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Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis
June 2007


The influence of Mexican DTOs in the Appalachia HIDTA region will quite likely increase in the next year as they expand their drug trafficking operations in the HIDTA region as well as in the eastern United States. Mexican DTOs will supply the HIDTA region with increasing quantities of cocaine, Mexican marijuana, and ice methamphetamine that they obtain from other Mexican DTOs operating in Atlanta or in Southwest Border states. Additionally, Atlanta-based Mexican DTOs may attempt to expand their networks directly into the Appalachia HIDTA region to capitalize on new and underdeveloped drug markets.

The availability of Mexican ice methamphetamine will increase over the next year, fueled largely by Mexican DTOs supplying increasing demand for the drug by new user groups, including teenagers and young adults.

Mexican black tar heroin abuse in the Appalachia HIDTA region may rise marginally in the coming year, particularly among middle- and upper-income abusers, who seem to prefer that kind of heroin. Mexican DTOs will be well-positioned to increase heroin supplies, if necessary, by virtue of their entrenched distribution networks within the region.

The Appalachia HIDTA region will remain one of the nation's leading source areas for domestically produced marijuana. Outdoor cannabis cultivation will inevitably continue in remote areas of the region, including on public lands. A relatively high poverty rate in the region's remote areas will ensure acceptance of cannabis cultivation by some local residents who regard it as a necessary means to supplement low incomes. Additionally, indoor cannabis cultivation, which is presently limited throughout much of the region, will increase, particularly as more sophisticated marijuana producers begin to capitalize on higher profit margins associated with high-potency marijuana that is more effectively produced at indoor locations.

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