If you think that federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and local authorities alike are stepping up their enforcement activities, you’re probably right.

It’s happening because the interstates that run up and down the rural areas surrounding Charlotte have become a major pipeline for drug cartels moving methamphetamine and other hard-core drugs.

The boom in the drug business is largely related to the population boom in Charlotte and the surrounding areas. DEA agents say that Mexico drug kingpins have been pushing a steady stream of meth into the state. Meth is hugely popular right now, and the meth coming in from Mexico is purer and cheaper than what is usually made locally.

The authorities say that crystal meth flowing in from out of state is now almost as cheap as high-quality marijuana. Most of what comes in from Mexico is produced in massive operations by experienced chemists, unlike the fly-by-night operations that tend to happen in local areas.

If you’re a trucker on the roads in North Carolina, it’s especially important to be aware the DEA agents are watching you. As one legal authority said, “It is well known that commercial trucking is one of, if not the single most common way that money and drugs are traversed to and from the Southwest border.” Agents have found (and confiscated) drugs, money and guns at area truck stops.

As DEA agents and local law enforcement get better at communicating, it gets riskier than ever to be involved in the drug trade. Don’t fool yourself into believing that the authorities will go easy on you if you’re just moving money or guns, not drugs — nor should you believe that you’ll get a light sentence for a first offense.

If you make a mistake and are charged with drug trafficking in North Carolina, get experienced legal assistance by your side right away.