DEA Congressional Testimony
July 21, 1997

DEA Congressional Testimony

Statement by:
Donnie Marshall, Chief of Operations and
Julio Mercado, Special Agent in Charge-Dallas Divisional Office
Drug Enforcement Administration

Before the:
Subcommittee on National Security, International Affairs, and Criminal Justice

Regarding:
Western Hemisphere/Dallas

Date:
July 21, 1997

Note: This document may not reflect changes made in actual delivery.

Contents

The Colombian and Mexican Drug Trafficking Alliance

Amado Carrillo-Fuentes

The Arellano-Felix Brothers

Miguel Caro-Quintero

Jesus Amezcua

Joaquin Guzman-Loera

The Effect of International Organized Crime in Mexico and the United States

The Emergence of New Trafficking Threats to the Western Hemisphere

Protecting our Borders and the Heartland

Drug Trafficking in North Texas and Oklahoma

Methamphetamine

Conclusion

 

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee: I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to address drug trafficking in the Western Hemisphere and specifically Northeast Texas’ Efforts in the War on Drugs. As the DEA Chief of Operations, my comments today will entail an objective assessment of the threat that we face in the United States from the organized criminal groups from Mexico and Colombia who control the drug trade in the Western Hemisphere and the effect they have on our day-to-day lives in the United States . I will provide an overview of these criminal trafficking organizations which control the manufacture, smuggling and distribution of much of the cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine in the Western Hemisphere. I am accompanied by Mr. Julio Mercado, the Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Division, who will discuss steps DEA is taking to address the drug trafficking situation in North Texas and Oklahoma.

Although Colombian traffickers still control and facilitate significant portions of the cocaine trafficking in the Western Hemisphere, the sophisticated, organized criminal groups from Mexico have eclipsed the drug trafficking criminals from Cali and Medellin, Colombia, as the greatest law enforcement threat facing the United States today. The leaders of these groups--the Amezcua’s, Miguel Caro-Quintero, the Arrellano-Felix brothers, and until two weeks ago, Amado Carrillo-Fuentes in Mexico--are simply the 1990s versions of the traditional organized crime leaders that U.S. law enforcement has fought to dismantle since the turn of the century. But the influence of American organized crime pales in comparison to the violence, corruption and power that is exhibited by today’s criminal syndicate leaders.

In the 20th Century, "Traditional Organized Crime" in America rose to what was then considered unparalleled heights. These organizations were built around a hierarchy of leaders and members of immigrant background rooted on American soil. From our earliest exposure to "Traditional Organized Crime," a common thread has been and continues to be the violence with which these organizations are operated, expanded, and controlled. But these organized criminal groups pale in comparison to the organized crime groups from Mexico and Colombia. The "new mobsters" are far more wealthy, powerful, and violent than their predecessors.

 

The Colombian and Mexican Drug Trafficking Alliance

Since the early 1970s, drug traffickers from Colombia have been using the Caribbean corridor and routes through South Florida to smuggle hundreds of tons of cocaine and marijuana into the United States. As a result of their growing notoriety and brazen actions throughout this region, law enforcement attention to the activities of the Colombians intensified. With increased law enforcement presence and enforcement in the Caribbean and South Florida, the Colombians were forced to turn to experienced Mexican drug smugglers to move their products to American markets through Mexico.

The Mexican transportation organizations began receiving payment for services rendered in the form of cocaine rather than cash, sometimes commanding up to one-half of each shipment being transported across the U.S. border, and turned over to Colombian distribution networks. This arrangement created opportunities for the Mexican trafficking groups to develop their own drug distribution networks and exponentially increase their profits. With this increased wealth came the power to corrupt, intimidate and murder. The traffickers from Mexico emulated the methods of operation the Colombians have used so successfully for the last decade and a half. They became more structured in their organizations by adopting the Colombian "Cell System," which compartmentalized and insulated each function of the organization.

The majority of the cocaine entering the United States continues to come from Colombia through Mexico and across the U.S.-Mexico border. In addition to the inexhaustible supply of cocaine entering the U.S., trafficking organizations from Mexico are responsible for producing and trafficking thousands of pounds of methamphetamine annually. A number of major trafficking organizations represent the highest echelons of organized crime in Mexico. The leaders of these organizations are under indictment in the United States on numerous charges. In order to fully expose these individuals, it is beneficial to refer to them by name rather than by organization affiliation.

 

Amado Carrillo-Fuentes

Until July 4, 1997, when Amado Carrillo-Fuentes died in Mexico City from medical complications following plastic surgery to hide his true identity, he was considered the most powerful trafficker in Mexico. Carrillo-Fuentes allegedly had ties to the former Commissioner of the INCD in Mexico, Gutierrez-Rebollo and was supplied by the Rodriguez-Orejuela syndicate in Colombia. This organization, based in Juarez, is involved in the trafficking of cocaine, heroin and marijuana, with regional bases in Guadalajara, Hermosillo, and Torreon, where drugs are stored in staging areas in and around El Paso, for eventual shipment into the United States. Carrillo-Fuentes’ organization generates billions of dollars a year in illegal profits and was reportedly forwarding $20-30 million dollars to Colombia for each major cocaine smuggling operation. At the time of Carillo-Fuentes’s death, his organization had become so powerful that he was seeking expansion into the traditional Colombian strongholds on the East Coast of the United States.

Amado Carrillo-Fuentes was a pioneer in the use of "727" aircraft to transport cocaine from Colombia to Mexico. He became known as "Lord of the Skies" and reportedly owned a fleet of aircraft and had major real estate holdings.

Carrillo-Fuentes was the subject of more than 25 separate Mexican and U.S. investigations and had been indicted twice in Miami and once in Dallas, Texas, on charges including conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.

Amado Carrillo-Fuentes and his brother, Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes were indicted in the Dallas Division in 1993 based on intelligence information that was received by a co-defendant upon the delivery of 60 kilograms of cocaine. Undercover Agents had negotiated for a 100 kilogram load of cocaine to be delivered to the Dallas area from El Paso, Texas. The DEA investigation into this trafficking organization revealed that the 100 kilogram quantity of cocaine was being negotiated by Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes on behalf of Amado.

At the present time, there appears to be no heir apparent within the organization to replace Amado, but certainly his death will create chaos in his organization and among other traffickers battling for his turf. From his base in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, his organizational infrastructure developed roots deep into the state of Texas as well as many other Midwestern and Western states.

 

The Arellano-Felix Brothers

Benjamin Arellano-Felix is the head of this trafficking organization that operates in Tijuana, Baja California, and parts of the States of Sinaloa, Sonora, Jalisco, and most recently, Tamaulipas. Benjamin coordinates the activities of the organization through his brothers; Ramon, Javier and Francisco. They are arguably the most violent of the Mexican trafficking organizations and were involved in the murder of Cardinal Posadas-Ocampo at the Guadalajara Airport in 1993. Part of the Arrellano-Felix’s signature for violence is not only in carrying out assassinations, but torturing and dismembering their victims to send strong messages to others who would cross them in their trafficking operations.

 

 Miguel Caro-Quintero

The focus of Miguel Caro-Quintero’s organization is on trafficking in cocaine and marijuana. His brother is currently jailed for his role in the murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena in 1985. Miguel runs the organization with his two brothers ---Jorge and Genaro--- specializing in the cultivation, production, and distribution of marijuana; a major cash crop for the trafficking organizations from Mexico. This organization is believed to own many ranches in the northern border State of Sonora, from which drug smuggling operations into the United States are staged. Despite the organization’s specialization in marijuana trafficking, like many of the other trafficking organizations in Mexico, they are also involved in the trafficking of cocaine and methamphetamine.

 

Jesus Amezcua

The Amezcua-Contreras brothers organization is based in Guadalajara, Mexico and is headed by Jesus Amezcua, assisted by Adan and Luis. They currently are the world’s largest smuggler of ephedrine and clandestine producer of methamphetamine. The Amezcua organization obtains large quantities of the precursor ephedrine, utilizing contacts in Thailand and India, which they supply to methamphetamine labs in Mexico and in the United States.

 

 Joaquin Guzman-Loera

Joaquin Guzman-Loera began to make a name for himself in his drug trafficking career as an air and logistics expert for Miguel Felix-Gallardo. He was able to rise the Patron level among the major trafficking organizations in Mexico. Although he is presently incarcerated in Mexico, Guzman-Loera is still considered a major threat by both the United States and Mexican law enforcement. His brother, Arturo has assumed the leadership role and the organization remains active in Mexico, along the Southwest border, in the Western and Midwestern regions of the U.S., as well as in Central America. They transport cocaine from Colombia, into Mexico and the United States, for the remnants of the Cali and Medellin Cartels. The organization also has involvement in the smuggling, storage, and distribution of Colombian cocaine, Mexican marijuana, and Mexican and Southeast Asian heroin.

 

The Effect of International Organized Crime in Mexico and the United States

The violence that has long been attendant to the drug trade is evidenced in Mexico, although not yet to the degree that it has been seen in Colombia. Increasingly, this violence is spilling across the Mexico-U.S. border as traffickers become more brazen and violent in carrying out their mandate of terror and vengeance. The level of violence that is being experienced in Mexico has a direct effect on the United States. Violence permeates every level of the trade. The Arellano-Felix organization is considered the most violent of the Mexican crime families, extending its tentacles from Tijuana to the streets of San Diego. This organization maintains well-armed and well-trained security forces, described by the Mexican enforcement officials as paramilitary in nature, including international mercenaries as advisors, trainers and members.

The majority of the 200 murders in Tijuana last year are believed to have been drug-related. There have been 28 high-profile drug-related assassinations in Mexico since 1993: many of these murders remain unsolved.

About this time last year, the violence along the U.S.-Mexico border exploded, with reports of American property owners under siege by armed traffickers smuggling drugs into the U.S. Fences were destroyed, livestock butchered and random gun shots were fired into homes of ranchers, who reported seeing armed traffickers in Mexico with night vision equipment and communications devices protecting the steady stream of smugglers into the United States. Increased law enforcement presence in these areas has resulted in diminished reports of violence over the last year, but similar violence in other areas continues.

During the last year, instances of violence directed at U.S. law enforcement have also escalated on and around the Southwest border. In April, two Inspectors from the United States Customs Service assigned to the Calexico Port of Entry were shot, after directing a marijuana-laden vehicle to secondary inspection. Officers of the United States Border Patrol regularly report receiving rifle fire from residences on the Mexican side of the border. In at least three separate incidents in recent weeks, Border Patrol Agents have reported receiving fire from Tijuana, and on one occasion in May, a gunman from Mexico fired several rounds from the Mexico side of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, into a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle, injuring the Agent.

Violence directed by the Mexican trafficking organizations continues to surge in Mexico, threatening DEA Agents, their families and our efforts. Threats against DEA and other U.S. officials have escalated in Mexico and along the border. From September 1996, until the present, DEA has documented six specific incidents involving Agent personnel, two of which have warranted temporary relocation.

Consequently, in September 1996, DEA established the Mexico Threat Assessment Working Group of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence community members. The goal of the Working Group is to ensure that all information on potential threats against either U.S. nationals or host officials in Mexico and along the Southwest Border are consolidated at a single point and handled appropriately. Since its inception, over forty threats against Mexican and U.S. law enforcement officials have been documented. Several of these threats were believed to be serious enough to warrant relocation of affected law enforcement officials from their posts of duty.

 

 The Emergence of New Trafficking Threats to the Western Hemisphere

The drug trafficking arena is in a constant state of change; restructuring organizations, adapting to law enforcement efforts, responding to demand, and incorporating new trafficking groups that bring specialties or advantageous distribution networks to the trade. The cocaine trade in the Western Hemisphere, and most specifically the United States, is experiencing a significant transformation. The Mexican trafficking organizations now control operations along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Western coast of the U.S. and well into the Midwest of the United States. For the first time, we are seeing Mexican transportation groups delivering quantities of cocaine to Colombian and Dominican trafficking groups in New York City. We also have reports that the Amado Carrillo-Fuentes organization is aggressively seeking to gain a foothold in the lucrative East Coast marketplace. With the death of Amado Carillo-Fuentes and the imprisonment of the Cali leaders, the DEA is seeing the emergence of new trends, distribution networks and methods of operation among the international players on whom we focus our investigations.

 

Protecting our Borders and the Heartland

To shield America’s Southwest border the DEA and the FBI have launched the Southwest Border Initiative (SWBI) which targets the leaders of the major Mexican trafficking groups that live in Mexico, and control the cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine on both sides of the border. This strategy is designed to dismantle the sophisticated leadership of these criminal groups from Mexico by targeting their command and control functions and building cases on the surrogate members and their U.S.-based infrastructure. The SWBI is anchored in our belief that the only way to successfully attack any organized crime syndicate is to build strong cases on the leadership and their command and control functions. With the assistance of foreign governments, the long-term incarceration of the leadership will leave entire organizations in disarray.

This strategy now combines the resources of the DEA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Attorneys’ Offices, The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program (HIDTA), the United States Customs Service (USCS), and a host of State and local counterparts. Through this initiative we have been able to harness the investigative, intelligence and operational functions of all of these members to coordinate joint investigations against these drug trafficking organizations. The effectiveness of this strategy is only hampered by the difficulty of incarcerating the leadership of these trafficking empires who hide in foreign safe havens like Colombia and Mexico. By continuing to target the leadership and the infrastructure of these groups, we will steadily degrade their abilities to conduct their business in the United States.

Organized criminal groups, whether they are headquartered in Cali or Sonora or the homegrown versions that are predators in Dallas, Oklahoma City, and other cities and communities, significantly effect the American way of life. The interests and concerns of these heinous criminals lie in the advancement of their criminal enterprises, and wealth that they can derive from plying their trade. They will resort to violence, intimidation, kidnaping, and murder to accomplish their goals.

These international traffickers have acted with impunity for many years and believe that they are beyond the reach of law enforcement. This arrogance extends into their drug enterprises in the United States. As we have seen with the Arrellano-Felix brothers, these violent traffickers send assassins from Mexico into San Diego to exact their revenge on those who do not pay their drug debt or who cooperate with our efforts to put an end to their reign of terror. The brazen attacks on American law enforcement along our Southwest border and in our cities and towns must not be tolerated and must continue to be met with coordinated investigative strategies that will ultimately lead to the demise of international organized crime and its destructive influence on our streets.

Applying a multi-agency approach to attack these organized trafficking groups will continue to be our strongest asset in dismantling the organized criminal syndicates that control the drug trade in the U.S. We must continue working with foreign counterparts to target the upper echelon criminal leaders, as well as their surrogates who bring violence to our communities as they sell poison to our children.

My colleague, Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Division Julio Mercado, will now discuss local trends and steps DEA is taking to address the drug trafficking situation in North Texas and Oklahoma.

 

Drug Trafficking in North Texas and Oklahoma

The criminal activities of the Colombian and Mexican criminal groups and their surrogates in the U.S. are affecting not only our Southwest border area but major American cities, such as Dallas and Oklahoma City. The Dallas/Forth Worth Metroplex ranks among the largest metropolitan areas in the nation with more than four million residents. Dallas is the 7th largest City in the United States, and is home to over one million Texans. Over the last decade, this area has become a center for international commerce, telecommunications, high technology and finance. The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the second busiest in the world, serving over 52 million passengers annually. There are 25 dedicated international cargo flights daily and the United Parcel Service and Federal Express utilize the airport for in excess of one million parcels a day.

Dallas is located at the juncture of four major U.S. interstate highways allowing easy access to Mexico and neighboring U.S. states. This superior transportation infrastructure offers many opportunities for the international drug traffickers from Colombia and Mexico, who have used the area to facilitate the movement of drugs to distribution networks located throughout the Midwest and into the Northeastern portion of the United States. Wherever these sophisticated organized crime groups spread their tentacles, violence follows.

Colombian and Mexican criminals are allies in supplying cocaine to the Dallas region. Prior to the Mexican trafficking groups dominating the wholesale cocaine trade in the Western half of the United States, Dallas was being used as a transshipment point for South American cocaine. Mexican trafficking organizations would smuggle cocaine across the border and into Dallas, where it would be turned over to traffickers from Cali, Colombia, for further distribution in the United States. As early as 1994, DEA seized 3,600 pounds of cocaine [with over a ton of marijuana] from warehouses being used to stage deliveries. Our investigation pointed to a Mexican transportation group based in Colima City, Colima, Mexico that was smuggling the cocaine across the border for Colombian traffickers to distribute further into the Midwest and Eastern U.S. There were also Mexican trafficking crews distributing it on the streets of Dallas. During 1996, the DEA Dallas Division seized 250 kilograms of cocaine from Colombian traffickers shortly after it had been transferred to them from a Mexican trafficking group. Since the Mexican crime families have come to dominate much of the wholesale cocaine market, they continue to use Dallas as a warehousing and transshipment location for their own cocaine shipments.

The use of commercial airlines by traffickers to smuggle illegal drugs appears to be on the rise in the Dallas area. For example, in March 1996, 31 kilograms of South American cocaine were seized from an international flight originating in San Juan, Puerto. Since February, 1997, the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport Task Force has reported the seizure of 4,771 grams of suspected Colombian heroin from American Airlines flights originating in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Heroin abuse has sharply increased in many parts of the country and Dallas, after seeing a decline in 1994, is experiencing a steady increase in abuse with a 24% increase in heroin related emergency room episodes. Dallas has also seen an 18% increase in drug overdose deaths attributable to heroin from 1994 to 1997. Mexican Black Tar heroin is the heroin of choice in the Dallas region -- with deadly effects. Prices range from $250-300 at the retail [gram] level up to $80,000 - 175,000 per kilogram. Black Tar heroin has hovered around 10% purity at the retail level in Dallas, among the lowest levels of purity in the nation, where average purity for generic heroin is around 40%. Heroin use appears to be rising in Dallas, from 6.8% of all emergency room drug episodes in 1992, to 6.3% in 1993, 4.6% in 1994, 5.6% in 1995 and 7.1% in the first half of 1996 alone [the last period for which data have been released]. Heroin has caused 10.5% of all overdose deaths in Dallas 1992, 15.6% in 1993, 14.5% in 1994, and 17.5% in 1995 [the last year for which medical examiner data is available].

There have also been significant seizures of Southwest Asian heroin. For example, the Lubbock Resident Office investigated Mario BERGER, an international trafficker operating out of Southwest Asia, smuggling heroin into Lubbock in machine tool shipments for transshipment through the city to drug markets elsewhere in the United States, including New York. DEA continues to dismantle this organization, as criminal indictments are handed down in the United States and in Turkey.

 

Methamphetamine

Within the last several years, the problems of methamphetamine production, trafficking, and use have significantly increased. Between 1990 and 1995, methamphetamine hospital-related emergencies tripled. Even in cities relatively untouched by drug abuse, methamphetamine is taking a terrible toll. The methamphetamine problem had previously been isolated to places like California, and some rural areas where outlaw motorcycle gangs had operated small labs and supplied small quantities of methamphetamine. However, during the past several years, drug traffickers from Mexico have taken over the meth trade and have expanded it significantly, increasing not only the supply of methamphetamine, but the violence associated with the trade.

Clandestine labs operating in Mexico and the United States under the control of powerful Mexican criminal groups are the primary source of the methamphetamine rapidly invading our country. These groups are directly responsible for hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine being sold monthly in the Dallas Metropolitan area. Mexican groups typically establish large clandestine labs able to turn out 150-200 pounds of methamphetamine in a single 48 hour production cycle -- operating on a much larger scale than the purely domestic "mom and pop" laboratories which produce from a few ounces to several pounds at a time. The spread of these makeshift, often crude labs reflects an increasing effort by outlaw motorcycle gangs and local entrepreneurs to exploit the expanding market or the drug. And they too are now pumping methamphetamine into our communities.

We have hard evidence on the wholesale expansion of these small local labs. These independent lab operators are not sophisticated and are not part of the global drug network. They are not illegal aliens. However, though they only account for a small percentage of the total methamphetamine available in the United States, the injuries they are causing are just as painful. And so, both barrels of this methamphetamine shotgun are aimed at America’s heartland. Tragically, many once-peaceful Midwest and Southwest communities are now absorbing the terrible brunt of the methamphetamine damage.

Some of the Mexican groups involved in this drug trade are well known: the Amezecua-Contreras, the organization once run by the late Amado Carillo-Fuentes, and the Arellano-Felix organization. The Amezecua organization is the most formidable of all Mexican methamphetamine trafficking groups, running "super labs" in Mexico and California with ephedrine smuggled in from China and Europe. In 1994, two shipments of ephedrine, bound for Mexico and totaling 5.7 metric tons, were seized at the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport. This ephedrine could have produced almost four tons of methamphetamine.

The Dallas Field Division has seized 111 methamphetamine labs in 1997, mostly in Oklahoma. These laboratories used two primary synthesis methods, the Red Phosphorous or Pseudoephedrine/Ephedrine reduction method, commonly used by traffickers from Mexico.

 

Violence Attendant to the Drug Trade

When many Americans express frustration about the problems of drug trafficking and violent crime in their communities, they focus their attention on what is visible to them: the crack dealer on the corner, or the police officer murdered on the nightly news. They seldom associate these realities as an extension of organized criminal group activity of the drug traffickers based on foreign soil. These international trafficking organizations employ thousands of surrogates in ideal transshipment cities like Dallas, to distribute and sell drugs in American cities and towns. Many of these traffickers are gang members who have affiliations with nationally-known and prominent street gangs such as the "Bloods", "Crips", and "Latin Kings".

When street gangs serve as surrogates for foreign crime lords, actively distributing drugs on the street, drive-by shootings, murder, robbery, and assault become commonplace. This level of drug-related violence, once limited to the inner cities and urban areas, is now being experience in the rural areas of Dallas and Oklahoma.

DEA has addressed the relationship between drug trafficking and violent crime through our Mobile Enforcement Team Program (MET). When invited by local police departments, the MET program sends in a team of investigators, specializing in the dismantling of violent drug gangs. The teams aggressively target and build cases against individuals involved in violent drug trafficking activities. This initiative attempts to address some of the factors that are believed to be responsible for an increase in violent crime; such as increased teen violence, witness intimidation, violence within the criminal communities, and limited resources among State and local law enforcement components to combat this growing threat. After MET deployments, local authorities get the credit they deserve for the enforcement activities and the most favored mention in the press releases.

There are now 19 teams strategically located across the country, and can be sent anywhere drug gangs are responsible for high crime rates and few crimes being solved. MET deployments help local authorities cleat the streets and renew citizens confidence in the ability of government to respond to what every poll shows as citizens’ leading concerns, drugs and violence threatening their homes.

The MET program, which was fully funded by Congress in FY 1997, is based on the belief that those who distribute drugs on the streets of the United States and commit violent activities are part of a seamless international continuum of drug trafficking organizations headquartered in Colombia, Mexico, and Southeast Asia. The Dallas Division’s MET was established in December, 1994, and has successfully completed seven deployments in Paris, Greenville, Tyler, and Arlington, Texas, resulting in the arrest of 156 individuals and seized significant amounts of methamphetamine and crack cocaine, as well as $216,324.00 in U.S. Currency.

During December, 1995, the Dallas Divisional MET deployed to Tyler, Texas, to assist the Smith County Sheriff’s Department and the Tyler Police Department in the investigation of Milton Jesus SOLIS. SOLIS was a member of a Colombian cocaine organization that supplied major quantitites of crack cocaine to the Tyler, Texas area. The organization based in Houston, Texas, was responsible for distributing crack cocaine in the East Texas area. The leaders of this Colombian organization were later identified as Marien SINISTERRA, Luz Nelly GONGORA, and Carlos Arturo Valencia-CASTILLO. This organization has been involved in drive-by shootings, murder, and robbery. This joint investigation culminated during May, 1996, in the execution of numerous Federal and state warrants which netted the arrest of 48 individuals who had been identified within the organization.

In November, 1996, the Dallas MET deployed to Paris, Texas to investigate two significant drug trafficking networks controlled by Alfred Loyce GREEN and Christopher Lakent BURNS, who were engaging in the distribution of crack cocaine. During January, 1997, the first phase of the MET deployment to Paris, Texas, resulted in the execution of 35 arrests and service of four Federal Search Warrants in Dallas, Clarksville, and Paris, Texas. This investigative team consisted on DEA, the United States Marshals Service and a host of State and local law enforcement agencies. The investigation continued through April, 1997, resulting in additional arrests to bring the total number of arrest in this deployment to 37 out of 39 that had been indicted in the Eastern District of Texas.

 

Conclusion

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: the current situation in the Dallas Division and other areas of the United States is serious and must continue to be addressed vigorously.

We would like to thank you again for the opportunity to testify at this hearing, and hope that we have left you with a clearer understanding of the drug trade in the United States and how it is impacted by the organized international criminals that control the vast majority of the trafficking networks that are based in Mexico and Colombia with tentacles throughout the U.S. In particular, we hope we have left you with an understanding of the drug situation in the Dallas Division. I want to emphasize that drug trafficking lies along a seamless continuum--from source countries of Bolivia and Peru to the streets of our cities and towns. To be successful against these international organizations, we have to apply all of our resources to attack these groups with our host counterparts on an international level and attack their surrogate distribution cells that operate on American soil. With your continued interest and support we will combat this growing threat through joint investigations and efforts that will yield positive results. We will be happy to answer any questions.

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