DALLAS – Black market sales and purchases are up nearly 25 percent in the Dallas area since the start of the year, according to data compiled by The Globe and Mail.
The numbers show that Dallas is among the biggest market segments in the country where the black markets remain active.
In the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, the number of black market transactions jumped 24 percent from the year before to nearly $20 million in the first three months of the month.
Dallas and Fort Worth were the top two black markets in the nation, according a Bloomberg Intelligence report released Wednesday.
The figures mark a dramatic turnaround from a year ago when Dallas had seen only about $1.5 million in black market sales.
But the black community has been trying to move away from the black-market business for years, and the recent spike is a stark reminder that people still want to get by.
“We have a problem with drugs.
We have a very large black community,” said Anthony Williams, a former federal prosecutor and former U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent.”
People are still trying to figure out how to do business.
And I think that’s the most dangerous part of this.
People are still struggling with this.”
Williams is president of the Dallas Black Market Association, which has partnered with the U.N. refugee agency and the Dallas Police Department to create a hotline for anyone in need of assistance in finding a way to buy drugs.
Dallas police say they’re working with the organization to make the process more seamless and easier for the black population.
“This is just a reminder to everyone that we’re working to help people, and we are committed to getting people out of this crisis,” police spokesman Officer John Baez said.
The black market continues to grow in Dallas.
Sales jumped by $16 million in July, according the report.
And there were nearly 20,000 black market purchases in the last three months, compared with about 12,000 the year prior.