National Drug Intelligence Center
Mexican DTOs will continue to dominate the wholesale transportation and distribution of powder cocaine, commercial-grade marijuana, ice methamphetamine and, increasingly, heroin to the Atlanta HIDTA region. Cocaine availability at the wholesale level may continue to fluctuate in the region because of increased security at the U.S.-Mexico border and continued efforts against Mexican DTOs operating in Mexico; however, it is quite unlikely that sporadic cocaine shortages will have a significant impact on cocaine availability at the retail level.
The recent seizure of a methamphetamine conversion superlab in the Atlanta area and the seizure of large amounts of pseudoephedrine in the region suggest that large-scale methamphetamine production may pose an emerging threat. Moreover, the resurgence of small-scale methamphetamine laboratories fueled by pseudoephedrine smurfing operations in the region creates conditions conducive to an increase in local methamphetamine production.
Heroin availability may increase in some Atlanta HIDTA cities that had not been considered heroin markets, but overall availability will remain low. Mexican DTOs have increasingly marketed heroin in the Atlanta HIDTA region, specifically in portions of North Carolina where heroin abuse is most likely to increase.
Hispanic street gangs in the Atlanta HIDTA region will distribute increasing amounts of illicit drugs at the retail level; this increased distribution may lead to violent confrontations over territories with other street gangs and retail distributors in the region. Mexican DTOs will continue to provide Hispanic street gangs with a steady supply of drugs that they will use to continue expanding their distribution operations.
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