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Drug Cartels Move North to California

La Opinin, Posted: Dec 31, 2008

LOS ANGELES -- A decrease in the flow of drugs from Mexico has led to an increase in production in California, reports La Opinin. As authorities report confiscating drugs at the border, domestic production has increased in Southern and Central California in the last few months, according to a report by the National Drug Intelligence Center. The increase can be attributed to Mexican and Asian cartels that have moved their operations from Mexico to California to set up large-scale methamphetamine labs. The economic crisis and the drop in the flow of drugs from Mexico, combined with a growing demand, have sparked production at the local level, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's Anti-Narcotics Office. The report ranked California as the leading state in the production of synthetic drugs and illegal marijuana growth, especially in the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino. This year authorities found 19 of the country's largest meth labs in California. Observers worry that domestic production could lead to an increase in violence at the local level, and they say California cities are already beginning to see the first outbreaks of violence between rival drug gangs. Meth labs have also been associated with environmental and health hazards.

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