Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Narcotics Army

Point of View: The bulk of the prison population in the US is drug traffickers, drug users, drug gang members, drug enforcers, and a very few drug kingpins. Drug related crimes are not diminishing, they are increasing. The incarcerated population is perennial.

Some would say this is a function of the inordinate appetite for recreational drugs in the US. Others say it is because we don’t spend enough on interdiction and criminal prosecution.

The following document is testimony before Congress. It is incontrovertible proof that:

1. The staggering army of enforcers and co-dependent support teams are a major part of our police and prison budgets on the national, state and local levels, and they are growing, outpacing the economy.

2. Much, if not most of the violence in the US is related to drugs, and to drug enforcement pressures on drug activities.

3. Seizures of bulk currency, boats, vehicles and property is enormously lucrative compared to the effort required. It sustains the drug enforcement army and showcases their efforts.

4. None of this makes more than a dent in the total drug traffic, except, perhaps, in cocaine. It takes twice as many trained and equipped drug enforcers to bring a few drug traffickers to justice.

5. Mexico remains the world’s Number One drug country. It’s banking structure and its economy depend to a critical extent on the trade.

I personally don’t believe either the US or Mexico is willing, or able, to end it. There is simply too much money, too many careers and too much inertia in the drug war, and the profits, influence and organization of the drug cartels are self-sustaining.

Statement Before the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control

May 5, 2010


- DEA has the largest federal law enforcement presence overseas. DEA has 83 offices in 62 countries

- 18-39 billion dollars annually is moved from the interior of the U.S. to the Southwest border on behalf of Mexican and Colombian DTOs (Drug Traffic Organizations)

- marijuana is the top revenue generator for Mexican DTOs

- the extraordinary level of violence in Mexico is another signpost of successful law-and-order campaigns by military and law enforcement officials in Mexico (This is double-think!)

- Since 2007, there have been over 22,000 drug-related murders in Mexico

- the intimidation of officials, threats against their lives or their families’ lives, is a much more widespread and effective tactic, and likely accounts for a plurality of corrupt law enforcement officials in Mexico.

- March 18 and 21, the FBI and DEA led a collaborative effort of more than 200 (!!) federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel in “Operation Knockdown.”

- Intelligence from Operation Knockdown led to (only) 54 arrests

- With narco-corruption cases increasingly pointing to high-ranking federal officials in the Mexican government, President Calderon launched Operation Limpieza (Clean Sweep).

- 700 FBI agents leading our charge against public corruption As a result, over 400 public corruption cases originate from that region.

- In fiscal year 2009, there were over 100 arrests (of Mexican and US public officials)

- the government of Mexico has extradited in excess of 280 criminals to the United States

- desperate, vulnerable drug traffickers operating under unprecedented stress are exceedingly violent.

- DEA has 1,205 special agent positions working in domestic offices

- DEA has the largest law enforcement presence of any U.S. agency in Mexico, with 62 special agents.

- Concealment Trap Initiative (CTI) targets those who build concealed trap compartments or use natural voids in vehicles

- DEA expended $3 million on the CTI program in 2009, and seized over $28 million,

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