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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Enforcement Administration Highlights Year’s
(Washington, D.C.) In 2005, the Drug Enforcement Administration has
continued to effectively adapt to the increasingly complex challenges
that face modern-day drug enforcement. While it is difficult to exactly
quantify the progress made in a given year, the DEA is proud to share
the news of some of our important successes of 2005 with the American
public. Achieving such progress on this important national issue
is encouraging news for us all.
The range of DEA’s accomplishments – from stripping drug
criminals of their exorbitant profits, to shutting down illegal Internet “pharmacies,” to
completing a huge nationwide methamphetamine sweep resulting in more
than 400 arrests - indicates that while the current drug situation
certainly remains difficult and complex, the DEA has developed equally
complex and highly effective strategies to combat even the most sophisticated
Listed below are Drug Enforcement Administration successes from Fiscal
Year 2005. They are divided into categories that reflect the top priorities
of the agency: financial investigations and investigations of money
laundering organizations; pursuing Internet drug traffickers; arresting,
indicting, and extraditing members of large drug organizations; investigating
those who use drug profits to fund terrorist activities and also assisting
law enforcement officers in countries that have been victimized by
terrorist groups; assisting local law enforcement officers in the United
States; and reaching out to the American public to increase awareness
about drugs and drug abuse.
Financial and Money Laundering Operations:
Operations stripped drug traffickers of nearly $1.9 billion in
$1.4 billion in asset seizures and
$477 million in drug seizures.
Investigations that began as “following the money” led
to the seizure of 947 kilograms of cocaine, 21,650 pounds of
marijuana, and 7 kilograms of heroin.
In July, 2005, the DEA announced the “Money Trail Initiative.” This
initiative highlights the large scale impact of DEA-led financial
investigations on major drug organizations. To date, the DEA has
seized more than
$36.2 million in proceeds that traffickers are trying to smuggle
from the U.S. to where the drug organizations are located.
As a result of the “Money Trail Initiative,” there
have been 230 arrests and seizures of 181 vehicles, 72 firearms,
and more than 3,400 pounds of cocaine.
DEA conducted Operation Mallorca,
a multi-jurisdictional Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task
Force (OCDETF) money laundering operation that identified four
money brokers who laundered $12 million in illicit drug proceeds
through the Colombian Black Market Peso Exchange (BMPE). The
BMPE is a system
where drug traffickers sell drug proceeds in U.S. dollars to
brokers for pesos. The investigation resulted in the arrest of
and the seizure of $7.8 million.
Internet Drug Trafficking:
combating the recent development of traffickers selling prescription
the Internet, the DEA seized over $21.6 million
in cash, property, computers and bank accounts.
The DEA announced
Enforcement Initiative (VEI).
The first major operation of this new initiative was Operation “Cyber
Chase,” which, in April, resulted in the identification
of over 200 web sites that illegally sold pharmaceutical drugs.
this year-long OCDETF
operation, more than 20 criminals were arrested in eight U.S.
cities and four foreign countries. Until they were arrested,
these “e-traffickers” had
been operating in the United States, India, Asia, Europe and
the Caribbean, and were using their rogue pharmacies to distribute
VEI Operation, CYBERx, for the first time targeted e-trafficking
within the United States. The alleged
drug dealers who operated these rogue Internet pharmacies received
prescription orders for controlled substances over the Internet,
which were then shipped to the doors of many U.S. citizens-sometimes
any prescription needed. These alleged criminal pharmaceutical
drug traffickers had averaged more than $50,000 a day in profits
illegal Internet based enterprise.
Gear Grinder, a 21-month OCDETF investigation, targeted eight
major Mexican steroid
manufacturing companies, their owners,
and their trafficking associates. DEA intelligence analysts and
diversion investigators found that 82 percent of the steroids
seized and analyzed
are of Mexican origin. A large majority of those steroids originated
from the eight companies identified in Operation Gear Grinder.
These businesses conducted their sales via the Internet, and
their combined total U.S. steroid sales are $56 million per year.
DEA conducted and led the first nationally-coordinated methamphetamine
more than 200 cities in the U.S. Operation
Wildfire resulted in more than 427 arrests and the seizure of
than 208 pounds of meth.
- In addition,
Operation Wildfire resulted in the seizure of: 56 clandestine
labs, 200,000 pseudoephedrine tablets, 524 pounds of
precursor chemicals, 123 weapons, 28 vehicles and $255,000
in US currency.
because of Operation Wildfire, 30 children were rescued from
July 2005, after a joint U.S.-Canadian law enforcement investigation
notice search warrants, the DEA discovered
the first tunnel between Canada and the U.S. constructed
to traffic illegal drugs. The tunnel, stretching from British
Columbia, Canada, into Washington State, was 360 feet long and
3 to 10 feet in
depth. Three people were apprehended trying to transport marijuana
and ecstasy through the tunnel. DEA oversaw the destruction of
the illegal underground tunnel.
RODRIGUEZ-Orejuela brothers, founders of the notorious Cali Cartel,
were extradited from Colombia to the United States.
The Cali Cartel
was the world’s chief supplier of cocaine in the 1990s
and earned and trafficked an estimated $8 billion of drugs
a year. Gilberto RODRIGUEZ-Orejuela
was extradited on December 4, 2004 and his brother Miguel
RODRIGUEZ-Orejuela was extradited on March 11, 2005. The
RODRIGUEZ-Orejuela brothers had
been indicted as the result of OCDETF investigations conducted
by the DEA offices in New York, Miami, and Bogotá.
- This year,
DEA dismantled over 1,007 Priority Target Organizations, an 82 percent
over FY 2004.
War on Terror:
During FY 2005, DEA disrupted 8 and dismantled 2 Priority
Target Organizations (PTO’s) with links to terrorist organizations.
DEA, for the first time ever, deployed Foreign Advisory Support
Afghanistan, in order to help the Afghan government
become self-reliant in counter drug enforcement.
DEA extradited the first Afghani narcotics trafficker, Haji
Southern District of New York for prosecution.
Mohammed was indicted in 2004 as part of a New York DEA led investigation.
Mohammed was designated by President Bush on June 1, 2005 as
a kingpin under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act.
investigation led by the DEA resulted in the arrest of Bashir
Noorzai, who is known
to have provided weapons and manpower
to the Taliban in exchange for the protection of his drug crops
DEA helped to arrest Abdul Malik (aka Abdul Mohammad), a member
fundamentalist Islamic terrorist group-for
the murder of two Afghani narcotics officers.
DEA has trained over 128 Counter Narcotic Police in Afghanistan.
Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) finance officers
from Colombia to the U.S. to face charges
on drug trafficking, money laundering and providing material
support to terrorism.
Assisting Local Law Enforcement:
DEA assisted in the rescue and cleanup efforts in the aftermath
Air Wing, along with the Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis,
and Miami Field Divisions collectively deployed 113 special
agents and special agent/pilots to provide assistance to
13 law enforcement agencies in Louisiana, Mississippi, and
- DEA special
agents provided patrol assistance on a rotating basis in
- As of
September 19, 2005, the DEA Air Wing transported 70,000 pounds
and equipment (including but not limited
to night vision
goggles, guns, and ammunition) to perform law enforcement
and search and rescue efforts for DEA employees and Louisiana
- DEA special
agents worked with hospitals to transport medicine to law
enforcement personnel to combat hepatitis A and B.
allowed DEA and law enforcement partners to sustain
their rescue missions.
- DEA partnered
with Texas and Arkansas pharmacy boards on emergency prescription
refill procedures in response
Mississippi, and Alabama.
- DEA assisted
with 24-hour security patrols and ultimately rescued over
3,340 civilians including over 70 abandoned
at a flooded nursing home.
- To meet
local law enforcement needs, DEA secured 130 cars through
the asset forfeiture fund and loaned
departments that lost their vehicles.
also provided drug enforcement training to 40,000 state and local
police officers in FY 2005. This training included
Clandestine Laboratory Training, Diversion Training, Drug Unit
Commanders Training, Federal
Law Enforcement Analyst Training, Narcotics Commander
Leadership Training, and other DEA tactical and in-service related
2005, DEA provided victim, witness, and drug-endangered children
to over 9,000 recipients, including DEA
Basic Agent classes and the clandestine lab training unit, domestic
offices, nationwide conferences, and over 20 organizations.
DEA developed and launched a public website for teens that provides
information on the consequences of drugs to users and non-users
and gives teens the tools they need to make sound decisions to
Included in www.justthinktwice.com is information on methamphetamine,
prescription drugs, drugged driving, drug endangered children,
marijuana, drug legalization, federal penalties for drug trafficking,
stories, and many other topics. During the first month of operation,
300,000 Internet users accessed the site.