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Tag: Caribbean

Homeland Security Takes Crackdown on Drug Smuggling to the Sky

dea-cocaineBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security is taking its fight against drug smuggling to the sky.

The Associated Press reports that CBP agents are using aging P-3 surveillance planes with high-tech radar to search for drug smugglers.

The surveillance comes at a time when agents are finding an increasing amount of cocaine smuggling across the Caribbean to the U.S.

In fact, the DEA estimates that cocaine smuggling has increased from 60 tons of the drug to about 100 tons in the past several years.

One reason: Smugglers are finding the Caribbean to be one of the easiest ways to bring the drugs to the U.S.

Other Stories of Interest

Sharp Increases in Drug-Cash Seizures in Caribbean

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Tides of troubled water are lapping Caribbean shores it seems.

Federal agencies have seen a sharp increase in drug-money seizures in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands over the past year, the AP reports, “an apparent sign that more drug proceeds are flowing through the US island territory and the Caribbean as a whole.”

A division of ICE known as Homeland Security Investigations reported a 68 percent increase in cash seizures in Puerto Rico–nearly $2.4 million in total–for the 12 months ending Sept. 30.

The DEA saw seizures more than double as well, to $18 million. The numbers pale in comparison to what is seized along the US-Mexico border. Still, the Justice Department considers  Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands “major bulk cash movement center,” says AP.

Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s congressional representative, asked the House of Representatives for more aid recently, saying, according to AP:  “We are in a crisis in the Caribbean.” The island set a new homicide record this year as drug-related violence spiked. More than 1,100 have been killed.

Pedro Janer, the acting special agent in charge of the DEA’s Caribbean division, says the trends are the result of stricter enforcement along the US-Mexico border, AP reported. “Every time we put a major squeeze at the border they have to go someplace else,” Janer said. “Well, the second preferred route is the Caribbean. They are always going back and forth.”

To read more click here.

Atty. Gen. Holder Harangued Over Caribbean Trip

file photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder can’t get a break. On break from congressional hounding over ATF’s Fast and Furious program, Holder is now being criticized over an ongoing visit to the Caribbean.

The Daily Beast reports that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who has been sharply critical of  Holder over the Fast and Furious Operation, is ripping into him for traveling for five days to the islands just days after President Obama announced a new austerity program to save billions in federal spending and travel.

“One would think that agreements could be signed on a more abbreviated schedule that saves the attorney general time he continually indicates he doesn’t have, as well as taxpayer money,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Issa, according to The Daily Beast.

Holder has been traveling to sign law-enforcement agreements with local agencies, and to discuss a Medicare fraud sting in the area, according to the Daily Beast. Holder also held a summit with other AGs in the area and plans to attend an international conference on promoting democracy in the Western Hemisphere.

To read more click here.

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Border Protection Agency Unveils Prototype for New Vessel For High-Speed Chases

It only makes sense to have a equipment that’s at least equal to what the bad guys have.

boat2

By ELLIOT SPAGAT
Associated Press Writer
SAN DIEGO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday unveiled a prototype vessel for high-speed pursuits of smugglers ferrying people and drugs from Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean.

The 43-foot boat is faster, more stable and carries about twice as much fuel as CBP’s current vessels, which were rolled out from 2001 to 2005.

The $875,000 prototype comes with infrared cameras and sensors that give detailed images as far as the horizon goes. Currently, agents often use goggles, which detect things only as far as the naked eye.

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