Enforcement Administration Highlights Year’s Accomplishments
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.
and Money Laundering Operations:
stripped drug traffickers of nearly $1.9 billion in drug proceeds.
This includes $1.4 billion in asset seizures and $477 million in
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.
The DEA conducted Operation
Mallorca, a multi-jurisdictional Organized Crime Drug Enforcement
Task Force (OCDETF) money laundering operation that identified
four Colombian-based 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 81 individuals and the
seizure of $7.8 million.
the recent development of traffickers selling prescription drugs
over the Internet, the DEA seized over $21.6 million in cash, property,
computers and bank accounts.
The DEA announced
the Virtual 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.
Because of 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
Operation, CYBERx, for the first time
targeted e-trafficking located solely 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
without any prescription needed. These alleged criminal pharmaceutical
drug traffickers had averaged more than $50,000 a day in profits
from their 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 DEA estimates their combined total U.S.
steroid sales are $56 million per year.
The DEA conducted
and led the first nationally-coordinated methamphetamine sweep
in more than 200 cities in the U.S. Operation
Wildfire resulted in more than 427 arrests and the seizure
of more 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.
- Also, because
of Operation Wildfire, 30 children were rescued from methamphetamine-infested
In July 2005,
after a joint U.S.-Canadian law enforcement investigation using
delayed 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.
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
increase 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.
The DEA, for
the first time ever, deployed Foreign Advisory Support Teams (FAST)
to Afghanistan, in order to help the Afghan government become self-reliant
in counter drug enforcement.
The DEA extradited
the first Afghani narcotics trafficker, Haji
Baz Mohammed, to the 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.
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 in Afghanistan.
The DEA helped
to arrest Abdul Malik (aka Abdul Mohammad), a member of Hezb-e-islami-a
fundamentalist Islamic terrorist group-for the murder of two Afghani
The DEA has
trained over 128 Counter Narcotic Police in Afghanistan. (12 are
Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) finance officers were
extradited from Colombia to the U.S. to face charges on drug trafficking,
money laundering and providing material support to terrorism.
Local Law Enforcement:
The DEA assisted
in the rescue and cleanup efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane
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 Alabama.
- DEA special
agents provided patrol assistance on a rotating basis in 21-day
- As of September
19, 2005, the DEA Air Wing transported 70,000 pounds of supplies
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 and Mississippi
- DEA special
agents worked with hospitals to transport medicine to law enforcement
personnel to combat hepatitis A and B. These provisions 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 to requests from Louisiana, Mississippi,
- DEA assisted
with 24-hour security patrols and ultimately rescued over 3,340
civilians including over 70 abandoned elderly residents at a
flooded nursing home.
- To meet
local law enforcement needs, DEA secured 130 cars through the
asset forfeiture fund and loaned them to local law enforcement
departments that lost their vehicles.
DEA 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 training.
and Public Awareness:
In 2005, DEA
provided victim, witness, and drug-endangered children awareness
training to over 9,000 recipients, including DEA Basic Agent classes
and the clandestine lab training unit, domestic offices, nationwide
conferences, and over 20 organizations.
The 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 reject drugs. Included
in www.justthinktwice.com is
information on methamphetamine, prescription drugs, drugged driving,
drug endangered children, marijuana, drug legalization, federal
penalties for drug trafficking, real life stories, and many other
topics. During the first month of operation, 300,000 Internet users
accessed the site.