Narcotics Intelligence to the Mexican drug cartels is important. This role needs to be fulfilled by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an arm of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. This is important as any action stopping the flow of illegal drug related money from the U.S. to the Mexican drug cartels would act as a hindrance to the trade and help reduce it and potentially stop the cartel as without money no drug cartel would be inclined to send in drugs into the U.S. FinCEN has an extensive trove of data that can be accessed by the anti-drug trafficking agencies to identify. Locate and pin down the illegal transfers of money from the U.S. to Mexican drug cartels.
Transnational criminals and organization are active in many parts of the U.S. and they make use of illicit cross-border tunnels, parcel services and other means to unlawfully smuggle and distribute drugs and narcotic substances among the communities.
In addition to causing personal harm to individuals consuming drugs, the activities of the transnational drug cartels often lead to significant amount of violence and crime. These are aspects that are associated with drug trafficking and such consequences have the potential to affect the well-being of citizens as well as the fabric of institutions that govern the country.
There are several strategies to combat this menace and all the strategies depend on intelligence gathering, sharing and effective understanding of the information to execute effective actions.
Some of the strategies that are useful in combating the foreign drug cartels and their impact in the U.S. society include maximizing Federal support for drug law enforcement task forces, sharing and exchanging intelligence on transnational cartels, preventing the use of drug trafficking corridors, covert operations and eavesdropping for information and intelligence gathering and joint functioning of the Federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies. Border security and border intelligence is one of the other ways of preventing illegal drugs and narcotics from entering the U.S. Intelligence over the years has indicated that a significant amount of illegal money and arms are traded from the U.S. with the international drug cartels.
In this study we formulate an intelligence gathering strategy to help formulate an effective plan to stop a drug trafficking organization in Mexico from sending narcotic substances into the U.S.
The Intelligence Collection Strategy
Maximize Federal Support for Drug Law Enforcement Task Forces
It is important to stop the Mexican drug cartels from selling drugs in the U.S. This can be done through increased intelligence of the drug availability and distribution in localities and communities through intelligence gathering. Intelligence requires funding and actual work on the ground is essentially done by local dug law enforcement agencies and local bodies. Information gathering entails source funding as well as funding for operations, which require manpower and logistic support. In this aspect the Federal government should ensure adequate funds reach the local law enforcement agencies so that the process of information and intelligence collection runs unhampered. This intelligence gathering should be concentrated to known influence areas of the Mexican cartel's drug in the U.S. known as the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). In 2011, HIDTA funded missions managed to 2942 locally organized drug trafficking organizations in the U.S. and seizures of around $728,753,436 in cash and $210,428,628 in non-cash assets. The responsibility of local level information gathering should be conducted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF).
Improve Intelligence Exchange and Information Sharing about Mexico-Based Traffickers
There are a number of organizations that are fighting the war against the Mexican-based drug cartels. Every organization has intelligence of their own and collect intelligence on their own and sometimes in a combined manner. To increase effectiveness of the intelligence gathered by the various anti-drug trafficking agencies, it is critical that the intelligence gathered is shared and exchanged amongst the agencies for better effect and co-ordination. It is often seen that intelligence convergence can help create a complete picture necessary for formulation of strategies for tackling drug distribution locally.
For this purpose, the DHS Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) can serve as the primary source for storing and sharing of information gathered from intelligence. Some other examples of this are the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) and the OCDETF Fusion Center (OFC).
For tackling the drug cartels of Mexico, information can be gathered from the EPIC Border Fusion Intelligence Section that has a wide data base on this and provides a combined all-source intelligence support to anti-drug trafficking agencies at the Federal level as well as at the state, local and tribal level near and along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The strengths, weaknesses and the capabilities of the Mexican drug cartels to effectively engage in cross border transport of drugs should be prepared from the intelligence gathered and collected together from various agencies.
In order to facilitate detection of suspicious activity in Southwest border states, in 2012, the FinCEN prepared three strategic intelligence reports based on trends in money laundering in the U.S. and 35 money services business (MSB) agent analyses.
Increase Intelligence of Tribal Authorities to Combat Trafficking on Tribal Lands
The HIDTA programs should be aimed at ensuring that more intelligence is got form the remote and sparsely populated areas about Mexican drug trafficking especially in the regions on the border with Mexico. The program can also be used to collaborate with and train tribal area residents. The HIDTA program has, for example, trained and equipped tribal law enforcement agencies in Arizona for intelligence gathering as well as prevention of drug trafficking. The OCDETF Fusion Center started a program called Indian Country Initiative in 2011 aimed to train and equip field agents and analysts operating in Indian Country in the generation of intelligence reports and intelligence collection.
Impede Surveillance Operations of Drug Trafficking Organizations
It is an established fact that the Mexican drug cartel employs significant resources and money into activities that are conducted to monitor the operations of the U.S. agencies engaged in anti-drug trafficking activities. A large number of strategically-placed spotters, for example, are reportedly placed along the Southwest border of U.S. by the drug trafficking organizations of Mexico whose primary job is to very closely observe and monitor the actions and activities of the enforcement agencies engaged in the national drug control strategy of CBP officers and agents. The spotters also watch the way the canines and the inspection at the border is done and the technology that is used to conduct the inspections.
The intelligence gathered by these spotters help and guides the Mexican drug cartel to strategize new modes and methods of entry into the U.S. The Mexican drug trafficker organizations also engaged in the u se of high end technology to inte5cept and eavesdrop on law enforcement communications. This is facilitated by the proximity of the drug cartels of the U.S. border.
The law enforcement agencies need to use and employ local intelligence to locate and apprehend spotters who play an important role in the smuggling of Mexican drugs into the U.S. Such intelligence should be gathered through collaboration with the local communities and through surveillance on ground and by air.
Intelligence Collection about Parcel Post
The Mexican drug cartels and the trafficking organizations are using new and ingenious methods to smuggle in drugs into the U.S. When border intelligence and the information surge from local sources prove effective in preventing the smuggling of drugs through the border in a physical manner, the drug trafficking organizations have been observed to be using the U.S. parcel post system to smuggle in drugs. The intelligence gathering strategy against the Mexican drug trafficking organizations should include effective intelligence gathering of the use of the national parcel shipping services. Apart from regular checking and monitoring of parcels, intelligence from local and courier sources should be generated. One of the ways is to compare postal data of parcels with a list of suspected drug delivery addresses.
Such intelligence can also be developed and gathered at the points where parcels leave for foreign countries of entry points of foreign couriers into the U.S. This intelligence gathering effort can be shared with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration. While such intelligence would prevent entry of narcotics from the Mexican drug cartels in to the U.S., it could also prevent illegal transfer of money through the parcel shipping system.
Increasing Intelligence Cooperation with Mexico
The prosperity and the stability of the U.S. and Mexico is interlinked and it emerges from the entwined culture and the common values between the two countries. As strategic partners in the fight against transnational drug trafficking, both the countries realize the importance of close cooperation. The collaboration against Mexico-based drug trafficking organizations should be based on the Merida Initiative and should critically include joint intelligence gathering and sharing.
The joint operations through close cooperation with Mexico can help both the countries significantly reduce the menace of drugs.…
to the Mexican drug cartels is important. This role needs to be fulfilled by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an arm of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. This is important as any action stopping the flow of illegal drug related money from the U.S. to the Mexican drug cartels would act as a hindrance to the trade and help reduce it and potentially stop the cartel as without money no drug cartel would be inclined to send in drugs into the U.S. FinCEN has an extensive trove of data that can be accessed by the anti-drug trafficking agencies to identify. Locate and pin down the illegal transfers of money from the U.S. to Mexican drug cartels.
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