cannabisnews.com: Along The US-Canada Border Marijuana Smuggling Up





Along The US-Canada Border Marijuana Smuggling Up
Posted by CN Staff on May 27, 2002 at 14:55:19 PT
By Wilson Ring, Associated Press Writer
Source: Foster's Online 
From a farm field about 10 feet from the Canadian border, State Police Sgt. Tom Hango looks through an apple orchard at cars on a back road in Quebec. The rolling farmland separated into two countries by a slash in the trees is called "apple alley" by drug smugglers.Since Sept. 11, Hango and other Vermont troopers have been making a habit of driving there, especially at night, looking for anything out of place. Hango is not deterred by the huge odds against finding anything.
"Weíll do what we can to protect our state and our country," he said.Hango is one of countless state, provincial and local law enforcement officials on both sides of the U.S-Canadian border who have been paying closer attention since the terrorist attacks.No terrorist- or terrorism-related arrests have been announced, but there have been other payoffs. The number of illegal border crossings is down sharply, and drug seizures and arrests are way up.From October to April, the number of illegal border-crossers dropped 34 percent compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. The agency says the drop occurred on both the Canadian and Mexican borders.Heightened vigilance is believed to be at least partly responsible."There is definitely an increased, visible presence on the border," said immigration spokeswoman Amy Otten. "That word gets out among the people who might try to get through illegally. But we really donít know because we arenít talking to people who arenít coming."Smugglers undoubtedly drew lessons from the case of Lucia Garofalo, a Montreal resident arrested at Beecher Falls in December 1999. Authorities originally suspected her of playing a role in a foiled plot to blow up the Los Angeles airport as 2000 dawned, but changed their minds and released her in spring 2002.Officials believe increased vigilance also helps explain the surge in drug arrests on the border, but, again, no one can say for sure.Between October and March, agents in the U.S. Border Patrolís Massenna, N.Y., office made 37 drug arrests, seized $4.7 million worth of marijuana, $462,000 in cash, 13 boats and 16 vehicles, said Dick Ashlaw, the agent in charge.During the same period a year earlier, the Massena office had two drug seizures."The bottom has dropped out of alien smuggling," Ashlaw said. "People are just afraid to move aliens across the border."Though Sept. 11 obviously made smuggling aliens riskier, Ashlaw said there always have been reasons to prefer drugs."I can make 10 times as much money in half the time," he said. Besides, he said, "A hockey bag full of marijuana canít testify against you in court and you canít get charged with manslaughter for tossing it overboard."No one knows how long the changes will last."We are watching to see if the trend continues, is it permanent?" Otten said of the drop in alien smuggling."Itís still too early to say."  Illegal border-crossers caught between October 2001 and April 2002 compared with the same period a year earlier. NATIONWIDE (U.S.-Mexican, U.S.-Canadian and water borders)2002 -- 539,3002001 -- 812,300decrease -- 34 percentSOUTHWEST BORDER (U.S.-Mexican Border)2002 -- 526,0002001 -- 795,900decrease -- 34 percentNORTHERN BORDER (U.S.-Canadian Border)2002 -- 5,0662001 -- 5,663decrease -- 11 percentSWANTON SECTOR (Eastern New York, Vermont and New Hampshire)2002 -- 5612001 -- 699decrease -- 20 percentHOULTON SECTOR (Maine)2002 -- 2332001 -- 242decrease -- 4 percent. Source: U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service Complete Title: Along the U.S.-Canada Border: People Smuggling Down, Marijuana Smuggling UpSource: Foster's Online (NH)Author: Wilson Ring, Associated Press WriterPublished: May 27, 2002Copyright: 2002 Geo. J. Foster Co. Website: http://www.fosters.com/Contact: http://www.fosters.com/site_info/feedback.htm Related Articles:Canadian Marijuana Reform Concern to U.S. http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread12829.shtmlPlugging a Very Porous Northern Border http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread12462.shtmlOpen Borders are Early Casualties of Warhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread10963.shtml
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Comment #4 posted by Lehder on May 28, 2002 at 08:24:26 PT
establishing unfriendly borders
The title of this article is a lie. No evidence is offered that MJ smuggling is up on the
   Canadian border. I think you're right, krutch. The article claims that smuggling is increasing and it nearly tries to imply some nebulous connection between 9/11 and the "increase," yet it is hard to make any sensible argument why this should be so. The statistics, which compare illegal border criss-crossing for typical and boosted surveillance, are not pertinent to the claim.Typical drug war hysteria.But I part with you now and regard the entire article as a typical case of government-controlled ( author is an AP reporter ) media "reporting" wherein statements of supposed fact are often better interpreted as statements of intent. The government intends to continue blocking, sealing and militarizing the entire length of the celebrated and time-honored "world's longest unfortified border" to all but corporations with official corporate business to conduct. It's all about atomization of society, contempt for and control of individuals and the further empowerment of the power-elite. It transfers money from tourism, fishing and hunting, family gatherings and the innocent activity of normal good relations to the police state. It's a global plan.
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on May 28, 2002 at 08:00:27 PT:
Uh...run that by me again?
There is definitely an increased, visible presence on the border," said immigration spokeswoman Amy Otten. "That word gets out among the people who might try to get through illegally. But we really donít know because we arenít talking to people who arenít coming."Perhaps she means that she has not spoken to anyone who has successfully evaded her? Many years ago, I heard a phrase use to describe the caliber of those hired for civil service. There was a debate on as to what would happen if the salaries of civil service employees didn't keep pace with private industry. One talking head I remember said that if the civil service salaries didn't keep pace, then all the federal government could hire would be 'the best of the rest'.Reading that statement, no doubt uttered in complete blissful ignorance as to it's innate stupidity, looks terribly prophetic, no?
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Comment #2 posted by krutch on May 28, 2002 at 07:06:37 PT:
Protecting Our Country
If Hango and the gang want to protect the country perhaps they should quit wasting their time looking for people smuggling hatmless herbs across the border and spend some time catching actual criminals. Drug smugglers did not bomb the world trade center.The title of this article is a lie. No evidence is offered that MJ smuggling is up on the Canadian border. Typical drug war hysteria.
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Comment #1 posted by Industrial Strength on May 27, 2002 at 21:14:15 PT
Vigilance = vigilantes?
The image of pick up trucks full of drunken hicks armed with shotguns and baseball bats on "Spic patrol" springs to mind. Maybe they are also targeting marijuana smugglers, convinced they are the Mexican arm of Al Qadea.
All kidding aside, one quote from the article sums up alot ... "Hango is not deterred by the huge odds against finding anything." Keep searching for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, Hango. It would be funny except for the fact that good ol' Hango could be, oh, I don't know, perhaps doing something constructive with his paid hours as a POLICE MAN.
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