DEA to Bolster Presence Along Mexican Border

DEA to Bolster Presence Along Mexican Border
Posted by CN Staff on August 10, 2002 at 07:45:19 PT
By Susan Schmidt, Washington Post Staff Writer
Source: Washington Post 
The Drug Enforcement Administration is deploying agents to beef up its presence in Central Asia and take a bigger role in enforcement along parts of the Mexican border where the FBI has diverted agents to the war on terrorism, DEA chief Asa Hutchinson said this week.The DEA will step up efforts to curtail the heroin trade in Afghanistan and plans to send 17 additional agents to the region, Hutchinson told reporters Thursday. Officials declined for security reasons to say how many agents are in the region, but they decribed the planned increase as a significant boost.
Drug agents are trying to break up heroin trafficking by controlling the flow of chemicals used to process the drug and working with the governments of Afghanistan and surrounding countries to block exports, Hutchinson said.This year, he said, poppy production in Afghanistan will be reduced 20 percent to 30 percent but added, "We have to do more."He said drug enforcement officials remain concerned about the use of drug money in financing political terror in Latin America and worldwide, by groups such as al Qaeda and Hezbollah.But the DEA task seems destined to become more difficult because the agency must make up for the FBI's decision to divert about 400 of its agents from drug investigations to the fight against terrorism."We want to make sure there is no gap," Hutchinson said. "We're scrambling, and we're working hard. . . . We've got to make sure we're acting efficiently," he said.If Congress approves, he said, 34 DEA agents and a small number of support workers will be moved from DEA headquarters in Crystal City to drug interdiction efforts along the U.S.-Mexican border in Texas. The FBI is transferring 60 of its drug investigators in that region to terror-related work.One hundred DEA positions will be shifted to try to cover the shortfall created by the FBI's pullback on drugs. The DEA also is relying more heavily on local law enforcement officials to fill in where needed.Hutchinson said his agency may seek more resources from Congress.Hutchinson's comments came at a briefing that marked the end of his first year as head of the drug agency. Among the achievements he cited was a decline in the purity of cocaine being sold on American streets.He credited joint international efforts in disrupting cocaine trafficking, specifically citing the governments of Bolivia and Colombia. "It's hard to imagine how cooperation could be at a higher level," he said.While dealers have kept the price of cocaine constant, its purity has dropped 9 percent over the past several years, he said.Hutchinson said he is optimistic that cooperation will continue under the new regime of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, who took office Wednesday in an inaugural ceremony marred by a fatal attack by leftist guerrillas.Complete Title: DEA to Bolster Presence Along Mexican Border, in Central Asia Source: Washington Post (DC)Author: Susan Schmidt, Washington Post Staff WriterPublished: Saturday, August 10, 2002; Page A11 Copyright: 2002 The Washington Post Company Contact: letterstoed washpost.comWebsite: Related Articles:Administration Mulls More Military Power't Use U.S. Military as Police is Becoming Downright Dangerous at US Border Posts To Be Armed 
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Comment #3 posted by E_Johnson on August 10, 2002 at 08:23:06 PT
And talk about a drug that harms teens
Teenagers are taking steroids in high school.It's the real drug problem in the schools, the drug problem subtly encouraged by authorities when they praise the increased athletic prowess of the young men addicted to this terrible drug.But the DEA doesn't weant to interrupt the flow of illegal steroids in America.I WONDER WHY NOT?But gee those guys in the DEA look so buff! WOW HOW DID THEY GET THOSE BIG MUSCLES???
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Comment #2 posted by E_Johnson on August 10, 2002 at 08:19:11 PT
Why don't they break up the flow of steroids?
If the DEA attacked the trade in anabolic steroids, all their agents would end up having steroid withdrawals and they might all shoot each other in an attack of roid rage.So that's probabaly why the DEA has declined to go after illegal steroid dealing despite the tremendous harm that anabolic steroid addiction is doing to men in America.
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Comment #1 posted by Dark Star on August 10, 2002 at 08:00:15 PT
Tough Sell
I see hard times for the DEA. How would you like to be transferred from suburban DC to the Tex-Mex border? I bet your high school Spanish is a little rusty, huh? Worse, instead of getting your cabeza shot full of lead in Tijuana, you could get Kalashnikoved in Kabul.It would seem to be a lot easier to frisk airline passengers back in the USA as a security guard for a base pay of $20K more than you ever made with the DEA.Hard Times!
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