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Atlanta High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis
June 2007

Drug Trafficking Organizations

Mexican DTOs dominate drug trafficking in the Atlanta HIDTA region; they are the most serious organizational threat to the area. These traffickers supply powder cocaine, ice methamphetamine, and marijuana that they obtain from other Mexican traffickers in California and southwestern states to Atlanta for local distribution and abuse and for transshipment to and distribution in other cities in the eastern United States and the Midwest. Mexican DTOs are also transporting large quantities of powder cocaine, ice methamphetamine, and marijuana to Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh for local distribution as well as for distribution to eastern drug markets. Mexican DTOs have established operational bases in Cobb and Gwinnett Counties, the two counties that were added to the Atlanta HIDTA's area of responsibility in 2006. Atlanta HIDTA Initiatives indicate that most investigations conducted in 2006 involved Mexican DTOs based in Cobb County and northern Gwinnett County. Most of the Mexican DTOs based in these two counties operate from secluded rental homes located in affluent neighborhoods. These neighborhoods provide the traffickers with added security because the homes are usually located on large parcels of property, which typically shield the DTOs from direct observation.

African American DTOs and criminal groups are significant drug traffickers in the Atlanta HIDTA region. These traffickers obtain wholesale quantities of powder cocaine from Mexican DTOs in Atlanta and other cities for distribution in the HIDTA region. African American DTOs and criminal groups distribute heroin, marijuana and, to a lesser extent, MDMA and ice methamphetamine at the retail level in Atlanta; they also convert most of the powder cocaine to crack cocaine for retail-level distribution.

Other DTOs and criminal groups, including Asian, Caucasian, Colombian, Cuban, and Dominican, operate in the HIDTA region. Asian DTOs transport and distribute wholesale-level quantities of MDMA and have introduced high-potency Canadian marijuana to the Atlanta HIDTA region; law enforcement reporting indicates that these traffickers also are distributing MDMA and Canadian marijuana from Atlanta to other cities in the Southeast. Caucasian criminal groups distribute cocaine, GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate), MDMA, marijuana, locally produced powder methamphetamine, ice methamphetamine, and diverted pharmaceuticals at the retail level in the region, while Colombian criminal groups supply varying quantities of cocaine and marijuana to retail distributors. Cuban DTOs are increasingly producing and distributing hydroponic marijuana in the Atlanta HIDTA region. Dominican criminal groups distribute cocaine in the region to other criminal groups and abusers.

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