Somewhere in Elizabeth, New Jersey, your typical urban ghetto, a twenty something kid shoots out emails to his customers. The messages are not overly discrete, but he has attempted to disguise himself by creating a yahoo account with an alias. His e-mail address and computer lay undetected amongst millions of other yahoo account holders. The e-mail handle is very suggestive to his profession, he’s a drug gofer, he gets his clients the drugs they want from someone else and if he can’t get it from “his guy”, he’ll get it from someone else. He isn’t a smuggler, or a big time dealer, but he is communicating with clients as far away as rural New Jersey’s river towns along the Delaware River and his business is booming. From heroin to cocaine he can hook a client up with their desired fix at his place or within a block of his house.

The homes in this area of town are a virtual drug strip mall, if door number one doesn’t have what you want, then there is always door number two, three or four. This is the new face of dealing. It’s high tech and portable. There are no cell phone bills or telephone conversations, and this is why Elizabeth, New Jersey and other surrounding towns are losing ground against the drug war and the gangs.

Gang violence has always been problematic but can it be stopped? The relationship between illegal drug sales and gang violence has been seen time and time again. In 2005 members of the franchised MS-13 were rounded up in Elizabeth for distributing some of the same drugs that a construction worker in Milford, New Jersey ordered via e-mail from that twenty something year old kid in Elizabeth. The effects of the gang violence haven’t reached those quant river towns yet, but they are destroying places like Newark, Jersey City and Elizabeth.

The drug war has failed. Crime has not subsided and drug use has remained a constant. When the gangs loose their ability to profit then they loose their power and control over their products and their communities, a change in drug policy direction could perhaps be the answer to resolve this failed attempt to rid our cities and towns of gang violence and drug violence.