The perpetrator(s) may have a large amount of money and wealth, even if unemployed.

(2) They are usually known to be involved in drug dealing.


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