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NDIC analysts expect that the Arizona HIDTA region will maintain its position as the principal U.S. arrival zone for Mexican marijuana, with Mexican traffickers increasing their use of tribal and public lands to conduct smuggling operations. Mexican DTOs' use of tunnels and ultralight aircraft to bring marijuana and other drugs across the border into the Arizona HIDTA region is also expected to increase. The trend toward a "shotgun approach" of dispersing drug loads among many smaller drug shipments, rather than in one or two large loads, is also expected to increase. As a result, marijuana is expected to remain plentiful, and prices will remain steady. Methamphetamine availability is expected to increase and prices to fall as Mexican DTOs increase production of the drug in Mexico. With increasing heroin production in Mexico and the ready availability of CPDs, particularly opioids, abuse of opiates will increase in the Arizona HIDTA region. Street gangs are expected to continue to move into less populated areas, where law enforcement is unprepared or unable to deal with a growing gang presence. Drug trafficking and related crime will increase as the gangs expand their criminal operations into these vulnerable areas.

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