In late 2001 the homicide rate in Saint Louis rose at an alarming rate. Police determined that the rate increase was not result of a surge in the number of crimes of passion or even acts of random violence. Rather, the increase was the result of drug-related violence committed by organized drug traffickers. Approximately 70 percent of all homicides had a definite drug nexus, as the victim, the perpetrator, or both had prior felony drug arrests. Homicides and associated violent crimes were directly linked to a cadre of entrenched violent drug trafficking organizations.