DEA Resources Are Stretched Thin

  DEA Resources Are Stretched Thin

Posted by FoM on November 07, 2001 at 09:25:35 PT
By Toni Locy, USA Today 
Source: USA Today 

Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, federal law enforcement agencies have been locked in a "battle of resources" between fighting terrorism and continuing to investigate crime, the nation's top drug enforcer says.Asa Hutchinson, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said Tuesday that he is concerned that efforts to stop drug trafficking will be hindered by two recent moves: the FBI's pullout from several DEA-FBI drug task forces, and a reassignment of Coast Guard resources that has left the USA vulnerable to drug smuggling from Caribbean routes.
Hutchinson said FBI agents have been pulled off drug investigations from Boca Raton, Fla., to Boston to Detroit to work on the massive terrorism investigation, and the transfer has forced his agency to "pick up the slack.""When the dust settles" in the inquiries into the anthrax attacks and the terrorist strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Hutchinson said, he expects officials to determine what role, if any, the FBI will have in large-scale drug investigations in the future.In the 1980s, the FBI lobbied for and was given joint jurisdiction with the DEA to investigate drug offenses.But in the past 2 decades, Congress has piled more responsibilities on the FBI, from tracking down deadbeat dads who owe child support to patrolling Indian reservations.Now, terrorism has given the FBI dual roles: Root out terrorists and their associates here, and thwart future attacks rather than wait for them to occur."They (the FBI) are clearly spread thin," Hutchinson said at a breakfast meeting with reporters. "It remains to be seen whether there's going to be a functional shift or whether it's followed by a formal reworking" of the relationship between the FBI and DEA.FBI officials declined to comment on Hutchinson's remarks.The Coast Guard also has shifted its resources to combat terrorism. To increase its ability to guard U.S. ports, it has taken most of its resources away from drug interdiction, particularly in the Caribbean, Hutchinson said.Acknowledging that the "war on drugs" has taken a back seat to the "war on terrorism," he said, "I think we are holding our own."But, he added, "We don't want the Caribbean to go back to the way it was in the '80s. We don't want to give a window of opportunity for the traffickers."He said he has raised these concerns with Congress, but "it's a battle of resources right now.""For the long term," he said, "we need to balance this out and devote the resources we need" to terrorism and drug enforcement. Source: USA Today (US)Author: Toni Locy, USA TodayPublished: November 7, 2001Copyright: 2001 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.Contact: editor usatoday.comWebsite: Articles:Monitor Breakfast: Asa Hutchinson On Drugs Loses Out To War on Terror Dropping Other Crime Fighting

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Comment #9 posted by lookinside on November 08, 2001 at 04:10:57 PT:
thank you,
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Comment #8 posted by jack on November 08, 2001 at 04:03:01 PT
wishful thinking
Until someone is taken to trial before a jury and 12 peers tell the DEA to piss off nothing will change.
Hasn't anyone noticed that the DEA hasn't charged anyone with any crime?...
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Comment #5 posted by Silent_Observer on November 07, 2001 at 15:49:11 PT

null, I wish
I could share your enthusiasm. I see quite the opposite for our future.
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Comment #4 posted by null on November 07, 2001 at 15:33:52 PT

times they are a changin'
I commented the following about a similar article today:I think there is a clear reason the DEA is trying to shut down cabbabis clubs: Their resources *are* thin. Since they don't have the resources to tackle big drug dealers they are going after easy and cooperative targets. Additionally, we all realize that medical marijuana will eventually *have* to lead to a reclassification. You can't say their is no medicinal use when 20% of the states allow it as a prescription. Reclassification suddenly implies that the laws against cannabis ARE and HAVE BEEN out of line. Suddenly, weed isn't as harshly punishable and offense. People will ask "why is weed such a high percentage of arrests if it isn't a really dangerous Schedule I??" Medical marijuana is a key step towards the ultimate goal of legalisation. The DEA knows and FEARS this. As a last ditch effort with their thin resources they are trying to mend one tiny but highly VISIBLE hole in their wall. THE FLOOD IS COMING. THE WALL IS GOING TO BURST! And when it does I am going to dance a jig around the DEA HQ toking on a J and LMAO. HAHAHA! :P
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Comment #3 posted by E_Johnson on November 07, 2001 at 12:52:33 PT

Osama Bin Cancer Patient strikes again
All the DEA needs now is to find the link between cancer and terrorism.There must be one, because everything in the Universe is "linked to" everything else.So all they have to do is find that cancer is "linked to" terrorism, and the DEA is home free when it comes to diverting precious resources to hunting down people on chemo and ripping the medicine from their mouths.
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on November 07, 2001 at 10:35:50 PT

Oh my God!
The DEA is stretched thin! you think this means some drugs may actually slip through? We better just lock the children up in jail to be completely safe..........
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Comment #1 posted by Patrick on November 07, 2001 at 09:43:25 PT

"Acknowledging that the "war on drugs" has taken a back seat to the "war on terrorism," he said, "I think we are holding our own."So true, Mr. Hutchinson. You are holding our own. Our own aids, chemotherapy, and other sick people. You are also holding their doctors and medicine. Holding them all hostage you uncompassionate b*stard. I hope your own kids reads this and give you an earful this Thanksgiving.

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