U.S. Cocaine, Heroin Seizures Up at Mexico Border
By Dialogo February 18, 2011
U.S. border patrol agents seized 87 percent more cocaine and 108 percent more heroin in fiscal year 2010 that ended on October 1 compared to the year before, a report said 16 February.
But marijuana seizures were down 16 percent, according to the report, commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized a total of 115 tons of cocaine over the period, compared with 61 tons in the previous year.
The report attributed the increased seizures of cocaine and heroin to better detection and border patrol personnel reinforcements, as well as a “greater willingness by drug trafficking organizations to attempt to smuggle riskier and larger narcotics.”
Some 20,000 U.S. border patrol agents are currently deployed on the U.S. southern border with Mexico — a record number, according to DHS.
The US Coast Guard, meanwhile, seized 91.8 tons of cocaine, 1.5 percent less than in fiscal year 2009. It intercepted about 13.5 percent of sea-bound heroin trafficking — a little under its goal of 18 percent.
For its part, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) saw 72 percent of its investigations result in prison time, a sentence, fine or drug confiscations.