Drug Convictions Increase is Due to FBI & Customs

Drug Convictions Increase is Due to FBI & Customs
Posted by FoM on May 20, 2000 at 22:24:27 PT
By Torsten Ove, Post-Gazette Staff Writer 
Source: Post-Gazette 
The federal government is convicting more Americans on drug charges than at any time in the nation's history. According to figures compiled by Syracuse University researchers, 1998 saw the highest volume of federal drug convictions ever: 21,571 people. 
That represented a 16 percent increase since 1992, substantially higher than the nation's population growth of 6 percent during the same time.But the Drug Enforcement Administration, the nation's leading anti-drug agency, isn't as responsible for the jump in prosecutions or convictions as other agencies.While the DEA's staff of special agents has grown to 4,515 in 1999, up from 4,001 in 1997, and its budget has increased under the Clinton administration, its prosecution numbers have remained largely constant since 1992. The FBI and U.S. Customs Service have substantially increased their own drug investigations in the 1990s. The DEA is still the dominant anti-drug agency, but the others are catching up. Between 1992 and 1998, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse, N.Y., FBI drug prosecutions rose 50 percent, to 4,815 cases, and Customs cases rose more than 27 percent, to 6,156 cases. During the same time, the DEA's rate rose 1 percent, to 14,488 cases. Convictions in cases brought by the FBI and Customs also have taken off. The DEA's total convictions have risen 5.2 percent since 1992, while the FBI's have spiked by 69 percent and Customs by more than 75 percent. The reason? By federal mandate, both Customs and the FBI joined the drug war in the early 1990s to supplement the DEA, which until then had been operating on its own. The effort originally began in Miami, when Customs joined with the DEA to battle the narcotics trade in South Florida. Since then, more task forces have been formed across the country, with federal and state agencies cooperating on cases. Federal officials in Washington said many of the drug cases for which the FBI or Customs receive credit as the lead agency are joint efforts also involving the DEA, which may account for why the DEA's numbers have remained constant.In addition, some cases in which the DEA teams up with local agencies end up prosecuted by county district attorneys instead of U.S. attorneys. The drug most often targeted by federal authorities remains marijuana, which accounted for 34 percent of convictions in 1998, according to Trac figures. Powder cocaine came in second at 28 percent, followed by crack cocaine at 17 percent, methamphetamine at 11 percent and heroin at 8 percent. The annual cost of the federal war on drugs, meanwhile, continues to climb. In 1998 it was $16 billion, six times higher in real dollars than in 1981.Published: May 21, 2000Copyright  1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 PG Publishing. CannabisNews Articles On Customs, FBI & The DEA:
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Comment #1 posted by Mari on May 21, 2000 at 20:40:04 PT
Look at those figures!! Pot at 34%;Herion at 8%!!Meth, the Boogy-Man of the media is only 11%!!! Are they really so concerned with the dangers of drugs to the public; or are their only concerns personal safety and profit?? Their greatest efforts are directed at the least toxic known( legal or not) drug and at the people least likely or able to resist!!Ho-ray for our Brave Drug Warriors.Defenders of Freedom.How can they look at themselves in the mirror every day?? All I can say is that they are racking up one mother of a Karmic debt!!
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