«United States Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs International Narcotics Control Strategy Report ...»
Drug Enforcement Administration The primary responsibility of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to reduce the threat posed to our nation by illicit narcotics through vigorous law enforcement. The majority of illegal drugs impacting American society is produced outside of the United States and smuggled into our country.
These illegal drugs are smuggled from their country of origin and often transit other nations before arriving in the United States. Thus, a strong international commitment to counternarcotics law enforcement is required to address this menace. In cooperation with other U.S. agencies and foreign law enforcement counterparts, DEA strives to disrupt the illicit narcotics distribution chain, arrest and prosecute those involved in all aspects of the illegal drug trade and seize their profits and assets.
DEA‘s contribution to our nation‘s international counternarcotics strategy is significantly enhanced through the 82 offices located in 62 countries that DEA maintains worldwide. These overseas offices work in close cooperation with DEA‘s U.S.-based offices to seamlessly pursue narcotics criminals
domestic and foreign. DEA‘s overseas offices have the following key missions:
Conduct bilateral investigations with foreign law enforcement;
Coordinate counternarcotics intelligence gathering with host governments;
Conduct training programs for host country police agencies in countries receiving U.S.
Assist in the development of host country drug law enforcement institutions and develop mutually beneficial law enforcement relationships with foreign law enforcement agencies.
The emphasis placed on each component is determined by conditions and circumstances within the host nation. In nations where the law enforcement infrastructure is advanced and well developed, DEA can focus on joint enforcement and joint intelligence gathering activities with host law enforcement. In countries lacking a robust law enforcement capability, DEA personnel may provide training assistance to help host enforcement increase their capacity for effective law enforcement. The following sections highlight the assistance and joint enforcement work in which DEA played a crucial role during 2010.
Bilateral Investigative Activities Drug Flow Attack Strategy The primary objective of DEA‘s Drug Flow Attack Strategy is to cause major disruption to the flow of drugs, money, and chemicals between the source zones and the United States.
Drug Flow Attack Strategy Highlights:
As part of DEA‘s continued strategy to put sustained pressure on the Mexican cartels, Special Operations Division (SOD), with investigative support from DEA New York and DEA Houston, worked with the Department of State and the Department of the Treasury‘s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to designate leaders of the Gulf Cartel / Los Zetas Cartel as Narcotics Kingpins, with Department of State rewards offered for their capture.
After Los Zetas was designated, the Departments of Justice, State and Treasury announced coordinated actions against Los Zetas Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO), now known as the ―Company‖ and other narcotics trafficking DTOs: Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas-Guillen, deceased, Jorge Eduardo Costilla-Sanchez, Heriberto Lazcano-Lazcano and Miguel TrevinoMorales, high-level Mexican leaders of the Company and 15 of their top lieutenants, were charged in U.S. federal courts with drug trafficking-related crimes. The Department of State
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announced rewards of up to $5 million, collectively, for information leading to the capture of these drug traffickers, and other specially designated Narcotics Kingpins from the Company.
The La Familia cartel is a violent drug trafficking cartel based in the state of Michoacan, in southwestern Mexico. According to court documents, La Familia controls drug manufacturing and distribution in and around Michoacan, including the importation of vast quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico into the U.S. La Familia cartel has utilized violence to include murders, kidnappings and assaults to support its narcotics trafficking business. According to one indictment unsealed in New York, associates of La Familia based in the United States have allegedly acquired military-grade weapons, including assault weapons and ammunition, and have arranged for them to be smuggled back into Mexico for use by La Familia.
On June 9, 2010, the U.S. Department of the Treasury‘s OFAC named two individuals and two entities linked to the international drug trafficking organization La Familia Michoacana as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers.
On February 19, 2010, Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, an allegedly high-ranking leader of one of Mexico‘s largest drug cartels, whose father allegedly heads a faction of the Sinaloa Cartel and is among Mexico‘s most powerful drug kingpins, was extradited from Mexico to face federal narcotics trafficking conspiracy charges in the United States. Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla is believed to be one of the most significant Mexican drug defendants extradited from Mexico to the United States since Osiel Cardenas Guillen, the accused leader of the notorious Gulf Cartel, was extradited in 2007. This development is a result of the continuing close cooperation between the United States and Mexico to investigate and prosecute the leaders of international drug-trafficking cartels.
On June 1, 2010, the Department of Justice announced the culmination of an unprecedented undercover operation involving DEA and the Liberian Government, in which seven defendants were arrested on U.S. charges in Monrovia, and flown to New York to face charges in the Southern District. The Liberian Government‘s commitment to the rule of law and to combating international drug traffickers is exemplified by the fact that one of the undercover operatives is the Director of the Liberian National Security Agency and the son of the President of Liberia. The Liberian President was also aware of, and cooperated with, the DEA Operation.
On June 9, 2010, the multi-agency, DEA-led SOD coordinated the takedown of Project Deliverance, an initiative encompassing multiple operations which targeted the transportation infrastructure of Mexican drug trafficking organizations in the United States, especially along the Southwest border. Project Deliverance continued a deliberate and strategic effort to cut off and shut down the supply of drugs entering the U.S., and the flow of drug profits and guns to Mexico. Through the coordinated efforts of over 3,000 federal, state and local law enforcement officers, cumulative results of this initiative include over 2,000 arrests (including one Consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT), the seizure of $154 million, over 500 weapons, and over 74 tons of illegal drugs.
DEA Operation Guillotine targeted CPOT Christopher Michael Coke, and his DTO. On June 22, 2010, Coke was arrested by Jamaican authorities near Kingston, Jamaica, after a five-week pursuit by local authorities. Coke waived his right to judicial extradition proceedings in Jamaica and subsequently was transferred to the custody of the DEA and U.S. Marshals Service for transport to the United States.
Coke is charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana and conspiracy to illegally traffic in firearms. If convicted on the narcotics charge, he faces a maximum sentence of life in
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prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $4 million or twice the pecuniary gain from the offense. He also faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the firearms trafficking charge, and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain.
On July 13, 2010, Carlos Alberto RENTERIA-Mantilla, the last leader of Colombia's Norte del Valle cartel, not in jail or deceased, was expelled from Venezuela to the United States.
RENTERIA was arrested without incident on July 4, 2010 by the Unidad Especial Comando Anti-Drogas of the National Guard in Caracas, Venezuela. RENTERIA had been indicted by a Grand Jury in Washington, DC on April 28, 2004 for violation of RICO charges. The indictments had been unsealed on May 6, 2004, and RENTERIA had been declared a fugitive on September 26, 2004.
On July 31, 2010, the Bangkok Country Office dismantled ―Advanced Stealth‖, one of the largest steroid trafficking organizations in the world. This organization sold steroids and pharmaceutical drugs via the internet to customers worldwide, including in the United States. During the search of a clandestine laboratory seized in connection with this operation, Thai investigators discovered millions of dollars worth of steroids and pharmaceuticals; three tableting machines; raw chemicals and active pharmaceutical ingredients; packaging machines; and evidence of numerous packing materials designed to thwart law enforcement interdiction efforts around the world. Thai authorities estimate the value of this seizure to be worth $3.25 million. This investigation delivered a damaging blow to the illicit steroid and pharmaceutical market by dismantling one of the industry‘s largest operators and by showing that the internet is not a safe place to conduct this illegal business.
On July 30, 2010, CPOT Edgar Guillermo VELLEJO-GUARIN was extradited to the United States from Spain to face drug charges for his role as a cocaine source of supply to the United States. He had been indicted in the United States District Court of Southern District of Florida on June 12, 2001 based on a long term investigation conducted by the Miami Field Division, Bogota Country Office, and Madrid Country Office. VELLEJO-GUARIN was closely tied to the Autodefensas Unidades de Columbia and the Columbian North Valle Cartel. He was arrested by Spanish authorities on September 4, 2008 and remained in custody until his extradition.
On April 12, 2010, the Buenos Aires Country Office reported the arrest of CPOT Luis Agustin CAICEDO-Velandia in the downtown area of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
CAICEDO-Velandia was arrested by the Argentine Secretaria Inteligencia Del Estado Argentina pursuant to a Provisional Arrest Warrant issued from the Middle District of Florida based on a long-term DEA Tampa PANAMA EXPRESS investigation. On June 23, 2010, after an appearance before Argentine Judge Ercolini, CAICEDO-Velandia agreed to be extradited to the United States. CAICEDO-Velandia had been involved in narcotics trafficking since 1996 and had been a designated CPOT since 2008. CAICEDO-Velandia‘s early associates were Juan Carlos ORTIZ, Juan Carlos RAMIREZ-Abadia (CPOT 2008) and Pedro Paublo RAYO-MONTANO (CPOT 2007). Since April 2004, CAICEDO-Velandia had been the command and control element of a major drug trafficking organization based in Bogotá, Colombia, responsible for controlling maritime cocaine transportation shipments of multi-ton quantities from Colombia to various Central America countries.
On August 19, 2010, the Bogota Country Office reported the arrest of CPOT Walid MAKLED-Garcia in Cucuta, Colombia. CPOT MAKLED-Garcia was arrested by the Colombian National Police pursuant to a Provisional Arrest Warrant issued from the Southern District of New York. On June 18, 2009, MAKLED-Garcia was indicted in the
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Southern District of New York. In April 2009, MAKLED-Garcia was approved as a CPOT based on a proposal submitted by the Caracas Country Office, and on May 29, 2009, the President of the United States named MAKLED-Garcia as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. The DTO controlled by MAKLED-Garcia was based in Valencia, Venezuela and smuggled multi-ton quantity loads of cocaine out of Venezuela by private aircraft, commercial aircraft, containerized cargo, and fishing vessels.
On December 16, 2009, Oumar Issa, Harouna Toure, and Idriss Abelrahman were arrested by DEA‘s Ghanaian counterparts at the request of the United States, for drug and terrorism charges and flown to the Southern District of New York. The charges stem from the defendants' alleged agreement to transport cocaine through West and North Africa with the intent to support three terrorist organizations -- Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). All three organizations have been designated by the United States Department of State as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. This case marks the first time that associates of Al Qaeda have been charged with narco-terrorism offenses.
The Islamabad Country Office, with assistance from the Pakistan Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) and Chinese authorities, dismantled the Shamal KHAN priority target organization (PTO). This organization controlled a complex and well organized heroin, hashish, and Acetic Anhydride (AA) network in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. Shamal KHAN‘s brother, Janas KHAN, was arrested in China on September 1, 2010 for smuggling AA from China to Pakistan. Subsequently, on September 22, 2010, the ANF arrested Shamal KHAN and his son Younis KHAN in Islamabad, Pakistan. Both subjects were arrested for violations of Pakistan‘s Controlled Substances Act. Family ties enabled the members of this PTO to conduct their operations through various countries and smuggle the AA into Afghanistan for the conversion of opium into heroin.
On March 9, 2010, a Criminal Justice Task Force Judge convicted and sentenced Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan Commander Sayed Hassan KARIMI to a 15 year prison term in Afghanistan for violation of the Afghan Law Article 15-Drug Trafficking and Sale of Precursor Chemicals, namely AA. On October 3, 2009, KARIMI had been arrested on drug trafficking charges subsequent to the seizure of 10,000 liters of AA. Commander KARIMI had been operating as a corrupt government official in Masir-e-Sharif.
On May 20, 2010, Muhammad HAQ and Muhammad WALI, were sentenced to 16 years in prison each for violation of Afghan law. On March 16, 2010 the DEA Kabul Country Office and the Afghan SIU/NIU participated in a joint operation with the U.S. Marines. During this operation a large laboratory complex that processed opium into morphine base was detected, seized, and destroyed. During the operation HAQ and WALI were seen fleeing from the scene and subsequently arrested.