Rogelio E. Guevara
Chief of Operations
Drug Enforcement Administration
House Judiciary Committee
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
May 6, 2003
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) employs a universal approach in enforcing the provisions of the controlled substances and chemical diversion trafficking laws and regulations of the United States. As a single mission agency, DEA is strictly focused on reducing drug trafficking and abuse in America, which continues to bring misery to America's cities and children. DEA's strong presence, both domestically and internationally, enables the agency to focus its resources on the most substantial drug trafficking organizations impacting the United States.
DEA's primary duty is to provide the best drug law enforcement agency to the American people, thereby reducing America's abuse of illicit drugs. America's efforts to reduce drug abuse have resulted in various successes. However, there is still much work to be done. Worldwide drug trafficking generates billions of dollars in illicit proceeds, sometimes used by criminal and terrorist organizations to carry out horrific acts against law-abiding citizens and established governments, including the United States.
To combat America's drug threat, DEA has instituted a number of strategic enforcement and intelligence programs and initiatives, which the Subcommittee should be aware of as it considers a new authorization bill, including:
- DEA's Priority Drug Trafficking Organization (PDTO) initiative will focus substantial resources in its 21 nationwide field divisions on local, regional, national and international drug organizations significantly impacting the drug supply;
- DEA's Intelligence Division vigorously focuses on intelligence driven targeting, in support of DEA's strategic goal to identify, target, investigate, disrupt and dismantle the most substantial drug trafficking groups;
- DEA's Operational Support Division has implemented significant changes regarding their management, technology, facilities and oversight, which has resulted in cost effective operations more efficient, expeditious and systematically run programs;
- DEA's Demand Reduction Program, an element of our enforcement strategy, compliments DEA's investigative operations by educating the media, law enforcement, the public at large and anti-drug groups, through initiatives such as Operation X-Out and Meth in America: Not in Our Town.
Chairman Coble, Ranking Member Scott and distinguished members of the subcommittee, it is my distinct pleasure to appear before you for the first time in my capacity as the Chief of Operations of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Before I begin, Mr. Chairman, I would like to recognize you and the members of the subcommittee for your outstanding support of the mission and men and women of the DEA. I look forward to a continued productive and cooperative relationship with the subcommittee, as we work to advance DEA's mission and objectives.
The DEA Mission
The mission of DEA is to enforce the Controlled Substances laws and regulations of the United States and to bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the U.S., or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations involved in the growing, manufacturing or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States.
The Department of Justice Strategy
On March 19, 2002, the Attorney General announced a six-part drug strategy for the Department of Justice, which was squarely focused on reducing the availability of illegal drugs to Americans. Given the inherent relationship between drug supply and drug demand, the Department's strategy plays a pivotal role in achieving the President's overall goal of reducing drug use. Specifically, the Attorney General's strategy mounts a comprehensive multi-level attack on drug trafficking and money laundering organizations, as the central means of accomplishing Priority III of the President's National Drug Control Strategy-Disrupting the Drug Market. That strategy consists of six key elements:
Reduce the supply of drugs available in the United States by 10 percent.
Through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), engage the talent and resources of all of the federal law enforcement agencies to identify and target the major trafficking organizations responsible for the U.S. drug supply across the nine OCDETF regions.
Create, for the first time, a unified national list of drug organization targets-the consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT) list-developed collaboratively
by federal drug enforcement agencies.
Emphasize financial investigations to eliminate the infrastructure of drug organizations and remove the profits from these organizations through asset forfeiture.
Undertake a substantial redirection of resources to the drug importation and bulk distribution "hot spots" so that federal resources are realigned, commensurate with the current drug threat.
Conduct expanded investigations that move simultaneously in many districts against the different parts of the targeted organizations in order to eliminate their ability to supply illegal drugs to Americans.
To accomplish this mission, DEA has specific long-range goals and objectives to target and immobilize major drug trafficking organizations operating at all levels of the drug trade. DEA directs investigative resources toward every angle of drug trafficking groups, using both traditional and innovative drug control approaches. This overall strategic approach is based on the recognition that the major drug traffickers, operating both internationally and domestically, have insulated themselves from the drug distribution networks but remain closely linked to the proceeds of their trade. Consequently, the identification and forfeiture of illicitly derived assets is a powerful means to successfully destroy the economic base of the drug trafficking organization, as well as a means of proving a connection between violators and a criminal drug conspiracy at the time of prosecution.
DEA's investigative efforts continue to be directed against major international drug trafficking organizations and their facilitators at every juncture in their operations-from the cultivation and production of drugs in foreign countries, to their passage through the transit zone, and eventual distribution on the streets of America's communities. DEA's Strategic Plan takes into account its management infrastructure and the current drug trafficking situation affecting the United States and works to identify the characteristics and exploit the vulnerabilities of all three levels of the drug trade. By focusing directly on the agency's investigative priority targeting system, DEA responds to each of the following levels, simultaneously:
International Targets: DEA will eliminate the power and control of the major drug trafficking organizations and dismantle their infrastructure by disrupting and dismantling the operations of their supporting organizations that provide raw materials and chemicals, produce and transship illicit drugs, launder money worldwide and halt the operations of their surrogates in the United States.
National/Regional Targets: DEA will continue an aggressive and balanced enforcement program with a multi-jurisdictional approach designed to help focus Federal and interagency resources on illegal drug traffickers, their organizations and key members who have control of an area within a region of the United States, and the drugs and assets involved in their activities.
Local Initiatives: DEA will continue to assist States and localities in attacking the violence that plagues our cities, rural areas and small towns to protect our citizens from the impact of drugs and help restore a positive quality of life. (DEA considers this an important part of its overall strategy to complement the state and local efforts with specialized programs that bring DEA's intelligence, expertise and leadership into specific trouble spots throughout the nation.)
Management and Infrastructure: DEA will develop a secure and effective infrastructure and ensure that management oversight provides DEA personnel with the tools necessary to get the job done. DEA must also have the systems and structures to monitor its programs carefully, comply with reporting and information sharing requirements and manage its finite resources efficiently.
THE TASK: Domestic Drug Trends and Trafficking Patterns
The drug market in the United States is one of the most diverse and profitable illegal enterprises in the world. Drug trafficking organizations exploit legal and geographic vulnerabilities and demonstrate a high-degree of flexibility in their operations to evade law enforcement. Consequently, the deployment of DEA's counter-drug resources remains flexible in order to respond to the dynamics of the illicit drug trade.
Marijuana is the most widely abused and most readily available illicit drug in the United States and is available in varying degrees in every state in the union. Although precise estimates for the source of marijuana consumed in the United States cannot be made, marijuana smuggled into the United States, whether grown in Mexico, Colombia, or Jamaica, accounts for a large share of the marijuana available in the United States. High potency marijuana also enters the country from Canada. However, based on eradication statistics, domestic production is increasing. In the United States, cannabis is mainly cultivated in remote locations and frequently on public lands.
Mexican-based traffickers, with extensive networks in the United States, control poly-drug smuggling and wholesale distribution from hub cities to retail markets throughout the country. Mexican marijuana primarily enters the United States through entry points along the Southwest Border. Multi-ton amounts are often smuggled in tractor-trailers.
Colombian organizations control the worldwide supply of cocaine and move cocaine by land, sea and air. These groups have ceded an increasing role in cocaine trafficking to Mexican-based trafficking organizations that smuggle cocaine from Mexico into the United States. Colombian traffickers control wholesale-level cocaine distribution in the Northeast, while Mexican traffickers control distribution throughout the West and Midwest.
Southeastern ports, most notably Miami, Houston and New Orleans, are the primary maritime arrival zones, while cities along the Southwest Border are arrival and distribution points for overland cocaine movement. Chicago is a critical distribution hub for Mexican-based cocaine trafficking organizations, while New York City remains under the control of Colombian-based organizations.
Heroin is readily available in many U.S. cities, as evidenced by its high purity at the street-level. Heroin from the four source areas-South America, Southeast Asia, Mexico and Southwest Asia-reaches the United States. Virtually all heroin produced in Mexico and South America is destined for the U.S. market.
Since the mid-1990s, when Colombian traffickers penetrated the market with high-purity, low-priced heroin, South American heroin has dominated the market in the eastern half of the country. Couriers traveling on commercial airlines are the primary smugglers of Colombian heroin to the United States, and their primary entry points are Miami and New York. Mexican heroin continues to dominate the market west of the Mississippi and is generally smuggled overland through Southwest Border states. Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin are available in the Northeast and North Central sections of the country.
Domestic methamphetamine production, trafficking and abuse are concentrated in the western, southwestern and mid-western sections of the United States. Although outlaw motorcycle gangs traditionally controlled methamphetamine production and trafficking, criminal groups composed of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans now produce most of the domestic methamphetamine. Methamphetamine produced in large-capacity laboratories, primarily located in the western and southwestern United States or Mexico, is transported via passenger vehicle across the country. Many of the largest methamphetamine laboratories can be found in California. Thousands of small independent laboratories, especially in the Midwest, produce gram or ounce quantities of methamphetamine, primarily for personal use or small-scale distribution.
MDMA (Ecstasy, XTC, Hug Drug), a hallucinogen with stimulant properties that is primarily produced in the Netherlands, remains the most prevalent of all the so-called club drugs in the United States. Often distributed at nightclubs and "raves," all-night dance parties, it is widely abused by middle-class teenagers and young professionals. In Fiscal Year 2001, the U.S. Customs Service seized approximately 7.2 million MDMA tablets. MDMA tablets smuggled into the United States from Europe are destined for distribution primarily in New York City, Miami and Los Angeles.
Other Dangerous Drugs
Often referred to as designer or club drugs, these illicit drugs, primarily synthetic, vary widely in their psychoactive effects and are most commonly encountered at nightclubs and "raves." In addition to MDMA, the most widely available club drugs include the depressant/predatory drug GHB and the hallucinogens PCP and LSD. These drugs have gained popularity principally due to the false perception that they are not as harmful, nor as addictive, as mainstream drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine. The United Nations recently stated that, if current trends continue, "synthetic drugs" like MDMA and predatory drugs will be the number one drug problem in the world.
The synthetic substances, 5-MeO-DIPT, known by the street name "Foxy" or "Foxy Methoxy," and alpha-methyltryptamine (AMT), are being reported as new drugs of abuse in limited areas of the United States. These substances, which produce hallucinogenic effects, are indicative of a trend in which many non-controlled synthetic substances are sold to capitalize on the current popularity of club drugs, especially MDMA. Recognizing this problem, DEA temporarily placed these two drugs in Schedule I, in April 2003.
In 1973, DEA was comprised of 2,868 Special Agents and support personnel. Today, DEA has 8,475 authorized positions worldwide, including Special Agents, Intelligence Analysts, Diversion Investigators and Chemists. DEA's first budget was $74 million. In 2003, our enacted appropriation was $1.6 billion. Domestically, DEA maintains 21 Field Divisions, with offices in every State and the Special Operations Division at DEA Headquarters. At the core of DEA's operational successes lie specific programs and initiatives to combat America's greatest drug trafficking threats.
In April 2001, DEA initiated the Priority Drug Trafficking Organization (PDTO) initiative. The PDTO system was developed as a clear and specific enforcement objective targeting drug trafficking organizations by disrupting the networks that link them. PDTOs are regionally identified by field divisions as investigations of drug trafficking organizations that control the highest known level of the drug trafficking hierarchy.
PDTO investigations must reveal that the organization is stable and deals violently with members of its organization, competitors, clients, law enforcement officers, or citizens. Large-scale drug trafficking organizations use sophisticated techniques such as business fronts and the use of the Internet to facilitate their criminal activity. Their methodology consists of money laundering schemes, established lines of command and control, establishment of drug manufacturing, importation, transportation and distribution cells and diversion of controlled substances or precursor chemicals.
Since April 2001, DEA has initiated 1,276 PDTO cases. Of those cases, 158 organizations have been disrupted and 187 have been dismantled. Currently, there are 911 open, active PDTO investigations within DEA.
The greatest impact in combating drug trafficking organizations has been made when the full concentration of federal resources are brought to bear on these individuals and organizations through the efforts of the Department of Justice's OCDETF program. Just as when the program was originally initiated, DEA remains the leading initiator of OCDETF cases within the federal law enforcement community. The OCDETF program functions through the investigative, intelligence and support staffs of DEA; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and components of the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the efforts of the U.S. Attorneys, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Coast Guard and state and local law enforcement agencies.
The primary goal of each OCDETF investigation is to reduce the availability of drugs in America by strategically targeting and eliminating those trafficking organizations responsible for supplying the largest amounts of drugs. The OCDETF member agencies determine connections to related investigations, nationwide, in order to identify and dismantle the entire structure of the drug trafficking organization (DTO). OCDETF investigations emphasize disrupting the financial dealings and dismantling the financial infrastructure that supports the DTO. DEA's State and Local Task Forces and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)-funded groups are engaged as partners with the OCDETF program and enhance the effectiveness and success of the OCDETF program.
Complementing DEA's PDTO and OCDETF initiatives, the DEA State and Local Task Force (SLTF) Program continues to foster productive relationships and enhance cooperation and coordination with our state and local counterparts in the enforcement of federal drug laws. These SLTFs address drug problems of concern in the geographic regions where they operate. State and local agencies that participate in this program are actually force multipliers, which add additional resources to DEA. Statistically, DEA SLTFs account for approximately 40 percent of all DEA case initiations and seizures.
It is important to emphasize that there are no real operational differences between the types of cases conducted by DEA Task Forces and DEA's regular enforcement groups. This program provides numerous advantages to both the DEA and participating agencies. DEA is able to share resources and expertise with state and local law enforcement, thereby increasing investigative results. The SLTF Program also allows state and local officers to be federally deputized, thus extending their jurisdiction. The SLTF Program is a significant asset to DEA and America's efforts to curb drug trafficking and abuse.
And finally, the HIDTA program is a national strategy providing Federal assistance in coordinating law enforcement efforts of local, state and Federal entities in areas where major drug production, manufacturing, importation or distribution flourish to such a degree that they have harmful effects on other parts of the country. DEA maintains a strong ongoing commitment to the HIDTA program, addressing regional drug problems of concern. The DEA continues to achieve success in HIDTA-funded initiatives through cooperation and coordination with our state and local counterparts in the enforcement of federal drug laws.
DEA currently oversees and directly supervises 48 HIDTA-funded task forces located in DEA offices, consisting of 527 Task Force Officers. Over 300 DEA Special Agents work within HIDTA initiatives to share and develop narcotics intelligence and pursue joint investigations. DEA's commitment to the HIDTA program has resulted in significant HIDTA program successes, in furtherance of the Department of Justice's Domestic Drug Enforcement Strategy.
In furtherance of our mission, DEA has conducted numerous significant investigations. I would like to share a few of DEA's notable investigations with the Subcommittee.
In July 2001, the DEA Miami HIDTA Task Force initiated an international investigation that identified a worldwide MDMA distribution network operating in Colombia, Israel, the Netherlands and the United States. Title III intercepts, undercover operations and search warrants resulted in the seizure of approximately 2 million MDMA pills and more than $2 million. Nine of the organizational leaders were arrested in Spain, Colombia and the United States. The investigation also determined that Israeli organized crime elements were financing the smuggling operation and obtaining the MDMA from the sources of supply in Holland. In January 2003, as a result of the international scope of this investigation, the authorities in Switzerland froze additional accounts of the organization totaling $1.5 million. The investigation is active and continuing.
In September 2001, the FBI initiated the undercover investigation in Houston, Texas. The target was attempting to obtain $25 million worth of East-bloc military weapons for the AUC, a Colombian terrorist organization, in exchange for cocaine and U.S. Currency. In April 2002, DEA Houston HIDTA Major Drug Squad (MDS) 6 became involved in the investigation. To date, the investigation has revealed that the original PDTO target has been a long-time member of an international drug trafficking organization responsible for the importation of more than 50 tons of cocaine into the United States. The undercover operation resulted in the arrest of four defendants in connection with the weapons deal, three of which occurred in Costa Rica.
In October 2002, an international MDMA investigation conducted in Belgium, Israel and the United States culminated with three arrests in New York City. The case began with the seizure of 1.4 million tablets of MDMA in Antwerp, Belgium, by the Belgian Federal Police-the largest MDMA seizure in Europe to date and the third largest MDMA seizure in the United States. The shipment had a retail value of approximately $42 million. During the course of the investigation, the Israeli National Police identified the shipment as part of an ongoing investigation targeting a group of Israeli nationals. These individuals were affiliated with violent, organized crime elements in Israel.
- Oliver BEASLEY, identified as a major cocaine and heroin distributor in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, was the leader of an organization responsible for the distribution of 50-100 kilograms of cocaine and at least 12 kilograms of heroin, per month. Direct evidence has corroborated that at least 11 heroin overdose deaths, from January 2002 to March 2002 in the Pittsburgh area, were attributed to the heroin bearing the stamps of this organization. To date, 45 individuals have been indicted and arrested. The seizure of the organization's assets total in excess of $8.6 million dollars, including U.S. Currency, real estate, jewelry, vehicles and businesses 12 weapons, three and a half kilograms of heroin, a half-kilogram of crack cocaine and three-quarters kilogram of cocaine.
DEA's Office of International Operations maintains 79 offices in 58 countries. These offices support DEA domestic investigations through foreign liaison, training for host country officials, bilateral investigations and intelligence gathering. The DEA's international presence is an invaluable asset in the pursuit of drug traffickers in all areas of the world. Foreign operations enables DEA to share intelligence and coordinate and develop a worldwide drug strategy, in cooperation with our host countries. The DEA's foreign operations are managed in five sections: Southeast Asia, Central America/Mexico, South America, Europe/Middle East and the Caribbean.
Southeast Asia covers fifteen country offices. Intelligence indicates that, although there has been a marked decrease in the amount of Southeast Asian heroin seized in the U.S., Southeast Asian heroin continues to pose a threat to the United States. A shift in U.S. heroin trafficking trends could easily result in the resurgence of Southeast Asian heroin. Southeast Asian heroin has the broadest U.S. geographical distribution. The most visible trafficking organizations operating in Bangkok are the West African groups. In addition, DEA offices in Southeast Asia have reported an increase in methamphetamine production/abuse. The methamphetamine epidemic has negatively affected many U.S. strategic partners in this area, including the Philippines, Japan and Thailand.
DEA has supported significant investigations in Southeast Asia. In April 2002, an investigation with host country counter-parts culminated in the seizure of approximately 317 kilograms of heroin and the arrest of 13 subjects. This investigation is significant, as it was the first time that the exchange of "real-time intelligence" had led to a major seizure in China.
Central America/Mexico covers fifteen country offices. Current reporting indicates that the Southwest Border remains the point of entry for the majority of all illicit drugs smuggled into the United States. The Mexico-Central America corridor is currently the predominant route for cocaine movement to the United States, with an estimated 72 percent of the cocaine transiting this corridor. Mexico also supplies heroin, methamphetamine and a significant amount of the marijuana consumed in the United States.
The U.S. diplomatic and DEA presence in Mexico is one of the largest outside the United States. The Government of Mexico (GOM) and DEA have achieved great successes in drug interdiction and eradication. Bilateral cooperation and the exchange of information have been unprecedented under President Vincente Fox-Quesada's administration. Under his Administration, the GOM has pursued every major drug trafficking organization (DTO). However, despite recent successes, Mexico still faces daunting and significant challenges in the areas of counter-narcotics, its legal system and anti-corruption effort.
Significant arrests of prominent Mexican DTOs have been made by the GOM over the last two years. In March 2002, Special Forces of the Mexican Army, in conjunction with the Mexican Organized Crime Unit, arrested Benjamin Arellano-Felix, leader and patriarch of the Arellano-Felix drug trafficking organization. Mexican authorities charged Arellano-Felix with money laundering, organized delinquency and trafficking in marijuana, cocaine and heroin. He is also indicted in the Southern District of California with operating a Continuing Criminal Enterprise, money laundering and drug conspiracy charges. Arellano-Felix led one of the most powerful and violent drug cartels in Mexico since the 1980, transporting ton quantities of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin into the United States, through the Tijuana and Mexicali corridors.
The South America section covers fifteen country offices. The DEA in South America and, in particular, the Bogota, Colombia Country Office (BCO), is aggressively targeting international drug trafficking organizations, in addition to facilitating the objectives of the Andean Regional Initiative. The BCO continues to focus on the dismantling of trafficking organizations with international implications - specifically, those with a connection to the United States. Colombia has long been the largest exporter of cocaine to the U.S. and has become a major supplier of heroin, as well. In addition, the BCO is focusing its efforts on the importation and diversion of precursor chemicals. The BCO's Special Investigative Units (SIU) and the Andean Programs have been very successful in mounting cases against major traffickers and having these traffickers extradited to the U.S. for prosecution.
Enforcement actions in the BCO demonstrate DEA's commitment in the war against drug trafficking and abuse and terrorism. In 2002, several high ranking members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) were indicted in the United States for drug trafficking. This investigation highlighted the link between groups and individuals under investigation for drug trafficking, as well as terrorist activity. This case represented the first time that drug trafficking charges were brought in the United States against members of foreign terrorist organizations.
In November 2002, the BCO successfully concluded a two-year investigation with the arrests of 16 defendants. The arrests included the principal targets in Colombia and Ecuador responsible for the 13-ton shipment of cocaine seized from the vessel M/V Svesda Maru. In June 2002, the BCO concluded the yearlong investigation, Operation Julieta, by arresting 21 individuals in Colombia responsible for shipping multi-kilograms of heroin and cocaine to the United States.
The Caribbean section covers seven foreign country offices and four domestic offices. The Caribbean has long been an important transit zone for drugs entering the United States and Europe from South America. The drugs are transported through the region, to both the United States and Europe, through a wide variety of routes and methods, primarily marine vessels. The Caribbean remains a major transit route for South American cocaine destined for the United States and other world markets. The Caribbean is also an important transit point for marijuana and heroin destined for the United States, as well as a major money-laundering center for illicit drug proceeds.
The Caribbean Offices strive to strengthen the region's collective ability to track, interdict, arrest and prosecute successfully money laundering and drug smuggling organizations that operate in the Caribbean.
Europe, Africa, Middle East and Canada
Europe/Middle East covers 156 countries, with 24 DEA country offices. With various drug trafficking organizations' methods of operation and tentacles stretching around the globe, DEA offices in these regions are combating the aggressive activities of numerous DTOs. These include the new methods of operation of the Albanian DTOs, the influx of MDMA and multi-ton shipments of cocaine from South America in containerized shipments.
The DEA initiated Operation Containment, an enforcement program involving the Central Asian States, India, Pakistan, Turkey, the Balkan countries, Russia, Germany and the United Kingdom. The goal of Operation Containment is to reduce the amount of Afghan heroin flowing to Western Europe through enhanced interdiction efforts, intelligence sharing and database connectivity. During Operation Containment's "Interdiction Blitz," from June 10, 2002 through July 10, 2002, the following drug seizures were made: 1705 kilograms of heroin, 125 kilograms of hashish, 1.5 kilograms of liquid cocaine, 1.6 kilograms of powder cocaine, 250,000 tablets of amphetamines, 690 tablets of MDMA, 5329 kilograms of cannabis, 352 kilograms of opium, 1574 metric tons of toluol, (precursor), 1008 kilograms of poppy straw and 2013 opium plants.
Special Operations Division
DEA's Special Operations Division (SOD), created in 1995, is a DEA led Division with participation from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Justice's (DOJ) Criminal Division. SOD's mission is to establish seamless law enforcement strategies and operations aimed at dismantling national and international trafficking organizations by attacking their command and control communications. Special emphasis is placed on those major drug trafficking organizations that operate across jurisdictional boundaries on a regional, national and international level. The unique investigative support provided by SOD allows the program to act as a "force multiplier" for drug law enforcement because it provides an effective and efficient medium for communication, intelligence sharing and coordination among America's major drug law enforcement agencies.
Significant operations supported by SOD include Operation Webslinger, the first national operation that targeted organizations utilizing the Internet to traffic the predatory drugs GHB, GBL and 1,4 BD (BD). Operation Webslinger culminated in September 2002 and resulted in the arrest of 170 individuals and the seizure of 3,600 gallons of GHB, GBL and BD; 2 clandestine laboratories; 4.75 pounds of methamphetamine; 1.3 kilograms of MDMA; 2,500 vials of steroids; 17 properties; 10 vehicles; 44 weapons; and $2.4 million in U.S. currency. SOD also supported Operation Double Trouble a money laundering operation that targeted international money brokers responsible for laundering drug proceeds. To date, this operation has resulted in the arrest of 62 individuals and the seizure of 170 kilograms of cocaine, 7 kilograms of heroin, 10 weapons, 4 vehicles and $12.4 million in U.S. currency.
Operation Mountain Express III, a nationwide investigation targeting pseudoephedrine suppliers for Mexican methamphetamine "super labs," revealed that proceeds from sales of Canadian pseudoephedrine were being funneled through traditional "hawalah" networks to individuals in the Middle East. This operation resulted in the arrest of 136 individuals, the seizure of 35.8 tons of Canadian origin pseudoephedrine, 179 lbs. of methamphetamine, six methamphetamine labs and $4.5 million.
Operation Northern Star employed a comprehensive strategy targeting the entire methamphetamine trafficking process, including the suppliers of precursor chemicals, chemical brokers, transporters, manufacturers, distributors and the money launderers who helped conceal their criminal proceeds. DEA and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced the arrests of over 65 individuals in ten cities, throughout the United States and Canada. The arrests resulted from an 18-month international investigation targeting the illegal importation of pseudoephedrine, an essential chemical used in methamphetamine production. As part of this investigation, agents targeted six executives from three Canadian chemical companies. All sold bulk quantities of pseudoephedrine to methamphetamine manufacturers in the United States, with the full knowledge that their sales were intended for the illegal production of the highly addictive and dangerous drug methamphetamine.
The Intelligence Division provides dedicated analytical support to DEA investigations, programs and operations worldwide. The headquarters component advises on all matters pertaining to the formulation, direction, coordination and management of DEA's global drug intelligence and information exchange programs. Intelligence functions include policy development and management, guidance on sensitive activities and maintenance and development of methods and techniques, domestic intelligence, international intelligence and the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC). The Intelligence Division also is active in countering terrorism. DEA has over 700 Intelligence Analysts assigned to field divisions; foreign offices; and headquarters functions, including EPIC and the Aviation Intelligence Group.
EPIC concentrates primarily on drug movement, illegal aliens and weapons violations in the United States and the Western Hemisphere. A number of EPIC programs are dedicated to port-seizure analysis and the establishment of links between recent enforcement actions and ongoing investigations. EPIC coordinates training for state and local officers concerning interdiction and concealment methods used for drugs and drug currency. EPIC also provides tactical intelligence information to the officers within the first critical week after a seizure or a stop.
In FY2002, 32 percent of EPIC's inquiries were related to counterterrorism. EPIC has supported the FBI, the Department of Defense, the United States Coast Guard, other federal and state and local agencies by processing almost a million database accesses, providing over 33,000 investigative leads and forwarding over 6,000 communiqués to investigators. The Office of Special Intelligence (NS) also is involved, routinely researching its databases for leads. NS has been critical in the identification of impending terrorism activities.
DEA's Intelligence Division is committed to interagency cooperation. Each designated HIDTA has at least one intelligence element, usually called an Investigative Support Center (ISC). HIDTA intelligence elements serve as hubs for the sharing of drug intelligence among federal, state and local law enforcement HIDTA-funded participating agencies. DEA's commitment to HIDTA shows in the assignment of nearly 10 percent of our analytical resources to HIDTAs. EPIC also plays a critical role in support of the HIDTA funded task forces by dedicating specific intelligence resources to facilitate HIDTA requests. Additionally, DEA provides leadership to the Counterdrug Intelligence Coordination Group and the Counterdrug Executive Secretariat and provides, on a reimbursable basis, at least three employees to the Central Intelligence Agency to support that agency's counterdrug programs.
DEA's Intelligence Division has been active in international cooperation, strengthening the Bilateral Drug Intelligence Working Groups. Mutually beneficial meetings have been held with the partners: Germany, Canada and Australia. To expand this initiative, meetings also were conducted with China.
Office of Diversion Control
The mission of DEA's Office of Diversion Control (OD) is to prevent the diversion of legitimately produced controlled substances and listed chemicals while ensuring adequate supplies for legitimate needs. In fulfilling its mandate under the Controlled Substances Act, among many functions, OD maintains a national registration program for all controlled substances handlers (those who manufacture, distribute, dispense, import or export such substances); conducts major diversion investigations, unilaterally or together with state/local authorities; serves as the U.S. Competent Authority in fulfilling national obligations under United Nations drug and chemical control treaties; establishes national drug production quotas; controls the import/export of controlled drugs and listed chemicals; and maintains liaison with the drug and chemical industry, associations and related professions.
Among current important OD initiatives are a national program to prevent and detect diversion of the powerful narcotic OxyContin®; international partnership initiatives to prevent and detect global diversion of key chemicals used in illicit cocaine, heroin and amphetamine-type stimulant (e.g., MDMA) production; and a program to target use of the Internet to illegally obtain controlled drugs. In a continual effort to streamline/improve efficiency of service to DEA registrants, OD is in the process of "re-engineering" the registration program to allow interactive Internet provision of registration services and is embarked on a major E-commerce initiative. This initiative which will provide for the secure use of the Internet to conduct controlled substance prescription and ordering functions.
One notable Diversion case concerned the owner and six physicians of the Carolina Neurology and Pain Management Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, who were named in a 59-count federal indictment. Each defendant was charged with conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense Oxycodone, as well as a variety of other controlled substances. Due to the large amounts of controlled substances distributed for non-legitimate medical reasons at the clinic, several patients died. The defendants also were charged with money laundering in excess of $5,000,000 during the period between June 1997 and July 2001.
DEA employs over 500 Diversion Investigators, who are assigned to domestic field divisions, foreign offices and Headquarters elements. The Diversion Control Program is a fee-funded activity with respect to its controlled pharmaceutical functions.
Office of Training
The Drug Enforcement Administration's Office of Training is the nation's preeminent law enforcement training organization for national and international drug law enforcement training. The Office of Training provides technical and non-technical training to DEA personnel and appropriate domestic and foreign law enforcement officers, to improve individual and organizational performance and assist in achieving mission and performance goals.
The primary purpose of the DEA Training Academy is to train the agency's four core constituencies: Basic Agents, Basic Diversion Investigators, Basic Intelligence Research Specialists and Basic Forensic Scientists. In addition, the Academy provides for professional and executive development training, certification training and specialized training. The Academy also is used to conduct drug law enforcement seminars for state and local law enforcement personnel, and through the use of specially equipped classrooms, international drug training seminars for foreign law enforcement officials. DEA training includes Executive and Professional Development training, state and local training, clandestine laboratory training and various international training programs. During FY 2002, DEA's Office of Training provided instruction to over 7,800 DEA and other federal, state, local and international students. DEA anticipates training approximately the same number of personnel in FY 2003.
Operational Support Division
The Operational Support Division is responsible for the management and operation of DEA's Offices of Administration, Investigative Technology, Information Systems and Forensic Sciences. Numerous improvements have been realized in the areas of investigative technology, information technology, laboratory services, clandestine laboratory cleanups, audit requirements and domestic and laboratory replacements and renovations.
For example, the Office of Investigative Technology implemented a Centralized Call Data Delivery system for intercepted cellular pen register data for the field. This system enables each division to obtain cellular call data without the need to establish a dedicated connection to individual cellular companies, thus generating substantial cost savings to DEA. The Office of Information Systems was the first component in the Department of Justice to electronically transmit information through the Department's Joint Automated Booking System (JABS) to the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, through the Firebird Booking Station. This system provides rapid identification of individuals under arrest or detention, minimizes duplication of data entry during booking, and it promotes data sharing among Department law enforcement agencies and other authorized parties, through an interface with the Nationwide JABS.
The Operational Support Division has improved hazardous waste disposal by implementing significant cost savings and efficiencies with a new five year hazardous waste cleanup contract and developing an alternative clean up program. In addition, significant improvements have been made in DEA's audit requirements, as apparent in the recently completed KPMG 2002 Financial Audit, in which DEA went from three IT material weaknesses in 2001 to none in 2002.
While DEA is principally a law enforcement agency, demand reduction is an important element of DEA's overall enforcement strategy. Through investigations such as Operation Webslinger and Operation Pipe Dreams, an investigation that targeted national distributors of drug paraphernalia, DEA carries out its enforcement mission while achieving the complementary goal of raising public awareness regarding the dangers of drug abuse and drug trafficking.
DEA also provides training in support of national conferences held by a variety of federal, state and local agencies. These conferences bring together law enforcement, health, prevention and education groups to craft a specific strategy to deal with methamphetamine abuse unique to their states. Last year, for example, DEA hosted Methamphetamine Conferences in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Hawaii and at the Midwest Governor's Summit in Iowa. DEA's Demand Reduction Program also spearheaded the following campaigns:
DEA's "Meth In America: Not In Our Town" campaign in 2002
Methamphetamine has become the number one drug problem of rural and small-town America. As a law enforcement agency, DEA felt this message was an important one to put out to the American people. This public awareness campaign has led to numerous congressional offices requesting DEA participation in "Meth Town Hall Meetings," allowing Members to bring awareness about the problem to their constituents.
Operation X-Out shows how deeply integrated supply reduction and demand reduction are. X-Out combines enforcement operations against MDMA and predatory drug traffickers with public news conferences and town hall discussions in communities about the devastating effects of club drugs. Local citizens, drug prevention experts and victims of drug-inspired crimes participate and articulate how the community can actively engage and stop the spread of club drugs in their community.
FY 2003 Enacted Appropriation and FY 2004 Budget Request
In FY 2003, DEA's enacted appropriation of $1.6 billion and 8,475 positions, provides 161 positions (including 95 Special Agents) and $43.8 million in direct funding to enhance drug enforcement activities, strengthen financial investigations and protect DEA's personnel and sensitive information.
The President's FY 2004 Budget Proposal for DEA of $1.7 billion and 8,815 positions responds to the challenge we face - reducing availability of illegal drugs in America. To this end, DEA's FY 2004 Budget Request includes three programmatic enhancements as follows:
To target Priority Drug Trafficking Organizations, DEA requests $38.9 million and 329 positions (including 123 Special Agents and 20 Diversion Investigators). This initiative includes a request for administrative support positions to free up the equivalent of 80 Special Agents' work hours for enforcement activities and $4 million to support 100 State and Local Task Force Officers. These resources are necessary to fully support DEA's plan for addressing the Nation's illegal drug threats in the post-September 11, 2001, environment.
To continue the International Training Program, DEA requests $1.5 million and 20 positions (including 16 Special Agents). These resources will address an anticipated shortfall of reimbursable resources that the Department of State currently provides for this program.
To improve DEA's Financial and Asset Management Programs, DEA requests $2.5 million and 20 positions. This enhancement will allow DEA to make systemic improvements necessary to ensure continued success in future financial audits.
For the Diversion Control Fee Account, the FY 2004 President's Budget continues the increased level of funding requested in FY 2003 to strengthen our enforcement capabilities for investigating the diversion of controlled substances, including OxyContin®.
In addition, the President's FY 2004 Budget includes $23 million and 150 positions (110 Special Agents) for DEA under the OCDFTF Program to support the Department's Strategy by targeting Consolidated Priority Organization Targets.
The DEA remains committed to our primary goal of targeting and arresting the most significant traffickers in the world today. In particular, we will continue to work in close partnership with our local, state, federal and international counterparts to target drug trafficking groups, who spread misery and false hope to America's citizens.
Again, I would like to thank the Subcommittee for inviting me here today. You have given me an opportunity to speak to you regarding DEA's programs, initiatives, goals and objectives in addressing drug trafficking and abuse in America. As the Members of this Subcommittee know well, drugs know no boundaries and do not make distinctions between big city and small town America, between color and ethnicity, whether rich or poor. It is the responsibility of every American to contribute in the fight against illegal drugs.
I will be happy to respond to any questions you may have.