Hundreds of Pounds of Confiscated Drugs Stolen!

Hundreds of Pounds of Confiscated Drugs Stolen!
Posted by FoM on December 19, 1998 at 19:36:20 PT

San DiegoU.S. Customs agents under investigation for delivering 7 tons of confiscated drugs to an incinerator then allegedly leaving the drugs unattended and susceptible to theft may have done so on many as five other occasions, the Union Tribune of San Diego reported Saturday. 
Authorities have confirmed that thieves made off with at least 500 pounds of unburned confiscated marijuana from a Nov. 17 delivery to the Tucson, Ariz., incinerator. Nine customs agents brought the drugs from El Paso, Texas, because the large shipment was too bulky to destroy locally. After the customs team left the Tucson incinerator, thieves apparently pulled about 500 pounds of marijuana from the incinerator before the drugs burned, customs' officials said. The theft was discovered after a plant worker found several bundles of partially burned marijuana on a loading dock, customs' spokesman Dennis Murphy said. The nine agents were under investigation. ``I guess you could call it a weak link if people are able to go into an incinerator and take marijuana out,'' Murphy said. ``That's obviously not acceptable.'' The Tribune cited anonymous customs sources as saying that the same team may have dropped off loads of confiscated drugs and left the haul unattended on as many as five other occasions. The sources estimated that thieves could have recovered between 6 and 60 tons of various drugs. The customs service has gone through six leaders in the past decade. The most recent commissioner Ray Kelly has set up a task force to review the agency's system for destroying drugs, Murphy said. Agents seized more than 1 million pounds of drugs nationwide last year, including some 950,000 pounds of marijuana and 157,000 pounds of cocaine. Most was recovered at Mexico border entry points. 
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