Sign the Resolution for a Federal Commission on Drug Policy
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President's Commission on Organized Crime, 1986
The preceding chapter of this report discusses the historical development of Federal drug policy and demonstrates that the Federal response to the problems of drug abuse and drug trafficking has become more complex over time. A good indicator of the present complexity of the Federal response is the fact that 32 Federal agencies are now involved in the multifaceted effort to reduce the supply of and demand for drugs. In this chapter, the Commission describes the current anti-drug efforts of the principal Federal agencies and their roles in the national strategy. The agencies are grouped by function, beginning with those with central policy roles, followed by international efforts, interdiction, domestic enforcement, data gathering, intelligence, and United Nations efforts.
The National Drug Enforcement Policy Board
The National Narcotics Act of 1984 created the National Drug Enforcement Policy Board (the Board). This Cabinet-level Board consists of the Attorney General as Chairman and the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, Transportation, and Health and Human Services, as well as the Directors of Central Intelligence and the Office of Management and Budget, as members. It is the latest manifestation in the persistent effort to achieve singularity of purpose in the fight against drug abuse, despite the diversity of Federal agencies involved. This fact is explicitly recognized in the pertinent statutory language, found at 1302(b) of the Act, in which Congress expresses its intent to:
(1) Maintain a national and international effort against illegal drugs;
(2) Coordinate fully the activities of the Federal agencies involved; and (3) Charge a single, competent, and responsible high-level Board of the United States Government, chaired by the Attorney General, with responsibility for coordinating United States policy with respect to national and international drug law enforcement.
This intent is based upon sweeping Congressional findings set forth in Section 1302(a) of the Act:
(1) The flow of illegal narcotics into the United States is a major and growing problem.
(2) The problem of illegal drug activity falls across the entire spectrum of Federal activities both nationally and internationally.
(3) Illegal drug trafficking is estimated by the General Accounting office to be an $80 billion per annum industry in the United States.
(4) The annual consumption of drugs has reached epidemic proportions.
(5) Despite the efforts of the United States Government and other nations, the mechanisms for smuggling opium and other hard drugs into the United States remain virtually intact, and United States agencies estimate that they are able to interdict no more than 5 to 15 percent of all hard drugs flowing into the country.
(6) Such significant indicators of the drug problem as drug-related deaths, emergency room visits, hospital admissions due to drug-related incidents, and addiction rates are soaring.
(7) Increased drug trafficking is strongly linked to violent addiction-related crime, and recent studies have shown that over 90 percent of heroin users rely upon criminal activity as a means of income.
(8) Much of the drug trafficking is handled by syndicates, a situation that results in increased violence and criminal activity because of the competitive struggle for control of the domestic drug market.
(9) Controlling the supply of illicit drugs is a key to reducing the crime epidemic confronting every region of the country.
(10) The magnitude and scope of the problem requires the establishment of a National Drug Enforcement Policy Board, chaired by the Attorney General, to facilitate coordination of all Federal efforts by relevant agencies.
(11) Such a Board must have responsibility for coordinating the operations of Federal agencies involved in attacking the problem through the development of policy and resources, so that a unified and efficient effort can be undertaken.
To accomplish the statutory purpose, S. 1304 of the Act specifically empowers the Board to improve policy development and coordination among Federal agencies by:
(1) reviewing, evaluating, and developing U.S. government policy, strategy, and resources with respect to drug law enforcement efforts, including the setting of budgetary priorities and development of a national and international drug enforcement strategy;
(2) facilitating coordination of all U.S. government efforts to halt national and international trafficking in illegal drugs;
(3) coordinating the collection and evaluation of information necessary to implement U.S. policy with respect to drug law enforcement.
In furtherance of these aims S. 1306 of the Act directs the Director of the Drug Abuse Policy Office to serve as an advisor to the Board on matters related to health issues in the drug abuse field. As a principal figure in the area of interdiction, the Vice President is included as an ex officio member.
Under this scheme the Attorney General as Board Chairman, in consultation with the other members, supervises the preparation of initiatives for consideration by the Board. The Board, under the direction of the Chairman, then determines which items to include on its agenda and what priority each is to receive. Such items are then referred to the Coordinating Group, chaired by the Deputy Attorney General and consisting of senior officials from the member agencies.
The Coordinating Group in turn is to submit to the Board practical recommendations, based on consultation with the agencies involved, for resolving drug law enforcement issues and developing appropriate Federal policy. Both the Board and the Coordinating Group are supported in their efforts by a full-time professional staff charged with performing necessary research, analysis, and writing. This staff is composed of individuals drawn from various principal agencies. The intent of this multi-agency composition at all levels, Board, Coordinating Group, and staff, is a reflection of the Board's intent, as expressed in its 1985 Interim Act to Congress:
This structure reflects the need for interagency participation at every level of Policy Board activity. The underlying principle is that there is a practical advantage to resolving differences at the lowest level possible. Disagreements on issues will inevitably occur among various agency participants, but if all points of view are represented at each level, many differences can be worked out by the Staff or Coordinating Group rather than being elevated to the Policy Board.
Section 1304(a) of the Act specifically directs the Board to focus its work on two parts of the five-point National Strategy on Drug Abuse: drug law enforcement and international cooperation. In the area of drug enforcement, the Board pursues four principal strategies: 1) illegal drugs are to be destroyed at their source; 2) drug contraband is to be intercepted and seized en route to or at the borders of the United States; 3) drug trafficking organizations are to be identified, investigated and prosecuted, and drug related assets seized and forfeited; and 4) regulatory means are to be exercised to stem diverted drug abuse.
The Board commenced its activities on April 24, 1985, almost a year after its creation. In its first meeting, it adopted the organizational structure described above. In the months between April 1985 and the end of that year, the Board met five times and the Coordinating Group, five times. Issues referred to the Coordinating Group during that time include "designer" drugs, efforts to improve government-wide drug seizure statistics, and drug crisis management. Its agenda includes a report in January 1986, required by the Narcotics Act of 1984, on the Board's achievements and the effectiveness of its policies to combat national and international drug trafficking. It is also to publish a 1986 strategy report. Items under consideration for inclusion in the Boards agenda are:
Budget Review. The Government has increased substantially the amount of resources devoted to drug law enforcement. Because of the numerous agencies and departments now involved in combatting drug trafficking, the Policy Board is an ideal forum for considering the Government's overall drug law enforcement budget. The Board may undertake budget reviews to determine whether resources are appropriately allocated. Consideration will also be given to insuring proper interagency balance and the optimal use of tax dollars and resources in the drug war.
Memoranda of Understanding. The Board may review the numerous jurisdictional Memoranda of Understanding between Federal agencies to determine the effectiveness of these mechanisms for interagency cooperation.
Interdiction. The Board may examine all of the interdiction programs currently in place. Since, in the last few years, the Federal Government has made an increased effort to prevent illegal drugs from entering the United States, the Board may propose to analyze the effectiveness of interdiction as an overall law enforcement strategy. The Board will also consider the experience gained from the 1981 exception to the Posse Comitatus Act to determine whether additional legislative action is needed.
Eradication. The Board proposes to assess the efficacy of all eradication strategies and the cost-effectiveness of eradication as a drug law enforcement strategy. In addition, it will address how eradication relates to other elements of our enforcement strategy. Because domestic marijuana reduction involves a number of agencies, this issue is well suited to a study by the Policy Board and its staff.
Other Issues. The Board may also refer other issues for additional staff analysis. These might include: money laundering; financial investigative techniques, including asset forfeiture; the relationship of supply and demand reduction strategies; and the collection and sharing of drug intelligence.
The Board's vision of its role is summed up in its Interim Report:
The Board is assuming the task of coordinating all drug related programs. To do this, the Board may develop a planning and management process for policy development and evaluation of the nation's narcotics law enforcement programs.
White House Drug Abuse Policy Office
Created within the White House by Executive Order 12368, the Drug Policy Abuse Office was established to ensure that the President is provided with a center for coordination and oversight of both national and international drug abuse functions of all executive branch agencies. The role of this office has been expanded to include drug trafficking issues as well. The office publishes a regular report on both drug abuse and drug trafficking, the National Strategy, which provides policy direction for all agencies involved in anti-drug efforts. As part of the White House Office of Policy Development, the White House Drug Abuse Policy Office provides the President with a direct advisor on drug abuse policy matters.
Bureau of International Narcotics Matters
As the Federal agency responsible for coordinating the United States' drug control efforts overseas, the Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics Matters (BINM) is pivotal in implementing U.S. anti-drug policy on the international level. BINM attempts to encourage foreign coordination for joint illicit drug control activities; bilateral assistance for crop control and interdiction programs in the form of equipment, training and technical advisory services; participation in international organizations to increase drug control efforts in licit and illicit drug production countries; training programs for foreign personnel in illicit drug control functions to strengthen interdiction and enforcement efforts; guidance, coordination and support of the work abroad of all U.S. government agencies involved in drug control; and technical assistance for international demand reduction. BINM currently provides support for drug eradication efforts in 14 countries and is in large part responsible for much of the world's crop control and eradication efforts, described elsewhere in this report.
Agency for International Development
Section 126 of the Foreign Assistance Act instructs the Agency for International Development (AID) to "give priority consideration to programs which would help reduce illicit narcotics cultivation by stimulating broader development opportunities." Given this mandate, AID issued Policy Determination No. 1 on drugs in 1982, encouraging the design of projects that provide economic alternatives to farmers in drug growing areas. Overseas, AID coordinates with the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics Matters.
AID drug control efforts include finding a suitable mix of substitute crops, assuring free market incentives, and encouraging appropriate host country pricing and marketing policies. AID attempts to develop and implement development projects that facilitate the host government's enforcement of existing bans on drug production.
Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture through the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) assists in the control of illicit drug plants by providing technical information pertaining to eradication and substitute crops. Scientists in the ARS conduct research on the use of herbicides and other techniques for eradication, as well as the use of substitute crops for farmers presently producing drugs. ARS scientists also provide expert advice to the State Department and cooperating foreign countries regarding proposed eradication programs. Potential adverse environmental impacts are assessed prior to the recommendation of control measures, whether it be chemical, mechanical, fire, biological, or through genetic manipulation or a combination of two or more of these techniques. Scientists from ARS have been involved in drug research since 1972 and have assisted control authorities in several drug producing countries in the Americas and the Near and Far East.
National Narcotics Border Interdiction System
The National Narcotics Border Interdiction System (NNBIS) attempts to accomplish comprehensive planning in the limited area of interdiction at or approaching U.S. borders. NNBIS was created by the President on March 23, 1983, and is directed by the Vice President.
NNBIS' mission is to improve border interdiction by accomplishing a threefold goal: to continue to improve interagency coordination among law enforcement agencies; to maximize the participation of the military services and Federal agencies involved in drug interdiction; and to increase and provide interaction for intelligence community involvement in interdiction efforts. Participating agencies include the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Drug Enforcement Administration (of particular importance is the contribution of DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center - EPIC) the Border Patrol, the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Department of State. NNBIS itself consists of a headquarters staff in Washington, D.C. and six regional offices: Miami, New Orleans, El Paso, New York, Chicago and Long Beach, California.
Actual interdiction at or approaching U.S. borders is accomplished by individual agencies during single agency or multi-agency special operations. The role of NNBIS is to provide necessary equipment, intelligence, detection and trend analysis support. Specific NNBIS contributions to drug seizures consist of direct support, such as the passing of "real-time" information, general information, or regional analysis. NNBIS staffs, consisting of agency-contributed personnel in both Washington and the regional centers, coordinate with contributing agency staffs to lay the groundwork for special initiatives, which then can proceed in a timely fashion to enhance drug law enforcement efforts. Of critical importance in understanding NNBIS' role is the fact that the activity has no funding of its own. It is entirely dependent upon agency contributions of manpower and intelligence and does not have a direct operational authority. It can only inform and advise its constituent agencies concerning opportunities for coordinated or expanded operations. Thus, criticisms of NNBIS, alleging that many seizures would have occurred anyway, even if NNBIS did not exist, miss the point. Individual agencies are intended, indeed mandated, to carry out their missions, including contraband seizures. NNBIS is intended to supplement, not replace, those efforts. It has a steadily improving record of doing so, a fact recognized even by some critics.
Operation Hat Trick I
In the fall of 1984 Hat Trick I, the first major coordination effort attempted under the NNBIS management mechanism, was undertaken. Hat Trick I was designed to disrupt the transshipment of the fall harvest of marijuana from Colombia, while simultaneously intercepting any cocaine shipped during the operation.
During the 60-day operation, an intercept line of Coast Guard and Navy ships was formed in the Caribbean to halt smuggling vessels. The Department of Defense supplemented the operation with electronic equipment capable of detecting both aircraft which flew over the ships and vessels which slipped through the net. Additionally, the Customs Service and Border Patrol increased their efforts at and between the ports of entry to the United States, and the intelligence community added previously unprecedented support to the effort. This multi-agency approach emphasized the critical need for compatible communications capabilities. This lesson is being carried forward in current operational planning.
The anticipated reaction to this operation was an attempt by the smugglers in Colombia to stockpile shipments. To counter this, multi-agency teams, headed by the Department of State, visited Colombia and neighboring countries to brief officials there about the operation and to elicit their support. The Colombian government, which had declared a "war without quarter" against drugs the previous year, seized the opportunity to step up efforts to destroy the marijuana in that country. Colombian officials were also placed aboard U.S. Coast Guard cutters, operating off the Colombian coast to coordinate with Colombian enforcement units.
Operation Hat Trick I proceeded as expected, with massive maritime seizures, and a significant reduction of maritime drug shipments. According to NNBIS, over 600,000 pounds of marijuana and 6,000 pounds of cocaine were seized by U.S. agencies during the operation. Simultaneously, the Colombian government, through eradication and destruction of stockpiled contraband, removed over 50 percent of the fall marijuana crop from possible export.
Operation Hat Trick II
Operation Hat Trick I has come to be viewed as a prototype effort in it initiated improvements in planning, communications security, in-country efforts, air operations, intelligence and resource support. Hat Trick II, a much more ambitious operation begun in November 1985 and still under way, is the logical follow-on, drawing carefully on lessons learned from Hat Trick I.
Coordinated by NNBIS and consisting of the combined forces of U.S. civilian drug enforcement agencies and all branches of the military, Hat Trick II involves increased land and air patrols to disrupt drug traffic into the United States. The long-term goal of the operation is to affect the worldwide availability of drugs by increasing international pressure on trafficking organizations. It is a complex operation that tightens surveillance along our border with Mexico and along the known air and ocean supply routes from South America and other Caribbean countries.
The United States Navy and the Coast Guard, working together, provide the primary maritime surveillance and interdiction forces for Hat Trick II, while the U.S. Customs Service works as the lead agency with the Navy, Air Force, Army and Marines in directing air operations. The Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service Border Patrol are conducting intensified operations all along U.S. land and sea borders. Through Department of State and DEA initiatives, the U.S. is working to provide the maximum coordination of anti-drug efforts in foreign countries.
Hat Trick II employs military surveillance aircraft to identify and track smugglers and to exploit the known routes traffickers use from their source countries to their ultimate destination. If the smugglers attempt to hide and wait in a source or transit country, the drug enforcement authorities in those countries are prepared to seize drugs and make arrests. An important key to Hat Trick II lies in the ability of source and transit countries to take advantage of the disruption the United States has caused in normal drug trafficking. Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, Jamaica and other countries throughout the region are cooperating in this international effort.
Hat Trick II has contributed significantly to institutional change among involved agencies. For example, as a result of planning initiatives for Hat Trick II, the U.S. Navy has changed its policies, and Navy ships have served as platforms for a significantly increased number of Coast Guard interdictions. Further, military radars have become a much more significant factor in aircraft seizures. The diversions in smuggling routes and methods caused by the operation have made drug trafficking a more costly enterprise for smugglers, and secure communications enhancements have kept operational information away from them. Major cocaine seizures have resulted from U.S. Bahamian cooperation. The intelligence community has greatly increased its collection and dissemination of tactical intelligence. Each law enforcement agency has, in essence, developed specialized intra-agency operations in support of the overall Hat Trick II effort.
Operation Blue Lightning
To test the effectiveness of conducting an operation with Federal, State and local participation, as well as exercising the growing U.S.-Bahamian partnership against drug smuggling, a major special operation, entitled "Blue Lightning," was devised and coordinated from the NNBIS Regional Center in Miami.
Blue Lightning concentrated on two geographical areas, the Bahamian Archipelago and the area West of the Bahamas up to and including the coast of Florida. In the Bahamas islands were targeted as "stash sites," or drug holding areas, and unannounced sweep teams were flown in to search for contraband. The sweep teams were composed of Bahamian Police, transported by U.S. military helicopters. Efforts were coordinated by the DEA and U.S. Embassy in Nassau. The effort outside the Bahamas included coordinated, augmented air and sea detection capability up to the Florida coast. As a primary participant in the NNBIS coordinated operation, the U.S. Customs Service was requested to assume lead agency status for the portion of the operation outside the Bahamas. Overall Blue Lightning participants included 16 State, county and city law enforcement agencies, the Customs Service, Department of Defense, Coast Guard, and National Park Service in addition to the DEA and the Government of the Bahamas. Additionally, Bahamian personnel were assigned to South Florida for the duration of the operation to fly law enforcement missions with U.S. Customs.
The raids by Bahamian authorities forced smugglers to move their drugs to the U.S. immediately, where law enforcement units were positioned to intercept them. Over 6,000 pounds of cocaine, 33,000 pounds of marijuana, and over $1.5 million worth of vessels, aircraft, trailers and cash were seized. Additionally, interdiction techniques were tested and refined, heightening the ability to conduct coordinated international and interagency operations.
U.S. Coast Guard
Responsible in large part for U.S. drug interdiction efforts, the Coast Guard's strategy has been mainly directed toward intercepting motherships as they transit the major passes of the Caribbean. To effect this "choke point" strategy, the Coast Guard conducts both continuous surface patrols and frequent surveillance flights over the waters of interest, and boards and inspects suspect vessels at sea. In the past major Coast Guard resources have been concentrated in the "choke points" traditionally transversed by traffickers. Cutters now more frequently patrol the Bahamas, the eastern passes of the Caribbean, and the Gulf, Atlantic and Pacific coastal areas.
During the past several years the Coast Guard has increased the number of cutter patrol days and aircraft operating hours devoted to drug interdiction, increasing their ability to respond quickly to sightings and other intelligence. In addition, the Coast Guard is deploying leased Sea Based Aerostats (SBAs), which are small tethered balloons equipped with surface search radar, tethered offshore at sufficient altitude to greatly increase its range. As part of a coordinated operation, surface target information is paused to a command and control cutter for evaluation and deployment of other assigned units, both surface and air.
Better intelligence remains an important factor in increasing the Coast Guard's overall interdiction effectiveness. The most critical need is timely and accurate information on the number, identity, location and destination of vessels and aircraft carrying contraband which are bound for the United States. During the past two years improvements have been made in the collection, evaluation, and dissemination of intelligence. A new intelligence coordination center in Washington, D.C. maintains a 24-hour all-source watch to exploit all intelligence systems available to the Coast Guard, and produces intelligence tailored to the needs of operational commanders. The Coast Guard is also continuing liaison with the law enforcement community's intelligence network.
U.S. Customs Service
The U.S. Customs Service participates in several multiagency investigative programs, including the Florida Joint Task Group and the President's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. The efforts of these two programs alone resulted in 1,194 arrests and drug seizures of 35,702 pounds of cocaine, 132 pounds of heroin, and 3,848,293 pounds of marijuana from FY 1952 to FY 1985.
Prompted by the increasing sophistication of violators of critical technology and trade laws, including individuals in drug-related activities, the Customs Service established an Office of Intelligence in 1981. Customs-acquired intelligence of national security interest is, for the first time, actively being disseminated to community agencies, and the intelligence community is currently developing information useful for drug enforcement. The development of secure communications facilities within the Customs Service, currently underway, will further enhance this capability.
The Customs Aviation and Marine Programs are consistently changed and upgraded to reflect new technologies and equipment and improved tactics and strategy. Drug smugglers have responded to these programs by adjusting their routes to elude the increased effectiveness of enforcement officials.
The Customs Service has developed teams of inspectors and canine enforcement officers to more thoroughly examine persons, conveyances, and cargo determined to be high risk. These mobile teams, which use highly trained dogs to detect drugs, allow Customs to release cargo and passengers deemed to be low risk without examination, thus speeding the entry of most people and cargo. The teams comprise 12 percent of the inspectional workforce, but have accounted for the greater proportion of the drug seizures. During the first 9 months of FY 1985, they have been responsible for 66 percent (10,269 pounds) of the hashish, 87 percent (876 pounds) of the cocaine, and 40 percent (243 pounds) of the heroin that has been seized by inspectors.
During the past three years, the Customs Service has attempted to convince the commercial air and sea carriers of their responsibilities in the effort to halt drug trafficking. As part of this initiative Customs contacted the major carriers and signed cooperative agreements with a number of them. These set out specific measures designed to prevent and detect the use of commercial vessels and aircraft that smuggle drugs and other contraband. Customs works closely with carriers, to apprise them of their vulnerabilities through regular meetings; to provide a training program on cargo, aircraft, and facility security; to perform security surveys; and to compile threat assessments. This cooperation between Customs and commercial carriers has led to the detection of drugs and the transmittal of valuable intelligence to local customs officials.
Department of Defense
In 1981 Congress passed legislation clarifying statutory restrictions on the use of Department of Defense (DOD) resources for law enforcement purposes. As a result, the Department of Defense now has greater freedom to support Federal law enforcement agencies. DOD resources play an important role in the Federal drug interdiction program by providing surveillance and support services, such as using aircraft to search for smugglers and Navy ships to tow or escort vessels seized by the Coast Guard to the nearest U.S. port. As of the end of September 1985, the DOD has been involved in 38 vessel seizures, and their assistance has been invaluable during NNBIS-directed joint operations.
DOD's increased involvement in drug law enforcement as a result of amendments to the Posse Comitatus Act, has proved pivotal in many instances. In fact, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended unanimously in early 1985 that the U.S. military be engaged to an unprecedented extent in fighting drug trafficking and production. It called for the implementation of a massive new program in which military forces would expand their present supportive role by becoming involved in drug interdiction, in training Central American nation's anti-drug forces, and in providing needed weapons and equipment.
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program
The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF), comprised of 13 Task Forces nationwide, brings all Federal agencies with drug enforcement responsibilities together into a coordinated effort against the largest and most important national and international drug trafficking rings. Justice Department agencies involved in the effort include the FBI, the DEA, and the Marshals Service; Treasury Department agencies include the U.S. Customs Service, the Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, and Firearms, and the International Revenue Service. The Coast Guard has a major role in the program as well, and the Department of Defense offers intelligence and information on sightings of suspected drug traffickers heading for the U.S. by sea and air.
In slightly more than two and one-half years, the Task Force has produced 1,721 indictments against 6,545 defendants. The Task Force emphasis is on prosecuting and imprisoning drug kingpins, money launderers, and financiers. There is also strong focus on seizing cash and drug-related assets. In fact, the assets seized may soon exceed the cost of the Task Force program.
The Task force Program relies largely on the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statutory provision and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute. The conviction rate in cases reaching disposition is approximately 95 percent. State and local officers participate in nearly one-half of the Task Force investigations.
New international law enforcement cooperation also has been achieved, since nearly one-half of Task Force cases target organizations international in scope. These efforts have received substantial support from foreign law enforcement agencies, as indicated by the fact that five percent of Task Force cases now involve direct participation by foreign police. This has created a new focal point for international drug investigations.
Drug Enforcement Administration
As the lead Federal drug agency the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is charged with enforcing the controlled substance laws and regulations of the United States. DEA also participates in non-enforcement programs to reduce the demand for drugs. Part of the Department of Justice, DEA comprises 2,400 special agents in 121 domestic field offices and 61 offices in over 40 foreign countries.
DEA's primary objectives are:
- To bring to bear all the Federal resources on the arrest, prosecution, and immobilization of major drug trafficking organizations via continued coordination with other Federal agencies and the use of financial and legal tools, emerging technology, and sophisticated investigative techniques.
- To reduce the supply of illicit drugs from source countries, thereby reducing the availability of illicit drugs in the United States and abroad via source country initiatives, assistance to foreign government, training for foreign law enforcement authorities, and public support for successful foreign government endeavors.
- To significantly reduce the diversion of controlled substances from the legitimate channels in which they are manufactured, distributed, and dispensed through a vigorous program of investigations and State, local, and international cooperation.
- To enlist the active participation of State and local governments and law enforcement agencies in the national drug eradication program, clandestine laboratory task forces, State and local task forces, and other multi-state coordinative efforts.
- To participate actively and aggressively in the Federal, State, and local effort to mobilize public support for the drug enforcement and abuse prevention program by implementing strategies and educational programs that stimulate cooperation among State and local criminal justice agencies, school, businesses, civic, and parent groups.
- To improve the effectiveness and efficiency of DEA operations through the implementation of specific programs designed to enhance employee performance.
Domestic Eradication Programs
The DEA's Domestic Eradication/Suppression Program has expanded significantly since the Drug Enforcement Administration first provided eradication assistance to Hawaii in 1979, and currently all 50 States participate in this venture. DEA encourages State and local eradication and provides training, equipment, funding and investigative and aircraft resources. In 1984, with 48 States participating, approximately 3.8 million marijuana plants were eradicated. The Secretary of the Interior has also been authorized by a recent Executive Order to conduct an extensive eradication program targeting marijuana plants on Federal lands. Spraying commenced on October 6, 1985.
El Paso Intelligence Center
The El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) is the Drug Enforcement Administration's national drug information center, with intelligence systems located at DEA headquarters, and in DEA's foreign and domestic offices. EPIC's strategic intelligence program furnishes geographic assessments, estimates, and warnings of drug availability, production, trafficking trends and routes. It distributes information to foreign, Federal, State and local agencies through numerous publications. Its operational intelligence program directly supports investigations underway against top-level traffickers and supplies information on specific organizations and their financial assets to support investigations worldwide. As appropriate, this intelligence is shared with other Federal, State and local agencies to ensure its maximum utilization against drug traffickers. EPIC serves as a clearinghouse for drug information collected 24 hours a day. With DEA as its lead agency, EPIC is staffed by special agents and intelligence analysts working with personnel from the FBI, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Marshals Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Customs Service, Coast Guard, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Departments of Defense and State, and members of the Federal intelligence community. Today all States participate in EPIC through chartered arrangements made between DEA and the individual States.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Although DEA is nominally the lead Drug Enforcement Agency, its Director reports to the Director of the FBI. In granting the FBI concurrent jurisdiction with DEA, the Attorney General has mandated that the FBI assume a significant drug enforcement role. He has also directed that FBI expertise in such areas as organized crime financial investigations and white-collar crime investigations be fully used in drug enforcement work.
Both DEA and the FBI place strong emphasis on major distributors and organizations involved in the manufacturing, importing, distributing and financing of illicit controlled substances. Conspiracy investigations (particularly the Continuing Criminal Enterprise and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Statutes) are the focal point of investigation efforts.
Internal Revenue Service
Within the Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) plays a critical role in U.S. drug control efforts by targeting drug traffickers' profits. IRS Financial Investigative Task Forces rely on the reports of financial transactions, filed by banks and other institutions, to identify financiers of criminal activities and money laundering specialists. These reports include Currency Transaction Reports and Foreign Bank Accounts Reports. Through these Task Forces trace the transferrals of large sums of cash and identify the proceeds of drug trafficking.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is the principal source for current information about the effects of drug abuse. NIDA was established in 1972 as part of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and for its first nine years, operated under a broad mandate that included providing direct financial assistance for drug abuse education, training, treatment, and rehabilitation, as well as conducting research programs. With the passage of The Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services Block Grant in 1981, full responsibility for carrying out treatment and prevention service functions was transferred from NIDA to the States.
Now a part of the Department of Health and Human Service, NIDA's current role in reducing demand, as set forth both in the National Strategy and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Amendments of 1983, is to develop and disseminate new knowledge about drug abuse, its prevention and treatment, and to exercise national leadership in encouraging and assisting the private sector, the States, and local governments to implement and support drug abuse prevention and treatment programs in their communities.
The NIDA research program has several important components. Through its epidemiological research program NIDA assesses the nature and extent of the nation's drug abuse problem and its trends. NIDA supports two ongoing epidemiological surveys, the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse and the High School Senior Survey. NIDA's Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) monitors information on the health consequences of drug use through emergency room visit statistics and through medical examiner reports. In addition to these major efforts, NIDA provides grants for a number of special epidemiological studies.
National Narcotics Intelligence Consumers Committee
The 11-agency National Narcotics Intelligence Consumers Committee consists of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs Service, the Departments of Defense, State and Treasury, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Naturalization Service, National Institute on Drug Abuse, White House Drug Abuse Policy Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service. This Committee was created as the primary vehicle at the national level for review and dissemination of strategic intelligence. It publishes an annual report, the "Narcotics Intelligence Estimate," which details the supply of drugs to the U.S. illicit market from foreign and domestic sources, and their patterns and rates of use.
Central Intelligence Agency
Since the signing of Executive Order 12333 in December 1981, the Central Intelligence Agency has provided assistance to drug law enforcement efforts through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information regarding foreign narcotics production. The CIA plans to upgrade its capabilities to gather and assess drug-related intelligence over the next five years, and is currently coordinating research to develop technologies which can be used to better detect drug trafficking.
United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control
As the drug control arm of the United Nations, the United Nations for Drug Abuse
Control was established in 1979 to assist governments by helping finance projects aimed at
reducing the illicit supply of and demand for drugs. Projects undertaken by the United
Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control include replacing illicit opium cultivation, treating
and rehabilitating drug addicts, strengthening control measures, or organizing information
and education programs. The Fund relies entirely on voluntary contributions, mainly from
governments but also from private sources. The United States has long been the primary
contributor to the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control. In early 1983, however, the
Fund obtained a $40 million pledge, extending over a five year period, from the government
of Italy for coca control projects in South America. In early 1984 major donors to the
United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control agreed that development assistance to narcotics
growing regions should be linked to government commitments to control illicit drug
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