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Mexican DTOs will continue to use the highways that intersect the Gulf Coast HIDTA region as the primary transportation corridor for conveying illicit drugs to and bulk cash shipments from Atlanta. Although successful highway interdiction efforts have resulted in the seizure of many shipments, the sheer quantity of illicit drugs and cash that transit the region makes it difficult to significantly disrupt DTO transportation operations.

NDIC analysts expect cocaine to remain available at levels adequate for sustaining the retail markets in the Gulf Coast HIDTA region. Cocaine abuse is expected to remain stable at high levels throughout the region.

NDIC analysts project that the pseudoephedrine and ephedrine control legislation in Mississippi and Alabama, when successfully implemented, will inhibit pseudoephedrine smurfing operations and lead to decreased methamphetamine production in the region. As a result, the number of methamphetamine laboratories seized in the region is expected to decrease over the next 24 months, particularly in Mississippi. NDIC analysts expect that this situation will create an opportunity for increased Mexican methamphetamine trafficking and distribution in the region because of the diminished ability of traffickers to produce the drug locally and the presence of an established abuser population. NDIC analysts also expect that some methamphetamine traffickers will continue to produce methamphetamine locally by traveling to nearby Florida or Texas to obtain pseudoephedrine, which is not a scheduled chemical in either state.

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