This City in Arizona Has Been Named the High Drug Trafficking in the State


Drug trafficking is a major concern in the United States, particularly along the Southwest border, where multinational criminal groups carry massive amounts of illegal drugs.

This poses a risk to national security, public health, and communal well-being. According to the US Department of Justice, Arizona is part of the Southwest Border High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), with this blog article concentrating on Nogales, a city along the Arizona-Mexico border.

Nogales: The City with the Most Drug Trafficking in Arizona

Nogales’ Distinction: According to Justice, an analytics website, Nogales, in Santa Cruz County, is Arizona’s most drug-trafficked city in 2023. The rating takes into account elements such as drug seizures, arrests, and prosecutions, providing a complete picture of the issue.

Nogales’ Statistics: In 2019, Nogales had the most drug seizures in Arizona, at a rate of 18.5 per 1,000 people. With 1,026 drug arrests, it placed fourth in the state, with a rate of 11.6 per 1,000 population. Furthermore, Nogales had 467 drug convictions, placing third in Arizona with a prosecution rate of 5.3 per 1,000 population.

Nogales: A City With a Rich History

Nogales’ Historical Context: Founded in the nineteenth century as a border town, Nogales has a complex history defined by hostilities between the United States and Mexico, including the Battle of Nogales in 1918 and the Nogales Incident in 1929. Nogales, a destination for immigrants and refugees, is culturally rich, with attractions like as the Nogales Historic District and the Pimeria Alta Museum.

Features of Nogales

  • Nogales’ strategic position in southern Arizona, near the Mexican border, allows for both legitimate and illegal activity. Major highways like I-19, AZ-82, and AZ-189 facilitate the flow of people, products, and, regrettably, narcotics.
  • Nogales has a stable but slow-growing population that is primarily Hispanic or Latino. The city’s demography is younger, with a median age of 34.6 and a poverty rate of 30.5%.
  • Nogales’ economy is weak and unpredictable, relying heavily on commerce, government, and education. The typical family income is $30,981, while the unemployment rate is 9.9 percent.

Factors Influencing Nogales

  • History: Nogales’ historical setting, which includes conflicts, immigration, and debates, has had a long-term influence on the city’s social and economic dynamics.
  • Culture: Nogales’ dynamic cultural landscape, which includes arts, entertainment, and sports, enhances the city’s quality of life while simultaneously exposing citizens to the problems of drug-related activities.
  • Drug Trafficking: Nogales is a major entry point for cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana into the United States. The city also sees violence and corruption from criminal groups, local gangs, and corrupt authorities.


Nogales, Arizona, has the dubious distinction of being the state’s most drug-trafficked city, located on the southwest border. Historical intricacies, cultural dynamics, and economic reasons all contribute to the country’s drug-related issues. As a key entry point for illegal narcotics, Nogales is plagued by violence and corruption, emphasizing the larger difficulties surrounding border drug trafficking.

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