Illegal Drugs Continue To Pour Across Border

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter James takes a moment for a group photo before offloading in Port Everglades Thursday, May 10, 2018 approximately 6 tons of cocaine worth an estimated $180 million. The cutter James was involved in six interdictions along with other Coast Guard cutters resulting in the 6 tons of cocaine interdicted at sea in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Lally

Our southern border is still open to the drug trade, contributing to the daily toll of 174 drug poisoning deaths in the U.S.

The Hill, 03/12/19

By Donald J. Mihale, Opinion Contributor

The recent debate around the southern border focuses on whether or not the term “border crisis” is appropriate and if a “wall” is effective. The problem — the debate misses the mark and doesn’t recognize the hard truths from the past.

According to the DEA 2018 National Drug Assessment 174 people are dying every day from drug poisoning in the U.S.

Despite the recent attempts to reform drug laws because they are now considered by some as “non-violent”, the opioid threat (controlled prescription drugs, synthetic opioids and heroin) has reached epidemic levels.

Additionally, methamphetamines remain prevalent and the cocaine — drug some now also view as non-violent — threat has rebounded. The DEA is also seeing new psychoactive substances (NPS) and the domestic marijuana situation continues to evolve.

“I found myself [across the river from] the Mexican City of Matamoras, which at the time, was crime-ridden, dangerous and a top drug smuggling route.”

Where is this all coming from? Asia, Europe, Canada? No — the southern border. 5,000 Illegals May Be Housed On U.S. Military Bases

In their report, the DEA went on to state that Mexican TCOs (Transnational Criminal Organizations) continue to dominate the heroin market in the United States.

They control smuggling routes across the southwest border and work with U.S. based gangs and other drug trafficking organizations to distribute the drugs at the regional and local levels.

The DEA also said that the “Mexican TCOs remain the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States; no other group is currently positioned to challenge them.”

Some think this is “hype” or not “real.” They think a “wall” isn’t necessary because, as cited by some in Congress, “more drugs are caught at border checkpoints than anywhere else.”

Logic would indicate that makes sense – because at the border checkpoints there is a law enforcement presence and equipment to catch drugs – a “wall.”

But what about the other parts of the border?

In 1997, I found myself on South Padre Island near Brownsville, Texas. Across from Brownsville lay the Mexican City of Matamoras, which at the time, was crime-ridden, dangerous and a top drug smuggling route.

That year the Coast Guard launched a massive drug interdiction operation entitled Operation Gulf Shield.

The problem? Drug smugglers were using fast open-hulled 25 foot boats (lanchas) capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots to run drugs into the U.S. along its coasts … Read more. 

Donald J. Mihalek is the executive vice president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) Foundation and the Secret Service Agency President for FLEOA. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY CONTRIBUTORS ARE THEIR OWN AND NOT THE VIEW OF THE HILL

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