Illegal Entry at United States-Mexico Border: Multiagency Enforcement Efforts Have Not Been Effective in Stemming the Flow of Drugs and People

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-12-02.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

REPOR1' TO THE                                    ON RE


Illegal Entry At United States-
Mexico Border--M ultiagency
Enforcement Efforts Have Not
Been Effective In Stemming
The Flow Of Drugs And People
The flood of i !legal aliens and ii licit drugs
across the United States-Mexico border con -
tinues . Federal agencies responsible for law
enforcement along the border operate almost
independently little consideration is given for
each other's missions. These separate yet
similar lines of effort are diluting border
coverage and control. Th is report addresses
the need for effective leadership and d irec-
tion. This report contains recommendations
to Federal agencies and to the Congress to
str ngthen law enforcement at the bord r .

GG D-78- 17                                       DECEM BER 2, 1977
                           WASHINGTON, D.C. 20548


To the President of the Senate and the
Speaker of the House of Representatives

     Federal law enforcement along the United States-Mexico
border has been the center of much interest and controversy.
Although improvements have been made, there is still a great
deal of overlapping and duplication of functions among agencies
along the border .

     This report discusses the problems Federal law enforceme nt
agenci es have in handling the influx of narcotics and illegal
aliens and contains our recommendations for improvements.

     Our review was made pursuant to the Budget and Accounting
Act of 1921 (31 U.S.C. 53) and the Accou nting and Auditing Act
of i950 (31 u.s .c. 67).

      We are sending copies of this report today to the Director,
uffice of Management and Budget; Director , Office of Drug Abuse
Pol icy.; the Secretaries of the Treasury , State ':a~.T
                                                            ; spor ta-                       I

t ion; and the Attorney General °!/Z,.~nit4t~

                                    Comptro ller General
                                    of the United States


                                                                -   - - ~--_i-~_ -
                                        ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS HAVE NOT
                                        BEEN EFFECTIVE IN STEMMING THE
                                        FLOW OF DRUGS AND PEOPLE

                   D I G E S T
                   Mexico is the principal source or transit
                   country for illicit drugs and illegal
                   aliens entering the United States . Law
                   enforcement activity along the United
                   States-Mexico border is a large part of the
                   Nation's domestic and international effort
                   to contain these problems.

                   Controlling the movement of people, air-
                   craft, boats, and vehicles along this 2,000-
                   mile open-land border is complex and dif-
                   ficult.   It requires what has not yet been
                   achieved--a comprehensive, coordinated ef-
                   fort by all Federal law enforcement agen-

                   If Federal law enforcement activities
                   along the border were better planned, coor-
                   dinated, integrated, and executed, more
                   control could be maintained. Instead,
                   separate Federal agencies c~rry out their
                   specific missions with limited consider3tion
                   for the activity of the others. This pro-
                   duces separate but similar lines of effort
                   that dilute border coverage and control, with
                   little consideration given to overall border

                   Federal Government expenditures to improve
                   border control have nearly doubled since
                   fiscal year 1971. About $142 million was
                   spent in fiscal year 1976.

                   The principal agencies involved are the
                   Customs Service. Immigration and Naturaliza-
                   tion Service, and the Drug Enforcement Ad-
                   ministration. Other agencies having an in-
                   terest in controlling the Soutrwest border
                   are the Federal Bureau of Investigation;

Tear Sheet. Upon removal, the report
cover date should be noted hereon.      i
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms: De-
partment of Defense: Federal Aviation Ad-
ministration: Coast Guard: Department of
Agriculture: and Public Health Service.

Since the Federal Government has not devel-
oped an integrated stra tegy or an overall
oorder control plan to determine what it
intends to accomplish with its various
agency law enforcement resources:

--Costly overlapping and poorly coordinated
  enforcement continues to exist .

--Border forces do not intercept signifi-
  cant quantities of heroin and ~ocaine.
  The Customs Service and the Imml~ration
  and Naturalization Service seize only about
  2 percent of the heroin estimated to come
  from Mexico. The Drug Enforcement Ad-
  ministration--including seizures made in
  Mexico near the border--accounts for an
  additional 4 percent.

--Border drug apprehensions involve the
  small-time operator, courier, or user and     I
  seldom lead to the identification and
  convicticn of important drug traffickers
  or to the immobilization of trafficking

--The Federal Government is apprehending
   increasing numbers of illegal aliens
   (over 600,000 in 1975), but believes that
  for each illegal alien caught, at least
   two others get through . The border is a
  revolving door.
--Too little is known about how most drugs
  enter the country to make decisions on
  how to respond. Available intelligence
  suggests that heroin, cocaine, and danger-
  ous drugs are being smuggled through the
  ports-of-entry. However, inspector staff-
  power at major United States-Mexico ports
  has remained about the same or decreased,
  while patrol forces away from the ports
  have increased.

The agencies involved have stated that r
cent impro1ements have been made in some
of these areas.
Illegal entry into the United States is more
than just a serious enforcement problem. Il-
licit drugs and the influx of illegal
aliens are considered to have enormous ad-
verse social cost. Estimates of the annual
cost to counter drug-related crimes, lost
productivity, treatment, and prevention
range from $10 billion to $17 billion. The
toll of broken homes and ruined lives is
incalculable. Estimates on illegal aliens
in the United States range up to 12 million.
Illegal aliens cause a wide variety of eco-
nomic and human difficulties, including lost
tax revenues, increased social welfare costs,
and greater competition for available jobs.
Recent appraisals by the Congress and ad-
ministration of the nature and extent of
the drug abuse and immigration problems
show conditions are worsening.
!t is generally acknowledged that reliable
estimates of the illegal alien population
in the United States do not exist. An Im-
migration and Naturalization Service con-
tractor estimated that about 5.2 million
of the 8 million illegal aliens he believes
are in the United States are Mexican nation-
als. Most illegal aliens apprehended are
Mexican--about 89 percent. The nu~ber of il-
legal Mexican aliens apprehended increased
from about 29,700 in fiscal year 1960 to
over 680,000 in fiscal year 1975. The il-
legal entry of Mexicans increased after
1965 when the U.S. Government did not re-
new a 22-year-old agreement with the Gov-
ernment of Mexico that had allowed Mexicans
to seek farm jobs in this country legally
(Bracero program).
U.S. authorities estim~ted that in 1971
drugs flowing from and through Mexico

Iear Sheet           iii
represented 20 percent of the heroin, 90
percent of the marihuana, and 80 percent of
the illicit dangerous drugs (amphetamines
and barbituates) consumed in the United
States. In September 1976 officials es-
timated that during 1975
--89 percent (5.2 metric tons) of the
  heroin reaching the United States came
  from poppies grown in Mexico,
--75 percent (2,700 tons) of the marihuana
  coming into the United States originated
  in Mexico,
--one-third of Colombian cocaine (4 to 5
  tons) passed through Mexico, and
--one-third of the dangerous drugs (16
  million dosage units; entered from
  Mexico. Much of this was believed to
  represent diversions from u.s. expor-

Although the U.S . Mission and the Mexican
Government have inten~if ied the eradica-
tion effort in Mexico to reduce the amount
of Mexican heroin available for smuggling
into the United States, little attention
has been given to the intelligence needs
of border en orcement agencies. The U.S.
Mission needs to design a program for de-
veloping information to assist in inter-      I

cepting smugglers at the border (ch. 4).
While certain step s an be taken, such as
helping Mexico develop its capability to
provide actionable intelligence, the
Mexican Government is the key to any real
success. Improved effectiveness in stop-
ping smugglers at the border is dependent
upon the priority and commitment of the
Mexican Government to supporting law en-
forcement activities on both sides of
t he border. Indications are that the
Mexican Administration is g1v1ng an in-
creased commitment to the area.


GAO recommends that:
1. The Director of the Office of Management
   and Budget prepare an annual analysi s
   on law enforcement along the United
   States-Mexico border. Such an analysi s
   would bring together the separate budget
   requests o the various border enforcement
   agencies to facilitate integration of
   agencies' plans , programs, resources, al-
   locations, and accomplishments. The anal -
   yses should be included with the agencies'
   appropriation requests.

2. The Director of the Office of Management
   and Budget and the Director, Office of
   Drug Abuse Policy, together with the At-
   torney General, Secretary of the Treasury,
   and the other Department i1eads having re-
   sponsibility for border law enforceme nt
   should develop an integrated strategy and
   comprehensive operational plan tor border
   control. This plan should consider the
   various alternatives for managing border
   operations ranging from the present manage-
   m~nt structur e to single-agency manag ement .

3. The Office   of Management and Budget should
   coordinate   closely with responsible con-
   gressional   committees legislation needed to
   accomplish   the proposed plan .
4. The Secretary of State should requir e the
   U.S. Mission in Mexico to expand the ar-
   cotics Control Action Plan to include prc-
   gram goals and specific objectives for
   supporting border interdiction efforts.
Because of th problems discussed in the
report, the appropriate congressional commit-
tees or subcommittees should hold oversight
hearings to evaluate past performance and
provide guidance for future activities. To
diminish the ·ncenti ve to smuggle drugs
across the border, the Congress can help by
legislating the following :

--Expand the juris 'ct'on of Federal magis-
   trates to encompass most misdemeanors,
  e.g., minor drug o fenses, especially
--Appropriate funds   or additional U.S.
  magistrates to be   ppointed in the South-
  west border area.
--Establish criminal penalties for pilots
  who fly without   valid cer ificate.

The Off ice of Mana ement and Budget and the
Departments of Justice, the Treasury, and
State generally agre d with GAO's findings
and recommendations. The various depart-
ments support the ~onclusion that the absence
of a Federal Government integrated strategy
and an overall bord r control plan has re-
sulted in overlappin , duplication, and
poorly coordinated enforcement activities.
Detailed comments re discussed on pages
68 to 73.

                        C o n t e n t s
   1      I TRODUCTION                                     1
              F    ral Government strategy
               ex ·co--major source of supply              2
              un· d States-Mexico border                   3
              O s rvations and suggestions for
                improving border law e~forcement
              Scop of review
                   Locations visited
                   Case analyses

              Con rol problems
                   on-port-of-entry                        7
            JECT VES
              Lim· ed seizures of "high risk" drugs
                     are drugs being interdicted?
                   pprehensions seldom involve major
                     traffickers                       15
                   ore illegal aliens enter success-
                     fully than are apprehended
               n 11 igence                             1.
                  Intelligence for border law en-
                    forcement--too little known
                  DEA's efforts to improve intelli-
                    gence                              1
                   order intelligence center--a step
                    forward but problems still re-     l
                    m in
                    IC's operations and results        2
                    problem--too little intelligenc
                     rom Mexico                        23

                 M xico's in elli ence efforts need
                    to be encouraged                        24
                 A ong-time problem--opportunities
                     to consolid te and share intel-
                     ligence support systems                25
                 Int agovernment suggestions for
                     improved utiliz tion of intel-
                     ligence support systems                28
             Operations                                     31
                  Poets-of-entry interdiction--
                     difficult but possible                 31
                  Ports-o -entry resources                  31
                  Detection aids--few with
                     1 imi ted success                      32
                  Results--few drugs are
                     seized                                 34
                  Land patrols between ports-of-
                     entry--two separate yet simi-
                      lar activities                        35
                  Resul s achi ved                          35
                  Coordination and cooperation of
                      ac iviti s between ports-of-
                      entry                                 36
                    ir interdiction--ef fectiveness
                      questionable                          38
                  customs ir interdiction--cost,
                      use, and results                      39
                  DEA aircraft operation                    41
                  Marine drug interdiction--som
                      success but increased cooper-
                      ation and program inte ration
                      are n ede                              42
                  Customs                                    4]
                   DEA unc rtain of its role                 44
                  Coast Gu rd                                46
                  Join op r tions--limited coor-
                       din tion                              46
               Conclu ions                                   50
               Recomm nd tions to agencies                   51
               R comm nd tions to the Congre s               51
            EFFECT OF BORDER LAW E FORCEME T                 53
              Ov r view o th       ff ct of c r i l in al
                 n     adminis r t · v s nc ions             53
                     ho is b ing pro ecut d nd con-
                       vi c d?                               54
                   Exp n in the use of m gistr t s
                       c n h lp                              55
APPE DIX                                                Pa
               Prosecution of border in rdic ion
                 cases in Mexico can b eff c iv          5-
               Seizure of vehicl s and ircraft
                 has little deterr nt valu               58
                dministrative penalties--s ldom
                 levied nd almost always unpai           59
                    avigation penalty                    60
                   Failure to manif st merchandis        61
               FAA regulations--little ef ct on air
                 druq smugglers                          61
               Improved border narcotics control not
                 likely without increased Unit d
                 States-Mexico cooperation               64
               Conclusions                               65
               Recommendations to agencies               66
               Recommendations to the Con ress            7
    6      AGE CY COMMENTS AND OUR EVALUATIO             68
               Of ice of Management and Budget           6
               Department of Justice                     69
               Department of the Treasury                71
               Department of State                       72

    I      Observations nd suggestions for improv-
             ing border law enforcement                  74
   II      United States Code title 19 administrative
             penalties vail ble to Cus oms               79
  III      Letter dated August 16, 1977, fro~ the
             Executive Associate Director fer Bud e ,
             the Executive Off ice of th President       81
   IV      Letter d ted November 3, 1977, from th
             As istant Attorney G neral for Admin-
             istration, Oep rtment of Justice            83
    V      Letter d ted August 26, 1977, from the
             Deputy Assistant Secretary or Enforce-
            m nt, Department of the Treasury                 1
   VI      L tter d ed August 22, 1977, from th
             Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget
             and Finance, Department o· State           101
  VII      L tter dated November 3, 1977, from the
             Assistant Secretary for Administra-
             tion, Off ice of the Secret ry of Trans-
             portation                                  104

                VIII            Principal officials responsible for ad-
                                  ministering activities discussed in
                                  this report                                  106

               ADIT             Alien Documentation, Identification and
               ADP              Automatic Data Processing
               ASB              Air Support Branch
               ATF               Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
               BNDD              Bure~u   of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs
               CCI NC           Cabinet Committee on International Narcotics
               DAWN              Drug Abuse Warning Network
               DEA              Drug Enforcement Administration
               EPIC              El Paso Intelligence Center
               FAA               Federal Aviation Administration
               FAR               Federal Aviation Regulation                               /

               FBI               Federal Bureau of Investigation
               GAO               General Accounting Off ice
               IDIG-M            Interdepartmental Intelligence Group-Mexico
               INS               Immigration and Naturalization Service
               MFJP              Mexican Federal Judicial Police
               NADDIS            Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Information System
               NCAP              Narcotics Control Action Plan
               NCIC              National Crime Information Center

_ ___ ______ _ ______
    ,;...__.            __.._              ~---~ ---   -- --~- -
        NLETS    National Law Enforcement Telecommunication System
        NORAD    North American Air Defense Command
        OMB      Off ice of Management and Budget
        ODAP     Office of Drug Abuse Policy
        STRIDE   System To Retrieve Information From Drug Evidence
        TECS     Treasury Enforcement Communication System

I   I
                          CHAPTER 1
      Illegal entry into the United States is a serious prob-
lem. The influx of illicit drugs and illegal aliens is
considered to have the greatest adverse social cost. Annual
cost estimates to counter drug-related crimes, lost produc-
tivity, treatment, and prevention range from $10 billion to $17
billion. The toll of broken homes and ruined lives is inca~­
culable. Estimates on illegal aliens in the United States
range up to 12 million. Illegal aliens cause a wide variety
of economic and human difficulties including lost tax rev-
enues, increased social welfare costs, and greater competi-
tion for available jobs. Recent appraisals by the Congress
and 3dministration of the nature and extent of the drug abuse
and immigration problems show conditions are worsening.
     Congressman Charles B. Rangel's concern over reports
declaring Mexico the principal supplier of the illicit U.S.
heroin market prompted him to ask us on December 8, 1975, to
report to the Congress on suppression of the heroin flow
from Mexico. This report addresses one aspect of the prob-
lem--u .s. border law enforcement and its effectiveness
in controlling illegal entry across the United States-Mexico
(Southwest) border. Our report, "Opium Eradication Efforts
In Mexico: Cautious Optimism Advised" (GGD-77-6, Feb. 18,
1977), addressed another aspect of the Congressman's con-
cern--efforts to eradicate the opium poppy at its source
within Mexico.
     Regretably, it is unlikely our Nation will ever eliminate
drug and illegal alien problems.
     Federal strategy to curb the extent and impact of drug
abuse in the United States has become multifaceted, recogniz-
ing the link between education, treatment, rehabilitation,
law enforcement, and research. It consists of a variety of
domestic and international efforts to reduce the supply of
and demand for illicit drugs. No single approach availabl~
to Government can minimize the social cost of drug addic-
tion. Supply reduction efforts attempt to disrupt the en-
tire chain of production and distribution through eradicat-
ing crops in illegal growing areas abroad, interdicting
illicit shipments, arresting and jailing important traffick-
ers, and seizing and confiscating the equipment and fiscal
resources needed to operate trafficking networks.


                                                                  II-   - - --   --
     One of the m~jor themes of the Federal strategy is that
there should be more selectivity and targeting of Federal ef-
forts. Federal policy gives priority to reducing both the
supply of and demand for drugs which inherently pose a greater
risk to the individual and to society. Additionally, prior-
ity law enforcement is to be given to high-level trafficking
networks rather than "street-level" activities.
     U.S. policy to prevent illegal immigration emphasizes
border enforcement rather than apprehension of illegal aliens
after settlement. Massive deportation of illegal aliens al-
ready in the United States is considered both inhumane and
     Mexico is the major source or transit country for illi-
cit drugs and illegal aliens entering the United States.
U.S. authorities estimated that in 1971 drugs flowing from
and through Mexico represented 20 percent of the heroin,
90 percent of the marihuana, and 80 percent of the illicit
dangerous drugs (amphetamines and barbituates) consumed in
the United States. In September 1976 officials estimated
that during 1975
     --89 percent (5.2 metric tons) of the heroin reaching
       the United States came from poppies grown in Mexico,
     --75 percent (2,700 tons) of the marihuana coming into
       the United States originated in Mexico,                        I

     --one-third of Colombian cocaine (4 to 5 tons) passed
       through Mexico, and
     --one-third of the dangerous drugs (16 million dosage
       units) entered from Mexico. Much of this was be-
       lieved to represent diversions from U.S. exportations.
Our report, "Opium Eradication Efforts In Mexico: Cautious
Optimism Advised," cited the inadequate bases supporting the
estimates that were made of the quantity of Mexican heroin
reaching the United States and the continuing need to de-
velop meaningful data.
     It is generally acknowledged that reliable estimates
of the illegal alien population in the United States do not
exist. An Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
contractor, however, estimated that about 5.2 million of
the 8 million illegal aliens he estimated are in the United


States are Mexican nationals. Most illegal aliens appre-
hended are Mexican--about 89 percent. The number of il-
legal Mexican aliens apprehended increased from about
29,700 in fiscal year 1960 to over 680,000 in fiscal year
1975. The illegal entry of Mexicans increased after 1965
when the U.S. Government did not renew a 22-year-old agree-
ment with the Government of Mexico that had allowed Mexicans
to seek farm jobs in this county legally (Bracaro program).
     Efforts within Mexico provide the first opportunity to
interdict illicit drug trafficking by working with the Gov-
ernment of Mexico to minimize exports to the United States.
The second opportunity to interdict drug traffic and the
first to apprehend aliens is at the U.S. border. Other
potential border-related law enforcement problems are the
smuggling of firearms, stolen property, and stolen vehicles
into Mexico. In some communities along the United States-
Mexico border, crimes committed by and against border cross-
ers is causing increasing concern.
     Our previously mentioned report on opium eradication
efforts in Mexico points out that progress has been made by
the Government of Mexico in attacking the source of heroin--
the opium poppy. This progress has resulted, in part, from
substantial U.S. funding; however, we cautioned that future
success would require continued upgrading of the narcotics
control capabilities of the Mexican Federal Judicial Police
(MFJP)--Mexico's narcotics agents--and the continuing com-
mitment by the Government of Mexico toward this end.
      Control of the border is basically a problem of con-
trolling the movement of people, vehicles, aircraft, boats,
and goods. While there are other agencies which have an
interest in controlling the Southwest border (e.g., Federal
Bureau of Investigation {FBI): Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
and Firearms (ATF): Department of Defense: Federal Aviation
Administration {FAA): Coast Guard; Department of Agricul-
ture; and Public Health Service), the principal agencies in-
volved in law enforcement are the Customs Service (Customs),
Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Drug En-
forcement Administration (DEA).
     The INS includes the U.S. Border Patrol, port-of-entry
inspectors, and investigators, whose primary responsibility
is to prevent the illegal entry of persons into the United
States or to apprehend and return illegal entrants. Customs,
from a law enforcement standpoint, has the primary respon-
sibility of preventing contraband from entering the United
States and of detecting and apprehending smugglers. Customs

also includes patrol officers, port-of-entry inspectors, and
investigators. DEA is the single Federal agency charged
with the responsibility for investigations pertaining to nar-
cotics and dangerous drug violations.
     Since the early 1970s administration studies, in addi-
tion to our reports, have made suggestions for improving
Federal efforts to reduce drug abuse and illegal immigration.
Recently, separate Domestic Council task forces have pre-
sented reports on these issues to the President. With the
emergence of Mexico as the major source of illicit drugs and
illegal aliens, the Southwest border has received Executive
and congressional attention. Appendix I presents a summary
of the studies and reports which identified problems between
Federal border enforcement agencies. Included were recom-
mendations to improve cooperation/coordination and to reduce
costly overlapping. While some of these recommendations
have been implemented, the essential characteristics of the
problems remain.
      Our review was primarily directed toward an analysis
of the activities and resources of Federal agencies having
direct, indirect, and supporting responsibilities for law
e nforcement along the United States-Mexico border.
       We reviewed policies, procedures, practices, correspond-
e nce, and documentation relating to each agency's approach,
as well as studies which have been made on the problems of
bo rder control. Data was compiled regarding illegal aliens
i n the United States; Me xican narcotics production and trans-
sh ipping estimates; illegal alien apprehensions; the seizure
of drugs, equipment, and material used in smuggling; and
ar r est of drug smugglers. Additionally, we examined and
ana lyzed agencies' files relating to selected drug interdic-
ti on case s .
Lo cations visited
     Our r e view was conducted at
     --De partme nt of State, DEA, INS, U.S. Attorney, Customs,
       Coast Guard, and FAA Headquarters offices in Washing-
       ton, D.C.:
     - - th e U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and DEA's Mazatlan
         Di s trict Office; and


                       J                                          I

I        --various regional and district offices of these Federal
           agencies in the Southwest area of the United States.
    Case analyses
         Our findings and conclusions are based, in part, on an
    analysis of drug interdiction cases. At the locations visited,
    we reviewed (1) all sea and air interdiction cases for calendar
    year 1975 and (2) port-of-entry and land patrol interdiction
    cases for the last quarter of calendar year 1975 involving
    heroin, cocaine, dangerous drugs, or one kilogram (1000 grams
    or 2.2 pounds) or more of marihuana, as follows:
                    San Ysidro/   Nogales/
                    San Diego,    Tucson,    El Paso,   Laredo,
                    California    Arizona     Texas      Texas    Total

    Port-of-entry      101             34        44     ~/21       200

    Land patrol
        Customs         11             41         8        21       81
        INS              6             28        17         8       59

        Air pa-
          trol          27             29       ~/3       £:/9      68
          patrol        10                                          10

        Total          155          132          72        59      418

    a/Because of the small number of interdiction cases at the
      Laredo port-of-entry, we added four cases from the quarter
      ended September 31, 1975, and se ve n cases involving less
      than a kilogram each of marihuana. Deleting these 11 cases
      leaves 10 cases applicable to the 15 Laredo seizures shown
      in the table on page 34.
    ~/Period covered July 2, 1975, through May 31, 1976.
    ~/Customs Air Support Branch located in San Antonio, Texas.

                           CHAPTER 2
      Controlling the border is essentially a task of con-
trolling the movement of people, vehicles, aircraft, and
goods. This is difficult at any border, but characteristics
of the Southwest border complicate the job. The United
States has resisted "sealing off" the 2,000-mile land border
with Mexico and has maintained, with modifications, an es-
sentially open border for several reasons:
     --Large expenditures would be required to effectively
       control the border. The MITRE Corporation in 1973
       estimated it would cost $300 million to implement
       a system 85-percent effective in intercepting il-
       legal entrants crossing between ports-of-entry .
     --United States/Mexico relations have been good and
       are based upon friendliness and cooperation.
     --The United States desires to facilitate the flow of
       legitimate traffic.
     Enforcement agencies have deployed their officers and       /

equipment at and between various ports-of-entry in an at-
tempt to more effectively secure the border. Difficulties
and limi t ing factors are discussed below.

     The magnitude of commerce and travel, and the necessity
to facilitate their flow, places constraints on the counter-
measures avnilable and practical for interdiction at ports-
of-entry. The increasing tremendous volume of legitimate
traffic serves to limit enforcement efforts necessary to
detect contraband. During the 6-year period from fiscal year
1971 through fiscal year 1976, about 804 million people,
247 million vehicles, and 441 thousand aircraft were inspected
in the Southwest border area. At major land ports such as
San Ysidro, California, during peak traffic, an inspector has
an average of 30 seconds to determine if a vehicle, its pas-
sengers, and baggage should be allowed to enter, or be given
a more thoroug h examination which could take an hour or more.


     During Operation Int rcept in 1969, all perso ns nd
vehicles crossing the bor ~ r were stopped and subjec ed to
thorough inspection. This action demonstrated hat more
than a cursory search by inspectors at the ports-of- ntry
brings forth a great deal of public outcry and 'spleasure .
More drugs were seized, but the increased time r uired to
 ass through the ports-of-entry res ted in long wai ing
lines of pedestrians 3nd vehicles on the Mexi can sid oi
the border. Facea with long lines, many touris s complained
bitterly and many others did not cross into Mexico. Mer-
chants on both sides of the border complained.


     The border area between the ports-of-entry is rela-
tively unpatrolled and the heavy traffic along the border
helps conceal illegal entry.
     --Ground mode. Only 2 percent of the entire Southwest
       ooraer-T4o-miles) offers sufficient topo raphi cal
       barriers to make illegal land crossings unlikely.
       The patrol forces are able to cover abou 10 percent,
       or one patrolman for every 10 miles of th e border at
       any given time.
     --~ir _mode. Aircraft can easily cross into the United
       States. DEA has estimated that there are up to 150
       illegal flights per day across the Southern borde r
       (San Diego, California to Miami, Florida). The
       Southwest includes thousands of square miles of land
       containing abandoned or little-used airstrips, dry
       lake beds, and isolated roads wher e ligh t airc ra ft
       can land. Southern California has about 53 , 000 active
       pilots and the three busiest general avia ion airports.
       FAA and military radar coverage exists over portion s
       of the United States/Mexico border, but suffic i ent
       limitations exist that aircraft, especially lo w-fly ing
       aircraft, run little risk of detection.
     --Boat mode. The majority of the 500,000 small craft
       registered in the State of California, whi ch include s
       about 3,500 yachts with long-range capability, are
       located in Southern California. The re are three ma-
       jor harbors in Southern California and more than 15
       small boat harbors which dot the coastline bet ween
       San Diego and San Luis Obispo. In San Diego. wh ere
       300 to 400 pleasure vessels depart or arrive on a
       Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, ther e are over 120 miles
       of waterfront, and it is only 10 miles for the ent rance
       of San Diego Bay to Mexican waters. Limited law

       enforcement resources result in virtually no monitor-
       ing of small boat activity on a day-to-day basis and
       regulations governing small boat reporting are very
       lenient. Only vessels landing in Mexico or making
       contact with another boat in Mexican waters (an ex-
       tremely difficult thing to prove) are required to
       report their arrival to Customs within 24 hours.

     Oiff icult control problems exist at the Southwest bor-
der, as evidenced by the fact that most illicit drugs and il-
legal aliens enter the Unit ed States over this border. The
estimated Federal investment for law enforcement in that
area has nearly doubled since fiscal year 1971.
I / Because of the varying geographic boundaries of the vari-
- ous agencies, differing accounting systems, and incom-
    plete documentation, the dollar figures and statistics
    pr es ented in this chapter and the drug seizures in the
    following chapter do not represent a precise accounting
    for resources allocated to the Southwest border. The
    estimates were prepared by the agencies and, therefore,
    should represent a reasonable approximation of such re-


                                                               $141 .7






  Fiscal Y r:   1971     1972        1973    1974     1975      1976

              Customs, INS , and Bureau of Narcotics
           and Dangerous Drugs {BNDD)/DEA Expenditures

a/No cost for BNDD/DEA w ~ s included since such data was un-
- available . BNDD/DEA es~imated cost for 1972 was $4.3 million

     Th    llowin chart illustr tes the mix and gener
pose for which these expenditures wer e made.

                                   SU BNOO/DEA. ft

        $52.5 INS,   71~

                                                           1141 .7

                                          182.4 INS. 5ft

       29% '" 1971Ind42'.'" 197&
       "*''for nscota Ind
       contr.,_.. control

                                                                         . 14

              Customs , INS, and BNND/DEA Expenditures
                    Fiscal Years 1971 nd 1976
                       (dollars in millions)
a/ Since BNDD/ DEA cost stimated for                 Y 71 unavail ble,   Y 7
   cost or BNDD/DEA -as us~d.


     Not only did the expenditures change dramatically during
this period, but a so the purpose for which they were bein
expended. During 1971, INS spent 71 percent of the tot 1
 unds in this area to control the entry of illegal ali ns,
while only 29 percent of the funds wa s being spent to con-
trol illegal drugs and other contraband. By 1976, INS'
expcnd"tures had droppeJ to 58 percent of the enforcement
funds being spent by these agencies.
     A breakdown of estimated INS, Customs , and DEA resource
for various categorie follows.

                          Southwest Border Resources
                               Fiscal Year 1976
                 Staff                          Vehi-           Dog Teams
                  ower      Planes   Boats      cl es                       Sensors
                                     ---                        (no~e ~)
I   s           ~/2,988       24        0       1.469                0         988
Customs           2,055       47       11                736        48         355
DEA                 664       11        3           -
                                                        - -

        Total     5,707
                              82       14
                                       ,....        2,698
a/A detector dog team consists of a dog handler and ca det c-
                                                                            l , 343
                                                                            --   --
- tor dog.
b/This represents the number of INS personnel stationed at
- the Southwest border during the first half of FY 1976.

      From fiscal year 1971 through 1976, the Customs , INS,
and DEA estimated number of personnel deployed alo~g the
Southwest border increased by 1,355 {31 percent) from 4,352
in 1971 to 5,707 in 1976. The increased personnel were
distributed as follows: 668 or 52 percent. perform a patrol
operation, 267 or 21 percent perform the inspection opera-
tions, 188 or 15 percent perform an inv~sti9ation function ,
while 232 or 17 percent perform a support function. The
number nd functional mode of operation of the personnel ,
from 1971 to 1976, are shown on the following page.

                                   __ Staf!_Eower
           QE~ratiQ!!              1971         1976

          Inspection               1,028      1, 295

         Patrol                    1,351      2,019

          Investigation              683         871

          Support                  1,290      1,52~

              Total              ~/4,352      5,707

a/Since 1971 estimates were not available for BNDD/DEA, 1972
- estimates were used.



                          CHAPTER 3
     The Federal strategy for drugs gives priority to high-
level trafficking networks and those drugs which inherently
pose a greater risk to the individual and society. For aliens,
the highest priority is prevention of illegal entries. The
substantial Federal investment for enforcement at the South-
west border has had only limited success in achieving these
    --Border forces interdict only a small quantity of the
      estimated heroin and cocaine entering the United States
      from Mexico. Most seizures are marihuana.
     --Border drug apprehensions seldom involve high-level
     --Although apprehensions of illegal aliens have in-
       creased, more are successful in getting into the
       United States than are prevented from entering.
     These areas are discussed in greater detail below.
     In fiscal year 1976, Customs and INS seized about 2 per-
cent of the heroin, less than 1 percent of the cocaine, and
10 percent of the marihuana estimated to come from or through
Mexico. When DEA seizures (including seizures made in Mexico)
are added total S6uthwest border area drug seizures by the
three agencies for fiscal year 1976 represented about 6 per-
cent of the heroin, 3 percent of the cocaine, and 13 per-
cent of the marihuana estimated to come from Mexico. The
following table shows fiscal year 1976 Southwest border area
seizures by agency~

                  Drug Seizures (note a) at the
               Southwest Border--FY 1976 (note b)
                                Heroin      Cocaine   Marihuana

                                        ~~~(pounds) __ ~~---~

Customs                             199         10      337,759
INS (note b)                         10         53      205,178
Interdiction seizures               209         63     542,937
DEA                                 512        176     !45,060
    Total                           721        239     _f.87 ,997
Mexican Narcotics
 production and
 Estimates 1976 (note c)        11,400       8,000    5,400,000
a/Drug seizures are presumed to be 100-percent pure, although
- the purity of border seizures are significantly less.
b/INS was able to supply seizure statlstics for the first
- 6 months of fiscal year 1976. The quantities shown in the
   chart and the percentages shown on page 13 assume that
   seizures during the last 6 months were identical to those            /
  of the first 6 months.
c/Estimates of drugs flowing to United States from and through
- Mexico are shown as 100-percent purity.

As can b~ seen from the above table, the most significant ac-
complishment of seizures at the United States-Mexico border
has been in reducing the quantity of marihuana entering the
United States. This reduction, however, only accounted for
about 13 percent of the estimated amount of marihuana coming
from Mexico.
     Our work along the United States-Mexico border, and that
of the Domestic Council Drug Abuse Task Force on the South-
ern border, shows that most heroin, cocaine, and dangerous
drugs are interdicted at ports-of-entry, while most mari-
huana by volume is int~rcepted away from the ports-of-e ntry.
     Heroin--The overwhelming majority of heroin interdic-
tions, in terms of frequency as well as volume, are at


                        J                                           I
ports-of-entry. To illustrate, in fiscal year 1976, 216 of the
233 heroin seizures along the Southwest border were at ports-
of-entry. The Do1 .. estic Council's analysis of a recent 18-
month period for the entire Southern border showed that
98 percent of heroin seizures (by volume) were at ports, with
94 percent brought into the country by autos, trucks, or
     Cocaine--Like heroin, most cocaine is intercepted at
ports-of-entry. Unlike heroin, cocaine is rarely seized at
land ports, which explains the low percentage detected along
the Southwest border. The Domestic Council Task Force analy-
sis showed that 97 percent of the cocaine seized was at other
than land ports-of-entry, with more than half seized from
scheduled airlines and another 32 percent coming in aboard
boats along the Southern border.

     Marihuana--By far, in terms of both frequency as well
as volume, marihuana is the controlled substance being in-
terdicted at the border. It is most frequently detected at
the land ports-of-entry in small quantities, which seldom
exceed several hundred kilograms. The Domestic Council
analysis showed that 74 percent of the marihuana interdicted
has been between ports-of-entry. Overall, autos and trucks
accounted for 87 percent. airplanes 7 percent, and vessels
6 percent of the seized marihuana along the Southern border.

~£eh~si~ns seldom involve
major traffickers
     The overwhelming majority of persons crossing the bord e r
in possession of drugs who are apprehended by Customs and
INS, are:

     --Drug users bringing in a small quantity of a controll e d
       substance for personal consumption.

     --Small-time ope rators, amateurs, couriers, or low-lev e l
       members of drug trafficking organizations who are con-
       sidered expendable.
     Overall, DEA data shows that less than 2 percent of th e
interdictions referred from INS and Customs involved major
violators, and approximately three-fourths were marihuana
violators. Our analysis of cases in California and Arizona
showed a similar percentage of major violators were appre-
hended by ground/sea patrol forces or port-of-entry inspec-
tors. However, major violators constituted 21 percent of
marihuana smugglers apprehended by Customs Air Support
Branches (ASB).

     National priorities and DEA efforts have shifted toward
those drugs with the potential for causing the highest social
cost, and away from low-level violators.
     DEA has complained that a significant portion of its
agents' time (30 percent) was being spent on border interdic-
tion cases referred by Customs and INS that involved small-
time marihuana smugglers. DEA officials and Assistant U.S.
Attorneys advised us that border interdiction cases seldom
lead to the identification of important drug traffickers or
the immobilization of traffickers organizations. About
8 percent of the arrestees in the cases analyzed by us in
Arizona and California led to the identification of major
More illegal aliens enter successfully
than are apprehended
     Apprehension of illegal aliens has increased tremen-
dously. The following table, based on INSs data, demonstrates
this increase.
     ~ - Apprehensions      of Aliens Entering
         Without Inspection--Mex1can Border
              CALIFORNIA-     NEW MEXICO-        LAREDO-
                ARIZONA         DEL RIO           GULF      TOTAL
                ----            ----
1964              4,791           8,415             9,927    23,133   I
1965             11,026          11,023             8,714    30,763
1966             26,877          19,156           12,204     58,237
1967             38,539          24,916           14,577     78,032
1968             63,554          35,782           18, 221   L.7,557
1969             78,399          53,816           30,884    163,099
1970            112,123          81,093           47,640    240,856
1971            132,786         108,270           72,736    313,792
1972            170,277         132,910           90,028    393,215
1973            285,389         149,194          lll,078    545,661
1974            382,126         181.986          123,454    687,566
1971:\          398,688         160,938          102,371    661,997
Although these apprehension figures seem impress]ve, officials
estimate that for each person apprehended while illegally en-
tering the country, at least two others manage to get through.
Border officials have said that the number of persons who illeg-
ally cross the border without apprehension may be substan-
tially higher.
     The following case helps to illustrate the magnitude of
the problem. In April 1977, at one border crossing point,

    2,897 illegal aliens were apprehended in a 36-hour period.
    An INS assistant regional commissioner estimated that an
    equal number of illegal aliens successfully entered the
    United States at this crossing point during the same period.
         Many aliens apprehended are repeaters; some have been
    apprehended as many as 10 times. Our previous reports,
    the Domestic Council's Committee on Illegal Aliens preliminary
    report dated December 1976, and other studies have attested
    to the "revolving door" nature of the border. To illustrate,
    the Domestic Council report states:
         "Presently the border is a revolving door* * * We
         repatriate undocumented wcrkers on a massive
         scale* * *.   The illegals cooperate by agreeing to
         voluntary departure an~ significant numbers promptly
         re-enter. It is not unusual for i:,. ; l illegal to un-
         dergo multiple apprehensions and re-entries for
         there are no serious deterrents."
          When one considers the many points along the United
    States-Mexico border that can be used by aliens to enter the
    United States, it becomes apparent that the attempt to pre-
    vent illegal entries at the border, by itself, will not
    solve the illegal alien problem.

                           CHAPTER 4
                   AND OVERALL CONTROL PLAN
     Federal border law enforcement agencies face a complex
and most difficult task that requires a comprehensive, co-
ordinated effort by all segments of the border law enforce-
ment community. Each agency should be expected to use its
limited resources to achieve optimum results. Efforts to
date, however, have not reached this qoal because:
     --The Executive Branch of the Federal Government has
       not developed an integrated strategy or a compre-
       hensive border control plan to consider all aspects
       of the problem and establish clear, measurable ob-
       jectives indicating what it intends to accomplish
       with the various law enforcement resources. A
       plan of this type is critical because of the many
       agencies with ove~lapping responsibilities.
     --Costly overlapping and poorly coordinated enforce-
       ment activities and support systems exist.
     --Little is known about how most drugs enter the
       country. High priority is being given to improve
       the situation. Available intelligence and seizure
       statistics indicate that most of the heroin, cocaine,        ;
       and dangerous drugs are smuggled through the ports-
       of-entry. However, inspector staffpower at major
       United States-Mexico ports has remained about the
       same, or decreased, while patrol forces away from
       the ports have increas1~d.
This chapter discusses the opportunity and need to strengthen
law enforcement at the border under the major areas of in-
telligence support and law enforcement operations.
Intelligence for border law enforcement--
too little · known

     Resource deployment and border law enforcement effec-
tiveness {significant arrests and seizures) depend upon the
quality and quantity of information {intelligence) available
to enforcement decisionmakers. The hordes of legitimate
traffic in the vicinity of the border and passing through


                       J                                        I
ports-of-entry make it extremely difficult to identify smug-
glers. Quality intelligence concerning the activities of
smugglers, in combination with mobile air, water, or ground
interception systems, is considered to be the best tool to
improve interdiction results, short of total surveillance
and interception coverage.
     Information on how drugs enter the country is not ade-
quate for making decisions on how to respond. The Domestic
Council's Drug Abuse Task Force, in its draft report on the
Southern border, supported this position. The report oointed
out that "the single greatest area of deficiency, or in a
more constructive sense, the area which has the greatest op-
portunity for improvement, is the drug intelligence func-
DEA's efforts to improve intelligence
      Under Reorganization Plan No. 2, DEA was tasked with
providing nationwide drug intelligence. DEA is currently
working on this task and some improvements have been made;
but problem~ still exist. To illustrate, DEA has developed
a preliminary Mexican Heroin Trafficking Model which de-
scribes the methods and routes used in transporting Mexican
heroin from the poppy-growing areas to U.S. cities. Many of
these suspected heroin trafficking routes are probably used
for smuggling cocaine and marihuana manufactured in and
transited through Mexico. Although DEA suspects the routes
and methods, little factual data exists to reliably estab-
lish the amount of illicit narcotics smuggled across the
Sou thwest border. DEA supplies interdicting agencies with
very little actionable intelligence necessary for successful
operations along the borders. When it has provided such
information, the successes have been significant.
      In our report entitled "Federal Drug Enforcement: Strong
Guidance Needed," dated December 18, 1975, we recommended that
DEA place increased emphasis on the gathering of intelligenc e
information to assist border law enforcement in catching smug-
gle rs at U.S. ports and borders. The Chairman of the working
group of the Domestic Council's Drug Abuse Task Force for the
Southern border said that DEA needs to reorient its agents to
the intelligence function, especially outside of the country.
Border Intelligence Center--
~-step forward, but problems still remain
     In September 1974 the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC)
was established by DEA at El Paso, Texas, to provide an overall

intelligence picture of drug trafficking and/or smuggling by
land, sea, or air between Mexico and the United States . This
mission was to be accomplished by accumulating raw intelli-
gence, analyzing this data, and providing tactical intelli-
gence to agencies with border enforcement responsibilities.
Plans were for a joint effort between DEA, INS, and Customs.
     In the early stages of EPIC's development, progress
was slow due to lack of support and agency resistance. Ini-
tially, only INS and DEA placed personnel at EPIC, but more
recently other Federal agencies have begun to support EPIC.
Current participants are Customs, ATF, Coast Guard, and
FAA, with increased DEA and INS commitment . Recent progress
supports the desirability of a single border intelligence
center , but there are problems.
     Agencies' commitments and views
     In the early stages, the 20 DEA employees at EPIC de-
voted their efforts to building an intelligence data base
and answering queries received from law enforcement person-
nel seeking current intelligence data on narcotics suspects
and vehicles under surveillance for illegal drug traff ick-
ing. The initial personnel included three analysts whose
time was devoted to preparing a weekly brief. This brief
contained current trends, patterns, and statistical data
relating to narcotics smuggling. Little time was left for
other analysis of drug trafficking.

     DEA now has 35 positions and most of the new positions
were placed in the Analysis Section. With the increase in
personnel, the Analysis Section is currently developing in-
formation and issuing reports in such areas as the exchange
of arms and/or vehicles for narcotics: organized crime in-
fluences and narcotics trafficking organizations; alien-
smuggling organizations; use of fraudulent documents by
traffickers; and organized smuggling via land and commercial
aircraft, ocean-going vessels, and small vessels. The Analy-
sis Section reviews the EPIC lookouts 1/ to determine the
degree of success being achieved.     -

     Initially, INS staffing at EPIC consisted of a deputy
director, secretary, and a special agent. Currently, INS

l/A lookout is an alert communicated to EPIC by an agent
- and usually consists of a name, an automobile registration
  or license plate number, or an aircraft number to help
  EPIC intercept violators and the vehicles they use.



has 14 people at EPIC. The air intelligence and inspection
program, the fraudulent document center, and the anti-
smuggling program of INS have been transferred from Yuma ,
Arizona, to EPIC. INS is now in a better posit'on to as-
sess the impact of EPIC on its performance. Th Justice
Department said that "INS is the largest user of EPIC and
EPIC has proved to be a very effective law enforcement tool
for INS purposes."
     FAA officials have found EPIC to be an effective tool
for providing appropriate information concerning aviatior.
FAA has an arrangement with DEA to have all aviation intel-
ligence handled through EPIC. FAA has one repr esentative
at EPIC.
     ATF is very supportive of EPIC according to ATF off i-
cials. Participation in EPIC provides ATF with a larger
data base of useful intelligence with a minimum investme nt .
Since its involvement in EPIC, ATF has made more arrests
and developed more cases. ATF currently has one represen-
tative at EPIC.
      The Coast Guard informed us it relies heavil y on in-
telligence provided by EPIC and Customs. The information
is in the form of vess 1 lookout lists. The Coast Guard
generates some intelligence on its own which it transmits
to EPIC. The Coast Guard feels EPIC is very beneficial be-
cause its vessels can and do make real time r eguests concern-
ing suspicious vessels. Usually, EPIC will r espond to the
Coast Guard vessel by the time boarding takes place. The
Coast Guard has one representative at EPI C and plans to add
four ~ore.
     Unlike the other participants in EPI C, Customs is cri-
tical of EPIC because it feels that to a great extent EPIC
duplicates the Treasury Enforcement Communicat ion Systems
(TECS), ar.d TECS fulfills Customs' needs. Customs presently
has two representatives at EPIC. TECS and other agencies'
intelligence support systems are discussed in detail on
pages 25 through 28 of this chapte(.
EPIC's operations and results
     The heart of EPIC is the Watch Operation Section and
the Analysis Section. The Watch Operation Section operates
on a 24-hour, 7-day week schedule in order t o support on-
going field investigations being conducted by F e ral, State ,
and local law enforcement agencies.

     Since EPIC became operational, users seeking information
have steadily increased. In January 1975 EPIC recieved 429
inquiries . During May 1976 about 6,750 inquiries were re-
ceived seeking inform~tion on suspects, aircraft, vehicles,
fraudulent documents , smuggling, and related items. This
increased volume suggests growing reliance on the system by
user agencies.
     Each of the participating agencies has given EPIC ac-
cess to its pertinent data base. The TECS and DEA's Nar-
cotics and Dangerous Drugs Information System (NADDIS) are
accessible through computer terminal3 installed at EPIC.
Lookout information received at EPIC, pertaining to indivi-
duals, vehicles, aircraft, and vessels that are suspected
of participating in smuggling ventures, is placed in each
participating agency's information system if relevant. This
sharing of information among the agencies has facilitated
arrests and seizures.
     Our analysis of EPIC lookouts for a 4-rnonth period
between December 1, 1975, and March 31, 1976, that were
placed in the TECS, INS, Coast Guard, and FAA systems dis-
closed the following:
                                        Results of lookou s
     Lookouts placed                              1,1 5
     Response to lookouts                           153
     Arrests                                         42

         Marihuana                        4,529   kilograms
         Hashish                            794   grams
         Heroin                          16,871   grams
         Cocaine                          7,320   grams
         Jewelry                           $600
         Aircraft                            10
         Vessels                              1
         Vehicles                             9

       EPIC lookouts placed in October 1976 have provided
agencies with information which result ed in five seizures
yielding 51.5 pounds of brown heroin, 2 pounds of cocaine,
298 ,6 50 mini-amphetamines, and 35 tons of marihuana.

     The Chief, Watch Operation Section, stated that re-
cently there has been a noticeable increase in requests
for information from EPIC by the Mexico City region. In
October 1976 the region submitted 158 inquiries to EPIC



seeking information and through EPIC placed 30 lookouts
with TECS and 1 with INS.
A   E!Oblem--too little intelligeuce
Trom Mexico
      Our work in Mexico showed that little informa~ion was
being developed within Mexico to improve interdiction ef-
forts at ports-of-entry and other locations along the South-
west border. Intelligence-gathering efforts within Mexico
were geared to the eradication campaign and known traff ick-
ing operations within Mexico. Tactical and operational in-
telligence to support border law enforcement was a low
priority item within the U.S. Mission, with limited coopera-
tion from the Government of Mexico.
     In June 1976 the U.S. Mission was developing little
information to assist in intercepting drugs at the border.
The Narcotics Control Action Plan (NCAP) for Mexico--the
basic planning document for implementing and evaluating the
bilateral program--while encouraging the development of
drug intelligence capability with the Government of Mexico
for incountry enforcement activity, was silent regarding
the gathering and exchanging of interdiction-related nar-
cotics information to assist border enforcement personnel.
     Copies of all investigative reports that DEA agents
develop dealing with opium poppy cultivation and traffick-
ing organizations are forwarded to EPIC. Specific initia-
tives to monitor vehicle, boat, and aircraft traffic have
occurred to a limited degree.
     With the exception of several informants paid to
monitor the movement of vehicles, aircraft, and boats sus-
pected of transporting narcotics from the Mexican mainland
through the Baja peninsula to Southern California, the
DEA's Mexico City Regional Intelligence Unit's information
forwarded to assist in intercepting drugs at the border con-
sisted of responding to inquiries from EPIC, and occasionally
obtaining data from Mexican officials on U.S. registered
boats and aircraft traveling in Mexico. These actions have
not provided the type of tactical intelligence necessary to
identify specific shipments, or traffickers' plans, which
could be acted upon by border enforcement agents.
     The Chief, Analysis Section, at EPIC stated that he
believes the Analysis Section receives all intelligence
developed by the Mexico City region. This official said

that the Analysis Section receives monthly reports, tele-
types, and DEA records of investigation pertaining to ar-
rests and seizures made by Mexican officials.. He commented
that EPIC needs information developed from debriefings of
informant contacts , but the Mexico-City region furnishes
only about eight of these debriefings a  month. He attrib-
utes the lack of debriefing intelligence to the fact that
DEA agents in the Mexico clty region are not involved in
enforcement and case work, but primarily devote their efforts
to liaison, training, and intelligence activities. It is
very difficult for an agent to develop a contact when he is
not involved in enforcement work.
     The same official stated that the Analysis Section
receives additional intelligence pertaining to Mexico from
suspects that are arrested for possession of narcotics when
entering the United States. Thls type of intelligence is a
poor source of information because the violators are usually
couriers transporting the narcotics and have little, if any,
information about the smuggling operation.
Mexico·~_   intelligence efforts
neea to be encouraged
      An intelligence unit within the MFJP has been estab-
1 ished. The unit is considered by DEA to be poorly staffed,
inadequately trained, and reluctant to work with the DEA
intelligence unit. None of the three MFJP agents trained
in the United States for intelligence work were working in
the unit. Although the need exists for more accurate and
actionable intelligence, we noted no planned program to as-
s lst this unit in developing its capabilities through !1CAP
funding ..
     The sharing of intelligence information developed by
the Mexican agents, whlch could benefit border interdiction
efforts , has seldom occurred. During our visit to the U.S.
Mission in Mexico during June 1976, we were informed that
the MFJP and DEA had established a procedure for the c~x­
change of information. We noted, however, that for the
period November 25 , 1975, through May 24, 1976, DEA 1 s re-
gional intelligence unit had forwarded 64 memorandums re-
garding drug intelligence to their Mexican counterparts ,
but had received responses to only 3 ..

     DEA officials were able to identify only one instance
where intelligence obtained within Mexico from the MPJP
resulted in a significant border interdiction seizure . This
example clearly shows the potential benefits when the· MFJP
provides tactical intelligence:

    On January 17, 1976, a confidential informant told
    the MFJP that a blue and white Ford pickup truck
    bearing Arizona license XXXXX was enroute to Chicaqo,
    Illinois, with about 14 kilograms of heroin. The
    heroin was believed to be! hidden in the door panels,
    and possibly in the dr iv•! shaft . The MFJP was un-
    able to locate the vehicle within Mexico and an all-
    border lookout was placed in EPIC. When the vehicle
    was stopped and searched at the Hidalgo, Texas, port-
    of-entry, 14 kilograms of heroin were found.. Two
    defendants were arrested.

     The need to encourage cooperative programs with the
Government of Mexico to improve effectiveness in stopping
the shipment of illicit drugs ls discussed in chapter 5.
A long-time problem--op;:ortunities
to consol1date and share intell1qence
support systems
     Federal agencies operating in the border area have,
over the years, developed their own systems and data bases
to provide tactical, operational, and strategic intelli-
gence 1/ co support thel· basic enforcement missions. At
the present, there are four separate data systems (three
automatic and one manual) supporting enforcement efforts .
These systems have unique aspect&, designed to be respon-
sive to the individual missions of the agencies. At the
same time, to varying degrees, the systems contain elements
and capabilities that are markedly similar, the primary
differences being in the agency's orientation or intended
uLe. The preseni or planned i~telligence support systems
of Cne 1~ oms, INS, .and DEA are examples outlined below.

!/Strategic intelligence--ptovldes the situation overview and
                            the magnitude of the problem. It
                            is essential for the formulation of
                           broad policy and slrategy.
OPE~rational intelllgence--provides an overview of the mod es
                           of operation, traffic patterns, and
                           principal personalities involved in
                            the illegal operat:ons at the border.
Tactical intelligence--provides the identification of specific
                        traffickers and their methods of opera-
                        tion ..

     TECS, operated by the Cus    s Service, is the principal
means of disseminating intellig . c e information to inspection
and enforcement personnel at border crossing points, air-
ports, seaports throughout the country. The predominant ele-
ment of the system is a computerized operational suspect-file,
housed in San Diego, California, which is linked to some 900
terminals located at major ports-of-entry, including 100 ter-
minals located at land crossings along the Southwest border.
The types of information contained in the system on indivi-
duals are

     --name, race, sex, height, weight:
     --date and place of birth:

     --address information: and
     --such identifying numbers as social security, driver's
        license, passport, National Crime Information Center,
        license plate(s), and aircraft.
     TECS presently contains approximately 485,000 records
of which 220,000 or 45 percent are narcotics case rec o rds.
TECS has access to the National Law Enforcement Telecommuni-
cations System (NLETS) and the FBI's National Crime Infor-
mation Center (NCIC).

      The data system currently being used by INS is the Look-
out Book System. This contains phonetically arranged names            I
of persons for whom INS has established a "lookout." Persons
listed in this system include immigration offenders: fugi-
tives sought by the FBI, other Federal agencies, and State
and local enforcement agencies: and suspected subversives
and/or espionage agents whose names r 1ve been furnished
by the State Department, Department of Defense, and the in-
telligence agencies. Although this is a manual data re-
trieval system, it is highly accessible and it requires an
average of only about 5 to 12 seconds for an experienced
officer to locate a name.

      In fiscal year 1976 INS began development of an Alien
Documentation, Identification and Telecommunication (ADIT)
sy stem. ADIT involves the replacement of all existing INS~
issued alien registration receipt and border crossing iden-
tification cards with a computer readable card which cannot
be easi l y counterfeited or altered. In addition to the
identif i cation cards, the system will consist of an auto-
mated c e ntral data base and operational remote access ter-
minals. Eventually the system will inc lude automated card


readers for validations at approximately 200 ports-of-entry.
Initially, the central data base is to be an ADIT/master
index file, later interfacing with other INS data f i les for
computer-aided enforcement and service functions. Plans
provide for installation of the access terminals at primary
and secondary inspection areas, district offices, regional
offices, and border patrol stations.
     Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Information System
(NADDIS) was designed by DEA to further investigations of
drug violators. NADDIS is an operational automated retrie-
val system that provides biographical information on known
violators and references to case files. The data includes
     --the trafficker's residence, phone number, and such
        identifying characteristics as height, weight, and
     --the drug involvec and the level of the case;
     --the trafficker~s passport data, vehicle, boat, and
       aircraft numbers; and
     --the trafficker's associates.
Like TECS, NADDIS has access to the FBI's NCIC criminal data
     As previously mentioned, DEA is developing another com-
puterized intelligence system, called PATHFINDER I. The
principal objective of PATHFINDER I is to provide DEA with
a totally integrated and centralized system for the automated
storage, retrieval, and analysis of all sources of informa-
tion relevant to illicit drug activities, as well as other
types of criminal activity of interest to enforcement agen-
cies. The PATHFINDER I data base consists of subjects, or-
ganizations, vehicles, aircraft, and vessels relevant to
illicit drug activities.
     PATHFINDER is th e first of five phases in DEA's Na-
tional Narcotics Intelligence System which is supposed to
be completed and fully operational in 1981. Phase 2 is to
combine the scattered data bases within DEA--Drug Abuse
Warning Network (DAWN), System to Retrieve Information from
Drug Evidence (STRIDE), Ballistics, and NADDIS. These data
bases are to be combined under one system so that the ana-
lyst can derive indicators or patterns of activities from a
consolidated base. Phase 3 will include the data bases ex-
ternal to DEA, such as TECS and NCIC. Phase 4 will see the
complete fusion of all data bases under a master system,

and Phase 5 will see the completion and full utilization of
the National Narcotics Intelligence System.
     According to a DEA official, the system may not com-
pletely replace other data bases (NADDIS, DAWN, etc.); how-
ever, a committee has been formed to look into the possi-
Intragovernment suggestions for improved
ut1.lizat1on of intelligence support systems
     In commenting upon the intelligence function as an
integral part of the overall narcotics supply reduction
program, the Domestic Council Drug Abuse Task Force, in its
September 1975 White Paper on Drug Abuse, observed that
the problem of inadequate information storage and retrieval
capability is complicated by the existence of four separate
automatic data processing systems. The task force recom-
mended an analysis of these systems be conducted, perhaps
by OMB, with a view toward integration or at least improved

     In a 1973 report, the MITRE Corporation, after an anal-
ysis of the data elements and uses being made of the TECS
and NADDIS intelligence support systems, concluded that the
potential for duplication appears to have developed in Fed-
eral drug law enforcement intelligence data processing
operations. Duplication could be avoided with the use of
a common data base, common equipment, and compatible data ac-
cessing techniques. MITRE felt that, with the formation              I

of DEA, certain f11nctions accomplished by these systems could
be combined to av o id unnecessary duplication.
     The Domestic Council Committee on Illegal Aliens, in
its December 1976 report, suggests that INS, Customs, and
DEA jointly develop and share automatic data processing (ADP)
and telecommunications. The report states that it appears
feasible that ADIT could use the existing Customs ADP and
communication network.

     The INS Manager for ADIT advised us that interface with
TECS and EPIC is envisioned. INS and Customs personnel have
had several meetings to exchange thoughts on the develop-
ment of the ADIT and TECS systems. As of January 1977 there
had been no contact with DEA. No specific steps have been
taken, since ADIT is not far enough into the design phase.
He was only vaguely aware of the report by the Domestic Coun-
cil Committee. He felt that INS' needs are unique, and TECS


                -   ~ ·-- -   - - - - - - - - - - -- -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

does not presently have inherent capabilities to fully sa-
tisfy ADIT requirements. Furthermore, he felt it could cost
as much or more to upgrade TECS than to develop a separate
system. However, no analysis or study has been done to
confirm or deny this. On November 3, 1977, Justice told us
that ADIT automated system design had just now been completed
to the point where meaningful consideration of alternatives
for implementation can be realistically evaluated. Plans
for a joint ADIT/TECS experiment are currently being dis-
     The Commissioner of Customs advised us in December 1976
that if current plans are carried through, all arriving tra-
velers at airports and seaports, including returning citi-
zens, will be queried in ADIT, "a computerized lookout sys-
tem similar to the already in-place ~nd operating TECS." He
felt that only a single system was   eded and TECS could
easily incorporate an index to the alien information data
base without degrading response time, as is currently ac-
complished with the TECS/NCIC interface. His staff studied
the possibility of incorporating these requirements, and
found no real obstacles to implementation of a unified sys-
tem. He suggested that
     "Under a si~gle agency inspection system, each
     screening loc~tion would have a terminal to ac-
     cess simultaneously the complete file of all
     relevant enforcement information. A similar
     arrangement would be used under any system of
     single stop inspection: in essence, any agency
     inspector in primary could use the system.
     Obviously, compared to current plans, a jointly
     used system offers significant reductions in
     resource outlays for computers, related tele-
     communication systems, and possibly inspector
     processing time. The net effect would be
     greater facilitation, more effective enforce-
     ment and a leveling of governmental costs."
      Customs believes that EPIC is unresponsive to its in-
telligence needs and duplicates many systems previously
available. Customs believes that EPIC should be located
at Washington Headquarters rather than El Paso, since it is
serving as a national, rather than a Southwest border, in-
formation center.
     Consistent with the concept of centralized collection
of intelligence resources at Washington, Customs supported
the creation of the Interdepartmental Intelligence Group-
Mexico (IDIG-M), located at DEA Headquarters. In March

1977, however, Customs reassigned one of their three IDIG-M
analysts back to Customs Headquarters after DEA and INS
downgraded their commitment to the IDIG-M function. In a
March 1977 letter to DEA, Customs stated the following:
     "EPIC and IDIG-M remain two separate efforts to
     deal with the Mexican narcotic problem, but even
     though they are under the leadership of DEA,
     neither communicate to combine their efforts.
     This division of effort into two ineffective units
     is doing nothing to aid Customs. If the !DIG con-
     cept cannot be realized, Customs will have no
     alternative but to continue withdrawing our rep-
     resentatives next from EPIC followed by more from
     A Domestic Council Task Force member also expressed
concern about EPIC. OMB believed that EPIC's charter, or
mandate, has been ambiguous and expansive in its mission,
and that EPIL should be reexamined to determine its ob-
jectives. The Council member feels that EPIC is best at
performing a "watch function" for DEA and as a clearing-
house for law enforcement information. According to a
former OMB official, currently with the Office of Drug Abuse
Policy, major constraints on EPIC functioning as a focal
point for coordinating border enforcement activities are:
     --EPIC can only have a limited scope because all of
        the analysis of intelligence data must take place            ,
        in Washington, where comprehensive case files and
        the computer capability actually are located.
     --EPIC will never be a focal point for coordinating
       border enforcement activities because of Customs
       nonacceptance of the role of DEA and DEA leader-
       ship at EPIC. OMB does not see any prospects for
        improvement in either area in the near future and,
       consequently, does not recommend any expansion of
In commenting on our report, OMB agreed with the thrust of
this official's analysis, but did not entirely share his
convictions about the future of EPIC.
     Justice did not agree with these op1n1ons. In its opin-
ion, EPIC precludes the need for comprehensive Washington
files for anything other than background data since it concen-
trates on the analysis and dissemination of fresh intelli-
gence--less than 30 days old. Furthermore, Justice bel : eves
EPIC is presently an effective clearinghouse for border


                  -   ------------------------------~-----

intelligence and its effectiveness could be amplified if
utilized by all border agencies. It stated that in an effort
to enhance DEA/Customs Operations, the Administrator of DEA
and the Commissioner of Customs have scheduled a series of
meetings to develop improved cooperation between the agencies
and thereby increase Federal drug enforcement effectiveness.
As a result of these meetings, Justice believes that OMB's
view that Customs is unwilling to accept DEA's role in
EPIC appear to be premature.

     Treasury said EPIC's limitations are not the result of
inadequate participation or duplication with TECS but are
caused by the limited intelligence available in the system.
Treasury stated that the lack of intelligence is a result
of DEA's belief that border interdiction plays a relatively
insignificant role in its overall narcotics supply reduction
     Smugglers enter the United States by four modes:
through ports-of-entry; by boat into coastal areas between
ports-of-entry; on foot or by vehicle between ports-of-
entry; or over the border by air. Law enforcement efforts
and selected support systems directed at countering illegal
crossings are discussed below.
Ports-of-entry interdiction--
difficult but p055Ibre-~~

     Border enforcement officials told us the majority of
hard narcotics smuggled across the Southwest border comes
through the ports-of-entry. Nearly all heroin seizures
are made at these locations. The port-of-entry is probably
the best border location for interdicting hard narcotics--
the smuggler must at least present himself for inspection.
Nevertheless, the drug interdiction task, even at the ports-
of-entry, is extremely difficult--like looking for a needl e
in a haystack.
     Little impact has been made on the amount of hard drugs
estimated to come from Mexico. During fiscal year 1975 and
1976, Customs seized 262 pounds of heroin in 439 seizures
at the Southwest border, including 405 at ports-of-entry.
Of these, 11 seizures were in excess of one kilogram.
Ports-of-entry resources

     Before crossing the border into the United States, vehi-
cles and pedestrians are stopped at the primary inspection

lanes where only the most cursory inspections of vehicles,
persons, or baggage are conducted. The primary inspectors
are responsible for determining whether a vehicle and its
occupants or a pedestrian should be referred to the secon-
dary inspection area for a thorough examination. Customs
and INS share the responsibility for staffing the primary
lanes. For example, INS inspectors staff 5 of the 10--
out of a total of 24--vehicle inspection lanes at San Ysidro,
California, which are usually open. Across the Southwest
border, INS maintains a 37-percent presence, with a 50-
percent presence at some ports such as El Paso.
     As discussed in chapter 2, traffic coming through the
ports and overall border expenditures have both increased
in recent years. But there is still a shortage of inspec-
tors at the four ports that we visited along the Southwest
border. Inspector staffpower has a significant impact on
the thoroughness of inspections perfprmed at a port-of-entry.
According to Customs officials, additional inspection per-
sonnel were necessary to adequately staff the primary and
secondary inspection areas. For example, the facilities at
San Ysidro were not fully utilized because of a shortage of
inspectors. Although the port had 24 primary lanes and 70
secondary inspection spaces, they were not always used. We
were told that one of the two secondary inspection areas,
with 35 spaces, was never used on Monday through Friday.
     In El Paso, Texas, there was a shortage of 12 primary            /
lane inspectors. The District has had to sacrifice enforce-
ment to move traLiic. Special enforcement programs dictated
by Headquarters have not been performed, since El Paso lacked
the resources tc ~arry them out. Secondary inspection per-
sonnel were used ~n the primary inspection area to process
vehicular traffic in a timely manner. Primary inspectors
were reluctant to refer many vehicles to the secondary, de-
spite suspicions, because of the lack of inspection per-
sonnel. At the Laredo, Texas, port-of-entry there were 11
inspector vacancies. While the Customs force continued to
decrease in size, the workload increased.
Detection aids--few with limited success
     Judgment of the inspector is a critical ingredient in
drug interdiction. The only detection aids available to as-
sist the inspectors at the ports-of-entry are TECS data and
trained detection dogs.
     The value of TECS for port-of-entry drug interdiction
is limited because it is keyed to vehicle license numbers.


Justice informed us that unless a "hit" is made or the ve-
hicle referred to secondary inspection, the remaining in-
formation in TECS will not be queried. Inspectors are
instructed not to rely on TECS data because there are many
ways it can be circumvented .
      The majority of Customs research and development ef-
forts to improve border interdiction is aimed at between-
por ts airborne detection devices and ground sensor systems.
About one-third of Customs research expenditures through
fiscal year 1976 was to develop and test devices that detect
drugs being smuggled into the United States through ports-
of-entry. The Domestic Council's Drug Abuse Task Force
recommended high priority be given to the development of
improved technical equipment to detect easily concealed
drugs. Efforts to control smuggling through the use of
contraband detection devices and "sniffer dog" teams will
be expanded during fiscal year 1978.
     Detector dogs are an effective time-saving drug in-
terdiction aid--dog teams are responsbile for 27 percent
of the narcotic seizures made by Customs. Nationwide, in
fiscal year 1976, the dogs screened over 21 million units
of cargo, mail, and arriving carriers. Their efforts re-
sulted in the seizure of
     --71.8 pounds of heroin,
     --93.4 pounds of cocaine,
     --4,260.6 pounds of hashish,
     ~-52,954   pounds of marihuana, and
     --2,914,574 units of dangerous drugs.
One seizure at the San Ysidro port-of-entry accounted for
30.75 pounds, or 43 percent , of the total heroin seized
in fiscal year 1976. In this instance, an INS inspector
referred a vehicle and its driver to the Customs' secondary
inspection area. A detector dog alerted his handler to the
back seat. The seat was removed and the heroin was found.
A dog team can search a vehicle for drugs in about 5 minutes,
while it might take an inspector 30 minutes to assure him-
self that no contraband is s~creted in the vehicle. Effec-
tive use of the dogs, however, is dependent on the skill of
primary inspectors, since the dogs are only used in secon-
dary inspections. In addition , Customs officials told us
that although the dogs are trained to search for all ty~es
of drugs, the dogs usually detect marihuana.

     Customs and other officials believe much of the hard
narcotics which comes through the ports is packaged and in-
serted into the human body, and therefore is extremely dif-
ficult to detect. Detector dogs are not used to search
people, and inspectors are reluctant to perform intensive
personal searches because o! the difficulties involved. For
example, Customs officials at San Ysidro are seldom success-
ful in locating a medical facility or doctor willing to
participate in these personal searches. Consequently , such
searches are rare.
     Intelligence data available to inspectors is very
limited. Most port-of-entry drug seizures are "cold busts,"
that is, not based on prior information. Customs and INS
officials continue to assert that one of their greatest
needs is better intelligenc~ data on the operational modes
of smugglers. A study done for DEA concluded in 1974 that
the volume of entries into the United States from Mexico is
so great that narcotics seizures will not occur in any sig-
nificant numbers unless there is hard tactical intelligence
available to inspectors concerning the movements of illegal
Results--few drugs are seized
     During fiscal years 1975 and 1~76, the San Ysidro,
Nogales, Laredo, and El Paso ports-of-entry accounted for
about 75 percent of the total number of heroin seizures made                                 I
at the So~thwest border. The hard narcotic interdiction
cases, and those involving one kilogram of marihuana or more,
at these four major ports for the last 3 months of calendar
y~ar 1975 are summarized below.

                                     Dru9 Seizures
                  Heroin      Dan9erous Dru ~ s     Cocai ne       Marihuana     0th r
             No. of           No. o f Quantity No. o f          No. of Quant1 y No:o1
 Ports-of-    sei- Quantity    sei-   5 qr am    sei- Quantity sei-    ( kilo-   sei-
  entry      zures (grams)    zures    units    zures (g r ams) ~        grams) zures

San Ysidro    26     3,493       9   1,063,530    16   1 . I 32    59   2 ,684    4
Nogales        5       384                                         28   1 ,971    1
El Paso        l    10,206      25         71 4    l        57     33      916    4
Lare.1o                          8         353     3         2                    4

    7otal     32    14,083      42   1,064,597    20   1,791      120   2.t12l   13

         It is evident that enforcement at th e po r s-of-e n try is
    having little effect on the tons of he roin a nd other drugs
    entering the United States from Mexico.

    Land patrols betwe!n.forts-o!-!nsry--
    two separate yet s1m1 ar act1v1t1es
         The vast areas between the port s -of- e nt ry along t he
    Southwest border and the limited resourc es available to pre -
    vent illegal entry demand that availa ble r eso urces be de-
    ployed in a manner to gain optimum r e sults . The INS Border
    Patrol and the Customs Patrol have ove rla ppi ng (Oles for
    control of illegal movements across the land bo r ders bet wee n
    the ports. Poor coordination and cooperati on betwee n the
    Customs and INS border patrols, as we ll a s cos t ly ove r lappi ng
    facilities, cause conflict, tension, and ma r g in al results .
         The Customs Patrol and the Border Pa t r ol face ma ny com-
    mon problems, use many common tools, and fo llow the s ame
    methods while pursuing their individual en fo rc e ment ta r gets
    and goals. The agencies maintain separate bo r der stations ,
    sensor equipment, communication networks, a nd other support

          The enforcement strategies of t he Bo rde r Patrol and
    Customs Patrol recognize that neither ha s the resources to
    cover the vast land area between ports-of- e nt r y. To maxi-
    miz e interdiction, both agencies use g rou nd patrols, air
    patrols, sensor equipment, and surveillan ce a t known cross-
    ing points. The patterns of illegal entr y r esult in concen-
    trations of each agency's patrol officers i n t he same high-
    volume crossing areas.
    Results achieved
          Working in close proximity to the bor de r, the Customs
    Patrol, whose primary interest is drugs a nd o t her con t ra-
    band, often apprehends illegal aliens and the INS Border
    Patr o l appre ~: ends drug smugglers. The su cces s of bot h in
    drug interdiction has overwhelmingly been wi th marih uana:
    the amount, as well as frequency of hero in , dangerous drugs ,
    or cocaine seizures have been negligible. Customs and INS
    patrol officers express the opinion that heroin , dangerous
    drugs, and cocaine pass through, not betwee n, the ports-
    of-entry. Our case analyses and othe r da t a s upport this
    observatio ~1.     Almost without exception, Cus toms Pa ol' s
    interdictions of controlled drugs, o ther tha n marihuana ,
    involved smugglers who originally entered through a port-of-

     At the four locations along the border, we analyzed 140
controlled drug interdiction cases of the two patrols during
the last 3 months of calendar year 1975. Our analysis showed
that 133 cases, or 95 percent, involved marihuana, of which
45, or 34 percent, were abandoned rnarihuana seizures without
arrests. The following table shows the results of the in-
terdictions made by the two patrols.
                                      Drug seizures
     Locations           Marihuana     Heroin   Other   Tota!
    Border Patrol           28                    1       29
    Customs Patrol          38           4        1       43
San Ysidro
    Border Patrol            6                             6
    Customs Patrol          11                            11
El Paso
    Border Patrol           17                    7       24
    Customs Patrol           7           1                 13
    Border Patrol            6           1        3       10
    Customs Patrol          20                    4       24

        Total            ~/133                   16      155
        Percent             86                   10      100
a/Represent seizures totaling 20,357 kilograms of marihuana,
- of which 6,763 kilograms, or 33 percent, were abandoned,
  with no arrests made.
b/Represent seizures totaling 330 grams of heroin, with one
- of the seizures accounting for 211 grams, or 64 percent.
Coordination and coope r ation of
activities between por~s-of-entry
     In April 1975 the Commissioners ot "' ..... · ms and INS
signed a Memorandum of Understanding man         ·ng "full co-
operation between the two Services." As seated in the memo-
randum, this cooperation includes

     --common communication channels,
     --immediate exchange of information,
     --immediate al e rting of the other as to projected opera-


     --coming to the other's assistance whenever    call~d,

     --exchange of intelligence, and
     --performing the other's du ies capably and profes-
       sionally whenever so d signated .
       At the locations visited we noted some communication
at the management level, but limited coordination and co-
operation at the working level. The patrol officers rarely
work together, and we could not identify any joint operation
between the patrols. Competition and animosity between the
patrols continue to occur, causing tension and near confron-
ta tio~1s. The fol lowing obs.~rvations are i l 1 us tr at i ve.
     --Customs and INS patrolmen are unable to communicate
       directly with each other in the field because of in-
       compatible radio systems which operate on different
       frequency ranges.
     --Remote sensors are deployed in close proximity to
       each other, and neither of the patrol forces know
       exactly where the other's sensors are located.
       The sensors are monitored at sepa~a:e sites, with
       each agency unaware of th activity being detected
        by the other.
     --We accompanied the Border and Customs Patrol off i-
       cers on patrols and observed the officers using
       essentially the same int rdiction tools and tech-
       niques. Their knowledge of the other agency's patrol
       activities was limited to what they had observed
       while on patrol. To illustrate, at on ~ location,
       we traveled the same roads along the border and
       were shown the same smuggling routes where ooth
       patrols had implanted s n~ors, but neither knew
        the exact locations of he others' sensors. They
       patrolled routinely until sensor alerts indicated
        smuggling activity.   h n it occurred, the patrol-
       man drove to a predetermi ned spot, waited until
        the intruding vehicle appeared, stopped the ve-
        hicle, detected marihuana, and arrested the smug-
     --Patrol officers could no recall a single example
       of a joint operation or of assistance to one agency
       by the other on an as-ne ded basis , even though both
       agencies complained of in~ufficient staffpower. To
       illustrate, while wai ing and watching wth a Customs
       Patrol officer at a bor er canyon where a sensor hit

                             occurred, the supervisory patrol officer told us that
                             lack of personnel would perhaps cause them to mlss
                             the intruder. Right after he mad~ this statement,
                             an INS Border Patrol car cruised slowly by our posi-
                             tion, but no attempt was made to contact it and ask
                             for assistance.

                           --The Chief Border Patrol agent in El Paso , Texas,
                             stated that Customs will sometimes place a sensor
                             right behind a Borjer Patrol sensor. The Customs
                             Patrol Director said relations with the Border
                             Patrol wer~ terrible. He cited this exampl : In
                             April 1976, near Columbus , New Mexico, after a
                             Customs aircraft responded to a sensor hit which
                             dis losed nothing, Customs relayed the negative
                             result to the Border Patrol. According to the
                             Customs Patrol official, the Border Patrol dis-
                             regarded this information, dispatched an auto-
                             mobile to the scene , and was c~erheard on the
                             radio to say: run ~he Customs people off the road,
                             if necessary, to arrive there first. In a memo-
                             randum dated April 14, 1976, regarding this in-
                             stance, a Border Patrol pilot s tated that Customs
                             Patrol had responded with two aircraft and, until
                             a false alarm was reported, a Customs Patrol ve-
                             hicle was following the Border Patrol vehicle to
                             the site of the sensor . This memorandum stated
                             it was apparent that Customs responded to the
                             sensor alarm by monitoring the Border Patrol fre -
                             quency. The Treasury told us this problem was
                             resolved shortly after it was identified.
                    Air interdiction:
                    effectiveness questionable

                         Air interdiction forces have had some success in ap-
                    prehending smugglers using aircraft to cross the border.
                    The results to date, however, are considered marginal.
                         DEA and Customs have speculated for years that heroin
                    and other hard narcotics are smuggled into the United States
                    by privat~ly owned aircraft. Ev~n though great potential
                    exists to smuggle heroin by aircraft, air interdictions as
                    well as analyses of aircraft crashes within Mexico and along
                    the United States-Mexico border substantiate that marihuana
                    is the commodity commonly being smuggled by aircraft. There
                    is no evidence available which indicates that large shipments
                    of heroin or other hard narcotics are being smuggled by pri-
                    vate aircraft across the border.


L __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _
     We were un le to identi y a single smuggling case wher
an aircraft known to have crossed the United States-Mexico
border had othe th n traces of hard narcotics aboard. To
illustrate, durng c lendar year 1975 the single Customs air
program case alon   he border involving a substantial arnoun
of heroin was no an air smuggling case. The heroin was
seized at the El Paso International Airport after being
smuggled through   port-of-entry, then delivered to the air-
port for further shipment into the interior of the United
     Implementin an effective program aimed at preventing
drug smuggling by aircraft is difficult because, as de-
scribed in chap er 2, a smuggler using an aircraft ha s
many advantages tha interdict~on forces may be unable to
counter. While DEA and INS have air resources deployed
along the South -s t border, Customs has assumed the opera-
tional role of d tectin~ and interdicting smugglers using
     The aircrd   deployed by INS are not capable of air-
interception type operations. These aircraft operate at
low altitudes and at slow speeds in support of Border Pa-
trol ground act'vities. Simila~ aircraft are operated
by Customs in support of Customs Patrol ground operations.
Customs ~· r interdiction--
cost, use, and r sults
       Since 1971 Customs has spent $25 million on aircraft
and radar for th air interdiction program. In fiscal
year 1976 salary costs, excluding overtime, for the four
Southwest border Air Support Branches were about $1.3 mil-
      Customs has requested large increases in its air
program includi n a j et aircraft and two twin-engine tur-

boprop planes. In a response to the Southern Border Drug
Abuse Task Fore , Customs estimated that at the very minim um
3n additional $2 .3 million in resources was required to
adequately mount an effective war on the smugglers who
utilize aircraf •
     The Domestic Council Southern Border report cited th e
Customs air pro ram as being only marginally effective, and
OMB reduced the por ions of ~ustoms fiscal year 1977 budge
request for add'tional aircraft and support equipment. Cus-
toms could not show OMB how the additional aircratt would q·ve

significant results. Based on airplace crash data, OMB be-
lieved that primarily marihuana, t he l owest drug priority,
was being smuggled by air.
     Routine patrol and surveillance, as well as su pport of
special operations, ch~racterize Customs use of aircraft.
During our review we noted that the majority of the aircraft
flight hours and m:ssions were for:
     --Patrol/search: routine border or port patrol not
       involved : ~ a specific case.
     --Surveillance: an aircraft is called in on a case
       or po te ntial case for intelligence gathering purposes.
     --Other: any type of mission or utilization not other-
       wise categorized, such as liaison missions (most of
       which are contacts with fixed based operators).
     During fiscal year 1975 only 1.4 percent of the flight
hours at the Tucson ASB, and 5.5 percent at the San Diego
ASB, were for interception/apprehension where an aircraft
was called in to assist in arrest or seizure.
     Our followup of drug interdiction cases at the ASBs
along the SouthwP-st border for calendar year 1975 showed
that very few major drug interdictions were made, and
virtually all involved marihuana. The table below sum-
marizes these activities.                                             I


                         J                                        I
                       Customs ASB Dru9 Cases
                         Calendar Year 1975
                       Marihuana onl:t     Other cases
 ASB          Total          Kilograms            Type &
br a11:~h     cases   Cases   seized     Number g:uantit:t    Arrests
San Diego     2_/27   ~/21     4,760       2     1 trace,        53
                                                   1 trace
                                                   97 kg.
Tucson           29   E/29    13,422                             88
San Antonio       9      9       519                             10
El Paso
  (note d)        3      2       366     ~/l     2.4 kg.          8
      Total      68     61    19,067       3                    159
~/Includes    4 cases where no drugs were seized.
~/Includes    6 cases where 1 kilogram or less was seized.
£/Includes 3 cases where less than 1 kilogram was seized.
d/Stati s tics for El Paso are for period July 1, 1975, through
- May 31, 1976.
e/The heroin seized did not come from Mexico aboard an air-
  er.aft; it was delivered to the suspect's aircraft at the
  El Paso International Airport.
DEA aircraft operation
     DEA's annual operating cost for the air program is
about $2 million. The program's basic mission is to support
enforcement operations. Air-to-surface surveillance flights
account for the majority of the missions, about 60 percent.
Increasing numbers of pilots and aircraft are being devoted
to special operations, partic l arly Operatio11 Trizo, the
opium eradication campaign in Mexico.
     A recenL DEA evaluation of air operations disclosed
that, overall, the air program is meeeting its basic ob j ec-
tives, both domestically and in foreign operations, but, as

presently structured and supported, is accomplishing its
mission through "makeshift" techniques in the absence of
planned programs encompassing aircraft procurement, utili-
zation, maintenance, safety, pilot training, and career
development. In discussing problems pertaining to the air
program's operations, the evaluation report questioned the
program's involvement in gathering intelligence data, as
that function duplicates, to a large measure, the Customs
air interdiction role and has, to date, borne limited accom-
plishments. While DEA pilots are special agents, they are
nonproductive from an investigative standpoint since they
neither develop nor conclude investigations. The DEA
evaluation team found that (1) pilots' involvement in under-
cover capacity is minimal--less than 10 percent of total air
missions, (2) pilots do not testify in court, do not write
surveillance reports, and rarely are involved in arrest
situations , and (3) in all instances of air-to-surface sur-
veillance, pilots are accompanied by a special agent who
serves as radio operator, observer, and the recorder of
     Eleven of DEA's 39 aircraft are stationed along the
United States-Mexico border with many in close proxjmity
to, and having similar capabilities of, customs aircraft.
DEA, Customs, and INS have separate aircraft mainte~ance
and support facilities.
Marine drug interdiction--some success,
but increased cooperation and program
integration are needed                                             /

      Customs, DEA, and the U.S. Coast Guard all have roles
in preventing drug smuggling by vessel. These agencies
hav e had some success in stopping marihuana smuggling by
vessel. Several lar ge interagency marihuana seizures have
been made in cooperation with State and local enforcement
personnel. Generally, however, marine enforcement efforts
have rarely resulted in hard narcotics seizures in other
than user amounts, and have not been effectively planned
and integrated.
     Interdicting drug smugglers on water is difficult, as
discussed in chapter 2. Intelligence d ata, the key ingre-
dient to any interdiction effort, seldom has been avail-
able. Occasional joint operations and routine interdiction
and enforcement activi ti es characterize the marine opera-
tions of enforcement agencies in the Southern California
area. Customs and DEA vessels seldom have been operated.


                      J                                        I
     The Customs Marine Support Branch in San Diego, Califor-
nia, with 13 patrol officers and three vessels, made 10 marine
drug interdictions · during 1975~ Seventeen middle- and lower-
level violators were arrested. In two of the cases, no ar-
rests were made--abandoned loads of marihuana were found. The
Marine group seized 2,315 kilograms of marihuana and 14 grams
of heroin.
     A marine drug interdiction made during 1975 is summarized
below to illustrate the operation mode of the Marine Support
     While investigating marine smuggling activities at a
     local marina in January 1975, Customs Patrol officers
     (CPOs) observed a boat being launched. Immediately
     after launching the boat, the tow vehicle and trailer
     departed the area, arousing the suspicions of the
     CPOs. After further inquiry disclosed that the boat
     had been the subject of a Harbor Police report nearly
     4 months earlier, the CPOs decided to maintain sur-
     veillance, and an additional CPO was called in to
     help. When the boat departed the marin~, a Customs
     airplane was called in to assist in surveillance.
     The boat was observed from the air to enter Mexican
     waters and return to San Diego Bay, where a search
     of the vessel yielded one-half ounce of heroin, 300
     kilograms of rnarihuana, a small amount of hashish,
     and a "hash" pipe.
The Marine group did not use a vessel during the interdic-
     Vessel utilization and value data are shown in the
following table.

               San Diego Customs Marine7Supeort-Branch
                  Vessel Value and Ut1l1zat1on Data
                     January 1975 thru June 1976
                               Number of days
                 Pa t rolling
                  results                                      Approx-
                Posi- Nega-        Mainte- Other  Not          imate
                tive tive Training nance (note a) used          value
38' Ber-
  tram                125      7        14     25      376     $110,000
26' Live-
  say            5     98      2        52     17      373       23,500
16' Nauset
  (note b)                               1     13      3~1        4,200
      Total      5    223      9        67     55   .! : 100   $137,700
~/Testing     and demonstration to visitors.
~/Does   not include data for January 1976 through June 1976 .
      The San Diego Customs Marine Support Branch participated
in four special operations between October 1974 and November
1976.. The last two operations involved DEA and the Coast
Guard, as well as other Customs units.. The marine involvement
in these operations was limited primarily to picket line duty
and intelligence gathering activities, which resulted in a
small number of marine drug interdictions.. These interdic-
tions all involved marihuana. Operation Star Trek, the
longest operation, was held from September 20 through Novem-
ber 11, 1975. Customs, DEA, and the Coast Guard were in-
volved in the marine segment of the operation, utilizing 11
vesse l s and 1 aircraft. Their combined efforts resulted in
one drug interdiction which was the result of a Coast Guard
search and rescue mission. They arrested one suspect and
seized 296 kilograms of marihuana. Three of these special
operations are discussed in greater detailed on pages 46 to

DEA uncertain of its role
     The DEA San Diego district office has one agent as-
signed part-time to marine drug enforcement. The dist r ict
office has two vessels, a 36-foot Uniflite and a 24-foot
Wellcraft. The Uniflite, valued at about $70,000, was used
only about 54 hours during 1975, and 29 of those hours oc-
curred in January. The Wellcraft, valued at about l8,000,
has never been used by DEA because needed repairs have not


been made. This vessel was seized by DEA in Miami, Florida,
and transferred to San Diego in July 1975 at a cost of
$3,000, which included a boat trailer. As of April 1977
funds had not been authorized by Headquarters to make the
     DEA's marine program could be improved by increased
Headquarters direction and development of clearly defined ob-
jectives and operational modes. The following example il-
lustrates the need for such improvement:
     --The DEA Assistant Administrator for Enforcement
       stated in a memorandum dated April 23, 1 75, to
       the Los Angeles, Miami, and New Orleans Regional
       Directors, that an "in-depth" evaluation of DEA's
       boat program had been conducted. DEA concluded
       that five vessels transferred from Customs at the
       time of the reorganization did not adequately meet
       DEA's investigative mission. He further stated
       tlat DEA would offer these vessels to other gov-
       ernment agencies and either put seized vessels
        into service or rent vessels when needed. The
       Assistant Administrator, however, issued another
       memorandum dated May 12, 1975, to all domestic
       Regional Directors regarding DEA policy on water
       craft. As a result of his evaluation, he wrote,
        "we have determined there is a definite utility
        for water craft in the accomplishment of DEA's
       mission." The vessels were retained by DEA.
     - -In February 1976 in an interview with GAO, the
        Acting Chief, Special Enforcement Programs, said
        that the DEA boat program is considered an on-
        going active enforcement tool. The original "in-
        depth" evaluation consisted only of a few telephone
        calls. Following the issuance of the Assistant
        Administrator's first memo, the Acting Chief and
        others visited the sites of the boats and con-
        cluded that the vessels were needed in the DEA
        enforcement effort. The Acting Chief told us
        that "the boats in DEA are more or less like
        fire engines. That is, they may sit for long
        periods of time unused, but occasionally you
        really need one."
     In a March 1975 memo, a San Diego DEA official wrote
concerning the marine program that "guidelines for suffi-
cient enforcement are undefined and ineffective." As late
as May 1977, it was recognized by the DEA of fici al in

charge of the marine program in San Diego that "DEA con-
tinues to ignore its responsibilities of initiating marine
intelligence and ~allow-up investigation * * *.n Thus, ac-
cording to this official, DEA is failing to support combined
Customs/DEA/Coast Guard efforts.
Coast Guard
     The Coast Guard in recent years has emphasized marine
law enforcement as a primary mission, including the inter-
diction of illicit narcotics.
     The 11th Coast Guard District's area of responsibility
along the California coast extends from the Santa Maria
River to the Mexican border. The Chief of Operations said
that the increased emphasis was in response to what the
Coast Guard perceived as an increase in smuggling by vessel.
He said the District can dedicate men and equipment for a
period of time: beginning May 18, 1976, they maintained a
vessel on law enforcement patrol 24 hours per day at least
85 percent of the time. As of November 1976 this patrol had
not resulted in a single drug interdiction. Coast Guard of-
ficials attributed this to their not receiving the kind or
amount of intelligence data needed. The District's partici-
pation in a receP-t joint operation was much less than in a
similar operation a year earlier. The Coast Guard is es-
sentially operating its own prog r m because of its own law
enforcement responsibilities.                                         I

     Unclear understanding of whether the Coast Guard or
Customs has primary jurisdiction on marine narcotics inter-
diction has led to some problems. To illustrate, Customs
officials told us the Coast Guard has requested that local
police in an oceanside community with whom Customs had been
maintaining liaison furnish the Coast Guard rather than Cus-
toms any information regarding suspect vessels.
Joint operations--
1 imi ted coordination
     The White Paper on Drug Abuse recommended that a pro-
gram be developed for more effective border control and that
Customs, DEA, and the U.S. Bord e r Patrol vastly improve their
coordination of activities along the border, including joint
task force operations.
     Since September 1975 when the White Paper was issued,
there have been three intensifi ed interdiction operations


                         J                                        I

    along the United States-Mexico border. These were to be co-
    operative and coordinated efforts among various Federal agen-
    cies and were aimed at more effective border control . During
    these Customs-initiated operations, FAA and the Department of
    Defense were to provide air radar support. Ther e was nominal
    or no coordination among the enforcement agen c i es. Interdic-
    tion r e sults we re varied; some large seizures of marlhuana
    were made but heroin seizures were disappoint ing. Marihuana
    represented the overwhelmi~g majority of drugs seized. These
    operations are discussed below.
         Texas-Mexico border
         Operation Diamondback, a joint operation aong the Texas-
    Mexico border, was to augment Customs resourc es with those
    of other Federal enforcement agencies in an effort to achieve
    maximum effectiveness in interdiction capabiliti es. The DEA ,
    Border Patrol, Coast Guard, and FAA were to be equal partners,
    and by integrating their efforts the interdiction function
    was expected to be more efficient. The operation was con-
    ducted for a 37-day period beginning on April 20 and e nding
    May 26, 1976.
         In evaluating the program, the participants reoorted
    lack of planning, coordination, cooperation, a nd information/
    intelligence. Some of the observed problem s were:
         --Fundamental planning and coordination of the
           operation never got out of the idea s tage. The
           decisionmaking process was very poor due to
           confusion as to who had the authority and respon-
           sibility for directing actions. In essence, the
           land, sea, and air units were going their separate
         --An incorrect assumption was made that the area to
           be covered during the operation had FAA and North
           American Air Defense Command (NORAD) radar coverage.
         --Personnel to maintain/operate the mobile radar units
           and staff the Tactical Command Post were insufficient
           and improperly qualified.

         --Intelligence data to field units from a headquarters
           or command level was nonexistent.
         The INS Border Patrol had no involvement in the opera-
    tion except for being notified at the impl emental stage.
    DEA's participation was limited to agents accompanying Cus-
    toms agents into the interior of Mexico to record the names/

identification numbers of suspect vessels and aircraft. A
Customs Patrol official pointed cut that one possible source
of intelligence would have been to have the Customs liaison
office at EPIC provide analyses in advance of the operation,
with updates during the operation.
     In a memorandum to Custoii1s th~ Coast Guard stated that,
"this operation was rushed into execution with little or no
planning at the field level and consequently was fraught
with many flaws." Customs ASB and Customs Patrol officials
considered the air and sea operations a failure; no arrests
or seizures were made. Total drug seizures from other opera-
tional modes were
     --13,013 pounds marihuana and
     --402,134 5-grain units of dangerous drugs.
     California and Arizona-Mexico border
     Customs initiated two interagency operations along the
California and Arizona-Mexico border, Star Trek I and II.
Star Trek I was held in late 1975 and Star Trek II about a
year later.
     Star Trek I was to involve DEA, Coast Guard, FAA, and
the Air Force. DEA was to provide intelligence data. INS
was not mentioned in Custom's operation plans and did not
participate. The intensified day and night, land, sea, and           I

air operation lasted 52 days. It was aimed primarily at
interdictions between ports-of-entry. The temporary duty
personnel and equipment assigned to the operation were de-
ployed accordingly.
     Some large marihuana seizures were made by the Customs
Air Support Branches. The marine enforcement groups made
only one marihuana seizure; that resulted from a Coast Guard
search and rescue mission rather than the special operation.
Most of the cocaine was seized away from the United States-
Mexico border by the Los Angeles District Customs inspectors,
while the overwhelming majority of the heroin and dangerous
drug seizures were made at land ports-of-entry.
     Customs noted that a weakness of the operation was the
scant information provided by DEA, especially regarding the
Arizona-Mexico border area. The El Paso Intelligence Center
was not asked to support Star Trek I, according to the EPIC
Director. There were only two telephone calls received by
EPIC from Star Trek personnel during the 52-day operation.


Drug seizures were
     --46,141 pounds marihuana,
     --81 pounds ha s hish,
     --90.7 pounds cocaine,
     --2.5 pounds heroin, and
     --1,540,861 5-grain units of danger ous drugs.
     Star Trek II was a 40-day operation, to be supported
by DEA, FAA, Air Force, and the Coast Guard. Cooperation
among the enforcement agencies was poor and the lack of
intelligence data regarding drug smuggling was still a major
weakness. Customs reported receiving only three pieces of
intelligence from DEA which resulted in seizures.
     In May 1976 the Coast Guard initiated its own law en-
forcement patrol program. The Coast Guard participation
in the Star Trek II operation was much less than in Star
Trek I. There were no joint patrols using Customs and
Coast Guard boats, lanes, and other equipment. Customs
Patrol officers were aboard Coast Guard vessels occasionally
during the operation. The Officer-in-charge of Operations,
11th Coast Guard District, said the Coast Guard followed its
own patrol program and operated independent of Customs.
Customs was advised to call if support was needed, but no
such requests were received during Star Trek II.
     As in Star Trek I, primarily marihuana was seized. In-
spectors at ports-of-entry in tensified their operations to
coincide with Star Trek II. The quantities of different
narcotics seized mostly exceeded those of Star Trek I. The
first significant seizure of Star Trek II was made by a mo-
bile task force of Customs inspectors assigned to a small
port in Arizona.
     Drugs seized during Star Trek II were
     --33,294.8 pounds rnarihuana,
     --.15 pounds hashish,
     --11.38 pounds cocaine,
     --4.53 pounds heroin, and
     --4,946 5-grain units of dangerous drugs.

     Control of the United States-Mexico border is a com-
plex and difficult task that requires a comprehensive, co-
ordinated effort by al l segments of the Federal law enforce-
ment community.
      Over the past few years the Congress, executive branch,
and we have issued reports dealing with ef forts to control
illegal entry of people and things into the United Sta es.
Studies by the Congress and the executive branch have de-
lineated the policy and direction that such a program should
take and the areas of operation that should be improved. The
predominant recurring theme of these reports and studies is
the need for greater coordination and cooperation among the
various agencies having enforcement responsibilities in this
     While some recommendations have been implemented, the
essential characteristics of the problems remain. Separate
agencies with different orientations continue to identify
the best activities to meet their missions with limited
consideration for the activity of others. This had led to
the development of separate but similar lines of effort that
continue to dilute border coverage and impact. Little con-
sideration is given to overall border security.
      We believe tha t sound management principles and the
inherent difficulties of multiagency cooperation call for
an integrated Federal law enforcement strategy and a com-        I

prehensive border control plan. A specific plan is needed
to assure that all re:;ponsible agencies are pursuing estab-
1 ished goals and that operational responsibilities for
specific missions are established. The objective of the
plan should be to obtain maximum border security with avail-
able resources by minimizi ng unnecessary duplication and
overlapping. Such a plan, in our opinion, should include
single-agency management and responsibility. For example,
iaw enforcement interdiction at every port-of-entry in the
country should be handled by one agency, whether it be Cus-
toms or INS. The same would apply to interdiction by (l}
land, (2) sea, or ~3) air at points away from the ports-of-
entry. Single-agency management was recommended in our
report, A Single 1\gency Needed To Manage Port-O f-E ntry

Inspections - Par icularly At U.S. Airports, dated May 30,

1973. We envision that sing le-agency management would in-
clude the authority and responsibility for the development
and maintenance of all suppo rt activities, including a sinqle
automated lookout system . Besides managinq the day-to-day

operations of the ports-of-entry, he aqe ncy would be r -
sponsible for the research and ev loprnent of all new tech-
niques and devices to improve d   ctjon of people, druqs,
and other contraband entering i 1 gally.
     Two critical elements to dev·sing and opera ing su h a
plan would be:
     --A comprehensive analysis of the various border
       law enforcement agencies' otal resourc s to
       facilitate integration of he various missions
       into the overall Federal s rategy. Such an
       analysis would permit id ntification of areas
       of overlapping operations nd duplicative equip-
     --A study of the various alt rnatives for managing
       border operations rangin from the present manage-
       ment structure to single-agency management .
     Federal investment in law nforcement activity along the
Southwest border has been increas·ng steadily over the years,
but has had only a minor impact on the alien and ,rug prob-
lems. Law enforcement agencies continue to seek adu!tional
funds, without clear support as to meaninqful results 0: im-
pact. For example, we concur with OMB's position that Cus-
toms' air interdiction has only b en marginally effective and
has not justified additonal airer t and support equipment
     As an initial step to strenqthen law enforcement a
the border, we r ecommend that the Director, Office of Man-
agement and Budget, prepare an nnual analysis on law en-
forcement along the United States-Mexico border. Such an
analysis would bring together he separate budget requests
of the various border enforcement agencies to facilitate
integration of agencies' plans, p ograms, resources, lloca-
tions, and accomplishments. An esse ntial element of th
3nalysis should be a statement o strategies and milestones
to show the most important results inte nded to be accomplished
over a period of time {e.g., 1, 2, or more fiscal years)
with the resources requested from .he Congress . This anal-
ysis should be provided to the Cong(ess with the agencies
appropriation requests. In concert \lith th1s analyses, we
recommend that OMB and ODAP, together with the Attorney
General, Secretary of the Treasury, and other Department
Heads havi~g responsibility for border law enforcement, de-
velop an integrated strategy and comprehensive operational

plan for border control. This plan should cons'der the
various alternatives for m naging border oper tions ranging
from the present management structure to single-agency
management. Also, OMB should coordinate close y with re-
sponsible congressional committees as to l islation needed
to ccomplish the propos d plan.
     The plans and program of the Department of Justice ,
Department of the Treasury, and other departm nts responsi-
ble or securing our bord r are subject to authorization by
a variety of appropriations and leg isl at · 1 e committees with in
the Congress. Because o the problems discussed in this
report--Federal agencies, having separate statutory respon-
sibi ities, competing for limited resources where complex
long- erm national problems of drug abuse and aliens, come
together at the b0rder wi h Mexico--we recomm nd that the
appropriate congressional committees or subcommittees hold
oversignt hearings to evaluate past performance and to pro-
vide guidance for future activities . OMB, ODAP, and agency
action in carrying out our recommendations shou d provide the
data needed for evaluatin the problem and de ermining what
legislation is needed.



                                                        •             I
                              CHAPTER 5

     ! ~ proved interdict1 ~ capability c n do little by its lf
to deter smuggling unless the penaltie s imposed outweigh th
benefite derived. Opportunities exist o diminish the in-
centive to smugg e drugs into the United States by expandin
the jurisdi~tion o Federal magistratesF selectively enforc-
ing existing ~dministrative santions, 3nd encouraging enforce-
ment improvemer.ts in Mexico.
     The Federal Government has criminal and administrative
sanctions to pun'sh druq smugglers. These include forfei-
ture of conveyances used to smuggle narcotics, administrativ
fines levied by he Customs Service, suspension or revocation
of air smug~lers' pilot licenses by the FAA, and prosecution
of the :5muggler by the U.S. Attorney. Our review of drug
smuggling cases made by Federal law enforcement agencies along
the Mexican bard n showed:
     --Most dr~g smugglers caught bringing in greater-than-
       user quan i ies of controlled substances are prose-
       cuted, bu   ew are major violator~.
     --Forfeitur of conveyances used to smuggle narcotics
       can be ea ily avoided or minimized by the experi~nce
     --Penalties and fines are seldom levied againt drug
       smugglers :nd, when levied, almost always go unpaid.
     --Revocati~~     0r suspension of a smuggler's pilot license
        seldom O·.:cur s .
     To evaluate he action taken following a drug interdic -
tion at the loca ' ons visited, we revi e wed (1) all sea and
ai[ interdiction ases for calendar ye r 1975 and (2J port-
of-entry and land patrol interdiction ca ses for the last
quarter of calend r year 1975 involving heroin, cocaine,
dangerous drugs, nd one kilogram or more of marihuana.

Who is being prosecuted and convicted?
     Many more violators are apprehended than        pro~ecuted    for
bringing illegal drugs across the border.
     Individuals apprehended whil    muggling small quanti-
ties of drugs into the Untied Stat es, often for personal use,
comprise by far the largest category of those apprehended.
The overwhelming majority of these are not prosecuted. They
are rarely detected away from ports-of-entry, account for
over half the drug interdictions, and usually do not meet
the U.S. Attorney's criteria for prosecution. To illustrate,
interdictions in the category which were not prosecuted re-
presented about 60 percent of the port-of-entry interdictions
at San Ysidro and Nogales during the last quarter of calen-
dar year 1975. During the period January through August 1976
about 780 or three-fourths of Customs and INS interdictions
in the San Diego area were in this category and were not pro-
secuted by the U.S. Attorney. In the majority of these cases
the persons apprehended paid fines in lieu of forfeiting
automobiles. Pedestrians, if not prosecuted, are released
withcut penalty.
     Most smugglers caught bringing in greater-than-user
quantiti~s  of illegal drugs are prosecuted. Seven out of
every ten cases in our sample involved marihuana only,
with those involving other illegal drugs almost exclusively
associated with ports-of-entry. Almost without exception,
the air, sea, and land cases involved marihuana. As shown                    /

on the following chart, in the cases we reviewed, 69 percent
of those arrested were indicated; of those indicted whose
cases were completed at the time of our review, 84 percent
had been convicted.

                      Arrest               Smugglers      ----~~
                      cases                  In-     Pend~   Con-
                    r ev iewed    Arrested dieted     in~   victed
Port-of-entry          117            169       96      10         76
   Land patr ol          53               82    59       2         50
   Air patrol            48           141      114      21         70
   Sea patrol             8            17       15       2         13

        Totals         226            409      284      35        209
     The 209 convicted smugglers received the following cri-
minal penalti es :


---------------------------------~                       - - ~--   -   -

                   Criminal                            Number of
                   Eenalties                           smugglers
             Length of prison term (months):
                 Up to 6                                   60
                 7 to 12                                   23
                 13 to 24                                  33
                 25 to 48                                  19
                 49 to 60                                  10
                 61 and over                                  4

                     Total                               149

             Probation                                     46

             Federal Youth Correction
               Act - -indeterminate sentence                  8

             Fines (note a)                                   1

             Other (note b)                                   5

                     Total                               209
        a/Thirteen convicted smugglers received fines in addition
          to prison sentences.
        ~/Convicted but sentencing unknown.

        Expanding the use of magistrates can help
             Although there has been a shift in priorities to the
        higher-level trafficking networks and to drugs which pose a
        greater risk to society, the Federal law enforcement com-
        munity is left with the problem of enforcing laws against
        small-time smugglers. The problem is particularly acute
        for marihuana interdictions made along the Southwest border.
        One way to increase the risk of prosecution for these lower-
        level violators would be to expand the trial jurisdiction of
        U.S. magistrates. At present there are no Federal narco-
        tics statutes with penalties low enough to allow the case
        to be hear~ before a magistrate.
             Under existing law the U.S. District Courts may design-
        ate U.S. magistrates to try and to sentence persons accused
        of certain minor offenses for which the penalty "does not
        exceed impri s onment for a period of 1 year, or a fine of
        not more than $1,000, or both." It is the view of the Judi-
        cial Conference of the United States that there are a number
        of misdemeanors in the United States Code no t presently

included in the term "minor offense" which could properly be
tried by U.S. magistrates. These include the illegal pos-
session of drugs (21 u.s.c. 84l(b)). The Conference be-
lieves that an increase from $1,000 to $5,000 in the magis-
trates' jurisdiction for minor offenses, while retaining
certain exceptions presently enumerated in the statute, would
provide a beneficial expansion and would thereby relieve U.S.
district judges of some of the burden in handling minor crimes
which are misdemeanors. In our prior report, "The U.S. Magi-
strates: How Their Services Have Assisted Administration of
Several District Courts; More Improvements Needed "(B-133322),
September 19, 1974, the benefits of expanding the authority
of and increasing the use of magistrates was discussed. The
report recommended that the Congress consider modifying the
Federal Magistrates Act to expand the magistrates' trial
jurisdiction to include most misdemeanors. Legislation in-
troduced into the 94th Congress to accomplish this was not
enacted. Legislation to expand magistrates au~hority has
been introduced in the current session, however (H.R. 7493,
S. 1612, and s. 1613).
     Sixty-six percent or 137 of the 209 convicted smugglers
received criminal sentences of 1 year or less, which is within
the existing misdemeanor authority of magistrates. However,
these cases were precluded from being prosecuted before magi-
strates because the maximum penalties (fines) that could
have been imposed under the indicments exceeded their trial
jurisdiction. Yet, a fine was imposed in only 14 cases, with
three of these above $1,000.
      The expanded use of magistrates could significantly re-
duce the amount of time U.S. Attorneys, public defenders, in-
vestigators and apprehending officers spend on each case. It
could relieve (1) the dilemma U.S. Attorneys face along the
Southwest border when a violator does not warrant felony pro-
secution and (2) the U.S. District Court's time spent on
first-time apprehension of couriers or narcotics users at-
tempting to support their hab it . U.S. Attorneys believe the
latter merits punitive action beyond mere confiscation of
vehicles used to smuggle drugs. Even greater savings could
result at locations along the border such as Calexico, Cali-
fornia, where the nearest Federal court is 125 miles away in
San Diego while a U.S. magistrate is located in El Centro,
California, only 18 miles from Calexico.
     Turning back selected border interdiction cases to Mexi-
can enforcement officials has been a successful alternative


                     J                                           I
to Federal prosecution in the United States. In some cases,
investigation by Mexican enforcement officials led to the
identifica tio n and arrest of major drug suppliers when the
cases were considered to hold little followup potential on
the United States side of the border. The use of this t ech-
nique, however, has been confined to a small number of in-
terdiction cases. Continued or increased use of the turn-
back procedure can help solve prosecution problems. Tc
turn a case over to Mexican authorities, the smuggler must
be a Mexican citizen residing in Mexico. If a vehicle is
involved, it must be registered in Mexico.
     In Arizona, the U.S. Attorney has given DEA blanket au-
thority to turn drug cases over to Mexico. DEA official s be-
lieve the turnback procedure is a good enforcement tool, al-
though there are at least two problems. First, few MFJP
agents have been assigned along the border, and frequent
turnover of personnel has hampered the continuity needed for
effectiveness. Second, Customs said it has no authority to
turn a seized vehicle over to the Mexican officials who need
it to prosecute a case.
     In the San Diego District five drug interdiction cases
were turned bac~ to Mexican enforcement officials during
January and February 1976. The potential of the turnback
procedure is illustrated by one of these cases:

     A Mexican citizen was arrested at a port-of-entry
     attempting to smuggle small amounts of heroin and
     cocaine into the United States. After questioning
     the subject regarding his source without success,
     DEA turned him over to the MFJP who persuaded him
     to cooperate and lead them to his source of sup-
     ply. The supplier was also induced to cooperat e,
     and further investigation led to a higher-level
     supplier. In total, four suspects were arrested:
     one Class I, one Class II. and two Class III.
     Another Class I suspect escaped. This investi-
     gation enabled the MFJP and DEA to disrupt a
     trafficking organization they had previously been
     unsuccessful in penetrati~g. Prior to these ar-
     rests, DEA had planned a task force solely to
     combat the same organization; the turnback case
     made the task force unnecessary.
     The U.S. Attorney's Chief, Criminal Division, Southern
District of California, told us that this alternative to pro-
secution in U.S. Federal Court has resulted in a decrease in
the number of people willing to become "mules~· (couriers)
who smuggle drugs across the California/Mexico border.


        Conveyances used to smuggle drugs may be seized and for-
feited in accordance with the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 1595a.
The Customs Service can seize smuggling conveyances and for-
feit them administratively if the value is less than $2,500.
Conveyances having a value of $2,500 or more must be forfeited
j ud ic ial ly . .!/

     For smuggling cases involving very small amounts of
drugs (excluding heroin and cocaine), Customs Headquarters
has developed guidelines for mitigating vehicle forfeitures
down to a $100 to $300 fine, where the District Director of
Customs is satisfied the drugs were not intended for resale.
With few exceptions, these guidelines were being adhered to
at the ports-of-entry where we followed up the disposition
of small smuggling cases.

     For cases involving larger amounts of drugs, Customs
generally was successful in forfeiture actions where the
apprehended smuggler was the owner of the vehicle. The fol-
lowing table summarizes drug-related vehicle seizures at the
four border sites we visited:

          Vehicles                       Number      Percenta9e
Forfeited                                  192            59             /

Returned with mitigated penalty             46            14
Returned without penalty                    63            19
Pending or disposition unknown              26              8

    Total vehicles seized
                                           327           100

     Of the 63 vehicles returned without penalty, at least
half were returned to a rental agency , lienholder, or other
legal owner not implicated in the case. The other vehicles
were returned for various reasons , i.e., the car belonged to
a passenger or driver who appeared uninvolved, the smuggler
cooperated with authorities, or criminal prosecution was

l/In our report "Drugs, Firearms, Currency, and Other Pro-
- perty Seized by Law Enfor cement Agencies: Too Much Held
  Too Long" (GGD-76-105, May 31, 1977 ) , we recommended that
  the Congress raise the limit of adm i nistrative forfeitures.



         The Customs Service was much less successful in forfei-
    ture actions against seized aircraft used in smuggling drugs.
    Our analysis of 56 aircraft seized in drug-related cases by
    the four Customs Air Support Branches showed that only 6, or
    11 percent, were forfeited and 28, or 50 percent, were re-
    turned without penalty:
               Aircraft                    Number     Percentage
    Forfeited                                     6        11
    Returned with mitigated penalty               9        16
    Returned without penalty                  28           50
    Pending or disposition unknown            13           23

        Total aircraft seized                 56          100
         Of the 28 aircraft returned without penalty, about
    80 percent were returned to a legal owner not implicated in
    the case. The remaining aircraft were returned for various
    reasons, including insufficient eviden ce or owner cooperation
    with authorities.
         It is unlikely that the seizure of a conveyance will
    deter drug smuggling for three main reasons:
         --The smuggler often uses a conveyance in which he has
           little or no financial interest such as a rented,
           borrowed, or heavily financed vehicle or aircraft.
           If it is seized, the smuggler has lost little.
         --Automobiles used by smugglers often are old and of
           little value. For instance, the average age of the
           90 vehicles seized at San Ysidro during a 3-month
           period was 8 years.
         --The value of smuggled drugs is so high that possible
           loss of a conveyance is viewed as a cost of doing
         Title 19 of the United States Code contains several
    statutes which provide Customs the authority to administra-
    tively fine persons transporting illegal narcotics into the
    country. Most of these statutes were not being used to
    penalize apprehended drug smugglers at the locations we
    visited. In a small number of instances, penalties were
    levied against marihuana smugglers using aircraft, but
    were rarely collected.
     A listing of the statutes and circumstances under which
penalties can be applied against drug smugglers is presented
in appendix II. In short, any person who fails to report eir-
rival from a country, or fails to declare acquired posses-
sions, can be fined by Customs.
     Custom s Headquarters was unable to tell us whether the
various statutes were being used to penalize drug smugglers.
A Customs official stated that the statutes were being used,
but could not tell us if they were being used against drug
smugglers. At the district office level, where the penalties
are issued, we found that most of the administrative sanc-
tions are routinely excluded from consideration for the fol-
lowing reasons:
     --Few of the smugglers apprehended have the potential to
        pay or of fer a reasonable prospect of collection due
        to incarceration or having assets well concealed.
     --Substantial time and effort are involved in Customs
       attempting to collect when such penalties have been
     --As a last resort, if an individual refuses to pay Cus-
       toms. the penaity case is referred to the U.S. Attor-
       ney, who places low priority on penalty collections
       because of the limited collection possibilities.
We did find assessment of administrative penalties in marihu-
ana smuggling cases involving aircraft, but our analysis of     I

27 fines issued against smugglers disclosed only 2 instances
where the fines were collected. All of the fines related to
one or both of the following types of violations.
Navigation penalty
     Private pilots must report to Customs or the Federal
Aviation Administration at least 15 minutes prior to en-
tering U.S. air space along the Southwest border and must
land (unless exempted) at a designated airport for Customs
inspection. Any pilot violating Customs aircraft reporting
requirements is subject to a penalty of $500 for each' of
the three sections of the regulation violated or a maximum
penalty of $1,500 (United States Code, Title 49, Section
1474 and Sections 6.2 and 6.3 of the Customs Regulations).
     Our case analysis showed that this penalty is often is-
sued by the Customs District Director but is seldom paid.
Of 23 penalties issued at a dollar value of $29,000 a total
of $800 bad been collected in two cases.

Failure to manifest   mercha~dise

     United States Code, title 19, section 1584, Falsity or
Lack of Manifest, provides for a $500 penalty for failure
to produce a manifest of merchandise on any vessel or vehicle
bound to the United States. Failure to manifest can result
in a penalty equal to the value of the mercha~dise not mani-
fested. If the merchandise includes narcotics, the master
of the vessel or person in charge of the vehicle is liable
for a penalty of $50 for each ounce of heroin, morphine,
cocaine, isonipecaine, or opiate; $25 for each ounce of
smoking opium or marihuana; $10 for e;~h ounce of crude
     We found that only one of the five Customs district of-
fices visited was using this penalty. That district was re-
stricting its use to pilots of aircraft smuggling marihuana
across the border. The other districts felt that the statute
could not be applied to smuggling by aircraft. A Customs
headquarters official informed us that while there is some
statutory doubt as to whether these penalties can be levied,
Customs has on occasions used this authority. This official
further stated t~at due to the severity of the penalties
under section 1584, such penalties are considered relatively
meaningless because of the difficulty in making collections.
     We noted four such cases where a district levied penal-
ties against pilots smuggling marihuana. The penalties is-
sued averaged $258,000. The size of these penalties, how-
ever, made the U.S. Attorneys reluctant to accept these
cases for collection for the practical reason that they were
considered impossible to collect.
     The U.S. Attorney in Arizona is against the arbitrary
assessment of penalties in aircraft violations involving
narcotics smugglers, especially when there is not reason-
able prospect of collection due to incarceration, lack of
assets, etc.
     FAA has two regulations to penalize pilots involved in
drug-related offenses. FAA can suspend or revoke the pilot's
certificate of anyone who knowingly carries drugs in an air-
craft, a violation of Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR)
91.12. The FAA can also suspend or revoke the pilot's certi-
ficate of anyone convicted of violating any Federal or State
narcotics statute under FAR 61.15. Without a valid certi-
ficate, an air smuggler is prohibited from piloting any
aircraft, rented or othewise. FAA can also move against sus-
pectea air smugglers for safety violations, such as flying
without lights, carrying fuel in the cabin area, or flying
too low. FAA's primary reason for taking any of these ac-
tions is to improve air safety. The FAA Western Regional
Co unsel tola us there are no criminal penalties for FAR vio-
lations, only civil penalties with a maximum fine of $1,000
per violation.
      FAA has considerable latitude in administering FAR.
FAA officials stated that while revocation of a certificate
is ''permanent," it can be appealed after a waiting period of
1 year. FAA has the authority to waive the 1-year waiting
period. Appeals and reinstatement are common. FAA officials
informed us that normally a pilot whose certificate has been
revoked will reapply for certification (appeal) at the end
of the waiting period, and proceed to obtain certification.
If his certification was merely suspended, he does not have
to reapply.
     FAA relies on DEA to furnish names of convicted pilots
before it initiates revocation p~oceedings. FAA Headquar-
ters officials told us that they do not have the investiga-
tive resources to examine each allegation of drug activity
prior to conviction. Accordingly, FAA revocation proc~dures
normally require a conviction before a certificate is sus-
pended or revoked.
     During the 21-month period ended SeptembP.c 1976, FAA
Western and Southwest Regions took action i~: 82 cases for      I

drug offense under FARs 91.12 and 61.15 . Action completed
during this period resulted in FAA revo!,ing 31 and suspend-
ing 11 pilot certifications. Additio~al cases were pending
but action had not been taken.

      Our analysis of 43 drug int~rdiction cases made by the
San Diego and Tucson ASBs duri~g 1975 showed that FAA's
Wes tern Region often does not suspend or revoke the pilot's
certif icate of convicted na~cotics violators . There were no
instances of suspension or revocation for pilots knowingly
carr ying drugs in their dircraft. In FAA's Southwest Region
we did find one case where FAR 91.12 was used to sespend an
airm an's certificate.
     In 10, or 23 percent, of the Tucson and San Diego ASB
cases, DEA did n0t inform FAA of the violation. Of the re-
maining 33 cases, only 15 reached the Regional Counsel's
office , where revocation actions are initiated. No action
was taken oP four of these cases. Of the remainder, FAA
revoked si~ and suspended one. Action remained pending on
four caseci as of December 1976.


     We identif ~ed several other factors which e xplai n why
the FAA Weste~n Region seldom took action against th e drug
     --:AA was not carrying out existing procedur es to in-
        sure that reported violations are investi gated and
        forwarded to the Regional Counsel in a timely manner.
     --FAA is reluctant to use FAR 91.12, which does not re-
        quire a conviction, because it could be di ff i c ult to
        prove that the pilot knew drugs were in the ai rcraft.
     --Interpretations made by Administrative Law J udges of
       the National Transportation Safety Board discourage the
       Regional Counsel from taking some actions. In cases
       where the pilot appeals revocation or suspension, the
       Regional Counsel believes that the judges give the
       appellant the extreme benefit of doubt.
     Because FAA seldom takes action against dru g s mugglers,
applicable regulations have little deterrent effe ct . The
following case illustrates the problems within th e e xisting
     An FAA-certified pilot was arrested on May 31, 1974,
     for smuggling 400 pounds of marihuana. On January 23 ,
     1975, the pilot pled guilty to possession of a con-
     trolled substance for sale and the smuggling charge
     was dismissed. On March 12, 1975, the pilot received
     a sentence of 10 days in jail, 3 years probation, and
     a $1,000 fine. On November 4, 1975, the pilot's cer-
     tificate was revoked because of the May 1974 arrest.
     On November 14, 1975, he again was arrested for smug-
     gling marihuana by aircraft. On December 3, 1975,
     FAA, unaware of the Nvvember 1975 arrest, held a
     revocation appeal hearing based upon the May 1974
     arrest. The revocation was reduced to a 6-month
     suspension retroactive to November 10, 1975. There-
     fore, the pilot did not possess a valid certificate
     at the time of the second arrest.
     On March 1, 1976, the Regional Office was info rmed
     about the November 1975 arrest. On March 11, 1976,
     the Regional Office requested a district office to
     investigate the second violation. We inquired on
     November 3, 1976, about the status of the pil o t's
     certificate. We were informed that the district
     office was not aware of the Region's request and
     thus the incident had not been investigated. The
     Chief of the Investigation Branch informed us that
     probably nothing could be done regarding the
     November 1975 arrest because a year had passed
     and it wc1s the policy of the Regional Counsel
     not to proceed on old cases.
     Officials cited their lack of criminal sarict ions as an-
other reason for the ineffectiveness of FAA regulations
against drug smugglers or any other violators.
     The capability of the United States to deal with the
flow of drugs crossing the Southwest border depends not only
on an organized coordinated effort among U.S. law enforcement
agencies and the judicial system , but also upon th coopera-

tion of the Mexican Government in disrupting the ~oduction
and shipment of illicit drugs. The United States interna-
tional narcotics control program r~lies heavily upon the
Government of Mexico.
     During our visit to the U.S. Mission in Mexico City in
June 1976, we dis~ussed the status of narcotics enforcement
activities with DEA regional office personnel and U.S. Mis-
sion officials. U.S. officials in Mexico see the opium
poppy eradicati0n program as the top priority activity there
because it eliminates heroin at the source. Other enforce-
ment action and intelligence-gathering are considered second-
ary to the eradication program .

      Our report, "Opium Eradication Efforts in Mexico: Cau-
tious Optimism Advised," points out that progress has been
made by the Mexican Govenment in attacking the source of
her oin--the opium poppy. This program has resulted, in part,
from substantial U.S. funding: however, we cautioned that
future success would require continuing improvements and
commitment by the Mexican Government to upgrade its narcotics
control capabilities.
      Besides the increased attention given to the eradication
program within Mexi co, enforcement and information gathering
capabilities must also be improved if narcotics control ef-
forts are to have an overall impact within Mexico and at the
Southwest border. The need for tactical and operational in-
telligence on narcotics traffickers, as well as the narcotics
distributi on system, is particularly ecute in view of the
reality that without it our border resources are largely
wasted. DEA agents stationed in Mexico are becoming more de-
per1ent on their Mexican counterparts to carry out investiga-
ti\ e and intelligence-gathering operations. This has resulted


from two factors- - the Government of Mexico's reluctance to
increase the presence of U.S . agents operating within
Mexico, particularly those associated with drug
intelligence-gathering, and the restri c tions placed on DEA
agents by the International Security Ass istance and Arms
Export Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-329) which prevents DEA from
directly participating in any drug arr es t action. Any
effective activity within Mexico mu s t t herefore rely on in -
creased Mexican commitment and coope r ation. The problem of
too little intelligence data from Mexico to assist border
enforc~ment agencies was discussed in chapter 4, beginning
on page 18.
     Mexico has a 500-person Federal police force which is
charged with enforcing all Federal statutes. Since 1974 when
we issued a repo r t 1/ on this subject, Mexico has expanded
the size and improved the MFJP enforcement capabilities.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, MFJP is
being improved by new recruits who are now required to have
2 years of coll~ge training and have attended and graduated
from a formal training academy established by the Attorney
General. The MFJP's first formal drug enforcement training
class was completed at the institute in the fall of 1975.
Four additional olasses had been completed by the time of
our visit in June 1976.
     The total staffpower devoted to e nforcement activiti es
is not currently sufficient or experi e nced enough to deal
with the magnitude of the narcotics prvblem in Mexico. Ove r
half of the MFJP officers are committed to the year-round
eradication campaign, leaving less than 250 officers to en -
force all other Federal laws throughou t Mexico. Eff~ctive
law enforcement is still inhibited by t he corrupting influ -
ence wealthy traf f ickers have held. Attempts to overcome
poor working conditions (e.g., lack of equipment, below su b-
sistence income, and poor job secur i t y; have had some success .
     Criminal prosection and enforceme nt of existing admin i-
strative sanctions are limited as an ef fective deterrent be-
cause of the large profits involved, the nature of the vio la-
tors being apprehended, and the ease w i t~ which penalties can
be avoided by the experienced smuggl e r.
l/"Efforc o Stop Narcotics and Danger ous Drugs Corning From
- and "'.:hrough Mexico and Central Amer ic an," GGD-75-44,
  Der • 31 , 19 7 4 .

     Expansion of the jurisdiction of Federal magistrates
could enable them to handle minor narcotics cases now re-
quired to go before a U.S. District Judge. This would ease
the overburdened District Court system with about the same
deterrent effect.
     Administrative penalties could be used more effectively
by the FAA against pilots smuggling illicit drugs by aircraft.
While FAA actions are not the primary penalties to discourage
drug smugglers, the revocation of a pilot's certificate is
a viable tool for crippling or inconveniencing the operation
of an illicit ra f icker. FAA' s enforcer.1eni: of regulations
could be strengthened if criminal sanct:ons wer~ established
for pilots who fly without a valid cer~ificate.
      The U.S. Mission and the Mexican Government have inten-
s ified the ~ radication effort in Mexico to reduce the amount
of Mexican heroin available for smuggling into the United
Sta tes, but with little attention given to the intelligence
needs of border enforcement agencies . The U.S. Mission needs
to design a program for developing information to assist in
intercepting sm ugglers at the border (ch. 4). While certain
steps can be taken, such as helping Mexico develop its capa-
bi lity to pr ovide actionable intelligence , the Mexican Gov-
ernment is the key to any real success. Improved effective-
ness in stopping smugglers at the border is dependent upon
the priority and commitment of the Mexican Govenrment to
supporting law enforcement activities on both sides of the
     The Acministrator of DEA should assure that FAA is ad-
vised of all arrested persons who are pilots.
    The Secretary of Transportation should   direc~   the FAA
Administrator to:
     --Establish an effectiv e system to insure that reported
       violations are investigated and adjudicated in a timely
       mann er .
     --Clari y use of existing regulations to insure that all
       avaialble sanctions are considered for use in det, rring
       drug smugglers.
     --Rigor ously apply administrative sanctions against air


     The Commissioner of Customs should evaluate the use be-
ing made of administrative fines and penalties and develop
guidelines to restrict their use to cases where there is a
reasonabl possibility of collecting the penalty.
     The Secretary of State should require the U.S. Mission
in Mexico to expand the narcotics control action plan to in-
clude program goals and specific objectives for support'ng
border interdiction efforts. Emphasis should be placed 011
encouraging the Mexican Attorney General to (1) develop in-
formation which could be of use in Mexican as well as U.S.
interdiction efforts and (2) strengthen enforcement by Mexi-
can forces along the border with full-time drug enforcement
     The Congress can he p by legislating the following:
     --Expand the magistrates' jurisdiction under the Federal
       Magistrates Act to encompass most misdemeanors, e.g.,
       minor drug offenses, especially marihuana.
     --Appropriate funds for additional United States mag is-
       trates to be appointed in the Southwest bord~r area.
     --Establish criminal penalties for pilots who fly with-
       out a valid certificate.

                          CHAPTER 6
     The OMB the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and State
g~n~rally agreed with our findings and recommendations. The
various departments and OMB were supportive of the conclusion
that the absence of a Federal Gov e rnment integrated strategy
and an overall border control plan has resulted in overlap-
ping, duplication, and poorly coordinated enforcement activi-
ties. Their comments are discussed below. The Dp ···3rtment
of Transportatior_' s comments are included as apper1uix VII.
     OMB informed us (see app. III} that a study of border
management and interdiction conducted under the direction of
ODAP was near c0mpletion. OMB suggested we consider adjusting
our recommendation that an integrated strategy a~d comprehen-
sive operating plan for border control which considers various
alternatives for managing border operations be developed to
reflect this action.
      The ODAP report issued on September 7, 1977, identified
as the major obstacles to border control the lack of coordi-
nated border management and overlup ~nd duplication of ef-
for t. ODAP's report proposes a wide range of alternatives
consistent with the ahove recomrn~ndation and recommends tran-
sitional actions that should be taken to improve border man-
agement. This report points out the need to establish an
overview mechanism to develop a long range border management
plan and policies to insure border operation s are supportive
of all Federrtl programs. Although we believe this effort is
a significant first step in carrying out our recommendations,
the Congress and the administration must now resolve the most
difficult questions of revising the management structure, re-
organizing border organizations, and developing an overall
bor der control plan to resolve the problems discussed in our
re port. Until these uc tions are completed, we do not believe
the intent of this recommendation will be met.
      OMB agrees with our observation that bo rd er interdiction
olo ne will not solve the illegal alien problem, and pointed
out t hat the Presid~nt submitted a proposal t n the Congress
on August 4, 1977, dealing with undocumented wurkers. This
proposal would:
     - -Make unlawful the hiring of undocumented aliens with
        Enforcement by the Justice Department against those
        employers who engage in a "pattern or practice" of
        s uch h ; · na


     --Inc r e ase significantly the en~orcement of the Fair
       Labor Standards Act and the Federal Farm Labor Con-
       tractor Registration Act, targeted to areas where
       heavy undocumented alien hirings occur.
     --Substantially increase the resources available to
       control the Southern border and other entry points.
     --Promote co ~ _ inued cooperation with the governments
       which are major sources of undocumenteJ aliens.
      The proposal is viewed by the President as an interim
ste p. He has directed the Secretary of State, the Attorn~y
General, and the Secretary of Labor to begin a comprehensive
interagency study of exi s ting immigration laws and policies.
These actions are consiste nt with our recommendatio~ that
the Congress and the administration work together to totally
reassess U.S. immigration policy presented in our October 1976
report titled, "Immigration--Need To Reassess U.S. Policy"
     Justice said our findings and recommendations were com-
patible with its current ph i losophy. (See app. IV.) Justice
supported our recommendation to the Congress to expand the
jurisdiction of Federal magistrates and appropriate funds for
appointing additional magistrates to the Southwest area. Jus-
tice al so believes our recommendation to establish criminal
penalties for pilots who fly without a valid certificate has
merit, although it believes that sufficient legal means 31-
ready exist to prosecute them.
      Justice stated that the report concentrates heavily on
drug inte r diction efforts, with only passing references to all
o ther Federal border responsibilities. Justice cited the
f ollowing examples:
     --The discussion on ports-of-entry resources ends with
       the statement that "While the Customs fc' .. ce continues
       to decr ease in s : ze, the workload increases." No men-
        tion is made of INS insoection manpower requirements
       and wo r kload. Obvious ~ j, this omission contributes
        to an incomplete view of border operation problems.
     --The section of the report which discusses detection
       aids conce~trates on drug interdiction and states
       that "J udgement of the inspector is a er i tical in-
       gredient in drug interdiction." This is an accurate
       stateme nt and applies equally to the dete~tion o f

       mala fide applicants for admission. However, no sec-
       tion of the report deals with the skills required to
       meet border threats other than drugs.
     --The discussion regarding the overlapping roles of the
       Bord2r Patrol and Customs Patrol between ports-of-
       entry measures their achievements only in terms of drug
       interdiction. No mention is made of the superior nu-
       merical presence and equipment support of the Border
     Consequently, in Justice's opinion, the report does not
provide the comprehensiveness of border activities necessary
to develop a truly "integrated strategy or an overall border
control plan" which the report says is needed. Out report
was not intended to accomplish this goal. Out intent was to
complement and expand the areas not covered in the numerous
previous studies dealing with border enforcement cited in
appendix I. In our opinion, these reports along with this
report, when considered in total, support the need for an in-
tegrated strategy and an overall border control plan. We
have recommended that OMB, in conjunction with ODAP and the
affected agencies, perform the comprehensive study of border
activities to develop an integrated strategy and comprehensive
plan for border control. Most Departments involved recognized
the need for this.
      Our report commented on the fact that DEA supplies little             ;
actionable intelligence necessary for successful operations
along the borders. Justice informed us that DEA recognizes
the need to integrate its investigative and control strategy
with the strategies of INS and Customs. Justice stated that,
in addition to border interdiction intelligence being sup-
plied by EPIC, a new intelligence-collection school for
special agents has been initiated and Customs patrol officers
are now being assigned to posts of duty at DEA regional of-
f ices for coordination purposes.     Justice stated that our re-
port was critical of intelligence-gathering and exchange in
Mexico by Mexican and U.S. agencies. Justice informed us
that, since our visit to DEA's Regional Intelligence Office
in Mexico City, tL -.:~ staff has been expanded from one agent/
supervisor and one collection agent to nine professional per-
sonnel and tbat the Regional Off ice has taken steps to streng-
then and broaden DEA's and Mexico's collection of b0rder in-
terdiction intelliaence.
     Regaljing our comments on the inability of the Border
Patrol ~nd Customs Patrol to communicate with each other,
Justice said a more accurate presentation would state that


     " * * * in most areas, the radio base stations
     of both patrols are equipped with comrner~ial
     scanners which allow each patrol base station
     to monitor the frequencies of the other and im-
     mediately retransmit messages to mobile units~"
Our work and that of the ODAP task force indicates that the
us e of scanners is not nearly as extensive as these comments
     The Department of the Treasury stated (see app~ V) that
our report correctly singles out the absence of an integrated
strategy or an overall border control plan which '1 as resulted
in overlapping, duplication, and poorly coordinated enforce-
ment activities. It pointed out that an overall review of
border management, being performed by the various agencies
involved in border management under the direction of the Of-
fice of Drug Abuse Policy, should provide a basis for improv-
ing the effectiveness of border enforcement activities. The
Department further pointed out that it recently concluded a
U.S.-Mexican Customs-to-Customs agreement designed to in-
crease cooperation between the Customs Service and the ex-
change of information in suppression of Customs' offenses,
including the smuggling of narcotics, guns, and other con-
      Treasury stated that our comment that one-third of
the Customs research and development funds are used for drug
detection systems may give a distorted picture of the relative
importance placed on drug d~tection aids at ports. It said
that detection devices used between ports are extremely ex-
pensive and funding levels do not indicate proportionate
prir·· ities. Treasury listed current and planned research re-
lated to port interdiction. Although we agree that expendi-
tures are not the sole indicator of proportionate priorities,
in our opinion, it is a significant indicator. This is es-
pecially true if one is to determine where the most signif i-
cant results will be achieved for dollars expended.
      I~ commenting on our observation concerning the place-
me nt of sensors, Treasury maintains that INS sensor fields
are generally located near ports-cf-entry, whereas Customs
sensor fields are deployed much further away from ports.
This was not the case at the locations visited. Both INS
and Customs officials stated that despite agreements to this
effect, traffic patterns result in sensor as well as patrol
activity of both agencies being located in close proximity
to each other, and neither of the patrol forces know exactly

where the other's sensors are located. We did not attempt
t o make a detailed analysis of sensor locations along the
entire border.
     The Treasury commented that INS and Customs did not have
similar interdiction strategies as the report implies. Our
report is not an attempt to present the strategies of che
agencies but their operating mode. We found that in at-
tempting to achieve the most significant results, in the ab-
sence of tactical intelligence, each agency's patrol gener-
ally concentrated on the same high-volume crossing areas.
      The Treasury questioned whether heroin seizures by the
air program is a significant measure of its usefulness and
effectiveness. The Treasury believes that such a view over-
looks the importance of the air program in the Customs overall
border interdiction effort as well as the inadequacy of in-
telligence from all sources, on how the bulk of heroin actu-
ally enter s the country.
     The intent of our report was to give an indication of
the measurable benefit being achieved at the border. While
it is not possible to measure the deterrent effect, the con-
tinual readily available supply of drugs in the United States
indicates it has little if any significant effect on reducing
thE supply of heroin and other drugs.
     We agree with the Treasury that there is a need for a
balanced border interdiction approach. The primary point of          I
our report is that without an integrated strategy or overall
border control plan, overlapping agency jurisdictions make an
efficient and effective interdiction approach difficult, if
not impossible. Our report is intended to show that the use
of aircraft along the border was ineffective. It presents
the information that should be used in determining the need
and cost effectiveness of air operations.
      The Department of Sta te informed us (see app. VI) that
it agrees with the recomme ndations contained in this report
and supports the thesi s that an integrated strategy for bor-
der control is needed. The Department agreed with the speci-
fic recommendation to the Secretary of State that the U.S.
Mission in Mexico be required to expand the narcotics control
action plan to include program goa l s and specific objectives
for s upporting border inter diction e fforts.
     The Slate Department comme nted that the increased com-
mitment of the new Mex ican Administration has resulted in
greater cooperation and exchange of intelligenc e data. It


                       J                                         I
outlined joint planning efforts with t he Mexican Government
and improvements in intelligence oper ations that have taken
place since completion of our audit work in Mexico. These
joint planning efforts are expected to increase Mexican
effectiveness in controlling narcotics along the United
States-Me xican border.

                                      OBSERVATIONS ANO SUGGSTIONS _ E"OR I MP P O'! ~
                                                   ~ORDEP__l:AW   E'FORCE ME T

                                                                                                      Principal Findi ngs,
Date of Report       Originator                         Title                                     Conclu sions, Recommendations
December 1972    General Accounting    Heroin Being Smuqgled Int o Ne w York            Co nfl ic ts between Cu st om s and BNDD arose about
                  Office                City Successfully B-164031 (2)                  the question of jurisdiction over the control
                                                                                        of narcotics smuggling. The operating level
                                                                                        cooperation and coordination called for in
                                                                                        guidelines approved by the President to settle
                                                                                        the j u risdictional dispute have not been fully
                                                                                        realized. GAO pointed out emphasis should be
                                                                                        placed on devising methods of improving coor-
                                                                                        dinati on in the day-t0-day, case-by-case oper-
                                                                                        ations of local offices of both agencies.
May 1973         General Accounting    A   Single Agency Needed t o Ma nage              Fragmented approach to inspections did not allow
                  Off ice                  Port- o f-Entry Inspections --                a more efficient and effective inspection sys-
                                           Particularly at U. S . Airports               tem to develop.    Four Federal agencies were
                                           B-11 4898                                     engaged in inspecting entrants t o t he United
                                                                                        States:   ( 1 ) Public Health Service, Depart-
                                                                                        ment of Health, Educatior., and Welfare; (2}
                                                                                         Immigration and Naturalization Service, De-
                                                                                        partment of Justice; (3) Bureau of Customs,
                                                                                        Department of the Treasury; and (4} Animal
                                                                                        and Plant Health Inspection Service, Depart-
                                                                                        ment of Agriculture.     Benefits of single-
                                                                                        agency management included: development of
                                                                                        a single inspection system; un i form adminis-
                                                                                        trative policies and procedures; improved
                                                                                        scheduling, planning, and coordination; elim-
                                                                                        ination of duplication; and reductions in
                                                                                        space and staff reouirements and inspection

                                                                                        GAO recommended that the Director, Office of
                                                                                        Management and Budget, in cooperation wit~
                                                                                        the Attorney General and t he Secretaries of
                                                                                        Health, Education, and Welfare; Agriculture;
                                                                                        and ~ he Treasury should implement single-
                                                                                        agency management of port-of-entry insoec-
                                                                                        tions.                                 -
October 1972     MITRE Corporation    System Concept for Drug Interception:         In a series of reports the MITRE Corporation
  through                               United States / Mexican Borde~              defined and evaluated technical and proce-
  December                              Narcotics Interdiction Technology
  1973                                                                              dural concepts which would significantly im-
                                        Research and Development Program            prove the capability of the U.S . to stop the
                                                                                    flow of illegal drugs entering the U.S. from
                                                                                    Mexico. These reports addressed the problems
                                                                                    of low-flying aircraft crossing anywhere over              H
 Date of Report                                                                              Principal Findings,
                       Originator                                                         Conclusions, Recommendations

                                                                                 the border, and ground vehicles and people
                                                                                 crossing the border between and through ports-
                                                                                 of-entry. Means of detecting and intercepting
                                                                                 this traffic were identified, and technical
                                                                                 feasibility, cost and effectiveness of the pre-
                                                                                 fer red concepts were estimated. MITRE con-
                                                                                 clu d ed that the technology was available to
                                                                                 support an effective detection and intercept
                                                                                 system, and that procedural changes will con-
                                                                                 siderably simplify the system complexity with
                                                                                 minimum impact on the legal international tra-
                                                                                 veler. The proposed aproa~h including the de-
                                                                                 sign and implementation of an intercept system
                                                                                 for the Mexican border was estimated to cost
                                                                                 about $300 million and take 10 years to imple-
June 1974         Off ice of Management   Identical letters, dated June 5,       The Director, OMe informed the Attorney ~en­
                    and Budget              1974, to the Attorney General        eral and the Secretary of the Treasury of
                                            and the Secretary of the Treasury    OMB's conclusions in its analysis of Federal
                                                                                 law enforcement along the Southwest border.
                                                                                 This analysis pointed out continuing competi-
                                                                                 tion, conflicts and overlaps in functions,
                                                                                 and duplication of expenses in multiagency

                                                                                 OMB outlined a strategy for principal border
                                                                                 agencies together with necessary implementing
                                                                                 steps. The "management strategy" OHB proposed
                                                                                 was that a single agency should be responsi ble
                                                                                 for each element of routine border enforce-
                                                                                 ment:  ports, between ports, air and sea. OMB
                                                                                 believed the single-agency approach repre-
                                                                                 sented the only feasible epproach to ensure an
                                                                                 adequate l i ne of enforcement targeted on
                                                                                 priorities of drugs, illegal aliens, and gen-
                                                                                 eral contraband. OMB felt that hard narcotics
                                                                                 (heroin) was being smuggled through ports-of-
                                                                                 entry and marihuana bet ween ports-of-entry.
December 197 4    Committee on Govern-    Law Enforcement On Th ..: Southwest    The problems of enfor cement duplication and
                    ment Operation s        Border ( Problems Of Co~rdin ation   competition along the Mexican border, as
                                            Between Immiaration and ~~~urali­    outlined in the OMB study and suggested plans
                                            zation Service And Customs s~~v­     of action, were studied by the House's Legis-
                                            ice) House Report No. 93-1630        lation and Military Operations Subcommittee,
                                                                                 Committee on Government Operations . The OMB
                                                                                 ~lan was not approved by this Cammi tee.   The
                                                                                 Co, · 1ttee fel the plan was not suppor ed by     H
                                                                                  Principal findings,
Date of Report        Originator                                               Conclusions, Recommendations

                                                                      a convincing analysis and that more work was      ......
                                                                      needed before a solution could be found to
                                                                      the border situation.
Sep e mber 1975   Domestic Council        White Paper on Oruq Abuse   The Task Force pointed out that "Under Reor-
                    Drug Abuse Task                                   ganization Plan 2 (of 1973), a distinction
                    Force                                             is drawn between investigative functions and
                                                                      inte~dlction functions with respect to nar-
                                                                      cotics enforcement efforts ... Unfortunately,
                                                                      the distinction between interdiction and in-
                                                                      vestigation was not precise in the legislation.
                                                                      This ambiguity has led to jurisdictional dis-
                                                                      putes among enforcement agencies, and the re-
                                                                      sulting interagency rivalry and lack of coor-
                                                                      dination have hampered supply reduction
                                                                      efforts .... " The Task Force recommended that
                                                                      the President direct the AttornLy General and
                                                                      the Secretary of the Treasury• ... to settle
                                                                      jurisdictional disputes between DEA and Cus-
                                                                      toms by December 31, 1975, or to report their
                                                                      recommendations for resol tion of the matter
                                                                      to the President on that date.•
                                                                      This Paper also contained many other recom-
                                                                      mendations for improving Federal drug abuse
                                                                      programs including, in particular a recom-
                                                                      mendation that a program be developed for
                                                                      more effective border control, and that
                                                                      Customs, DEA and the U.S. Border Patrol
                                                                      vastly improve their coordinatior. of activi-
                                                                      ties along the border, including j~int task
                                                                      force operations. The task fo~ce also rec-
                                                                      ommended that CC1NC be instructed to discuss
                                                                      cooperative programs with the Government of

December 1975     General Ac co untin g   Federal Drug Enforcement:   Federal drug law enforcement efforts have foe
                    Office                  Strong Guidance Needed    years suffered from problems of fragmented
                                            (GGD-76-32)               organization and resulting interagency con-
                                                                      flicts.  Efforts to resolve the problem have
                                                                      not been successful.
                                                                      GAO endorsed the recommendation in the Domes-
                                                                      tic Council's September 1975 report calling
                                                                      for a settlement of the jurisdictional dis-
                                                                      putes between DEA and Customs. GAO felt, how-
                                                                      ever, especially in light of the failure of
                                                                                         Principal Findings,
Date of Report       Ori ginator                      Title                           Conclusions, Recommendations
                                                                             a prior agreement brought about by a Presi-
                                                                             dential directive, that establishing such
                                                                             dgreements will not solve the problem. GAO
                                                                             pointed out that it was questionable whether
                                                                             such agreements will ever work without a
                                                                             clear delegation of authority to someone ac-
                                                                             ting on behalf of the President to monitor
                                                                             adherence to guidelines and tell agencies what
                                                                             is expected of them.

September 1976   Domestic Council       Report on the Southern Border        A report for the President, containing numerous
                   Drug Abuse Task        (SECR ET )                         recommendations for imp r oving interdiction,
                   Force                                                     domestic enforcement and the program within
                                                                             Mexico to control trafficking along the South-
                                                                             ern border (U.S. - Mexico border and the Gulf

October 1976     General Acco unti ng   Immi~ration--Need To Reassess U.S.   U.S . Immigration problems as discussed in this
                  Office                  Policy (GGD-76-101)                summary of six prior GAO repo:ts are severe.
                                                                             This summary deals with matters ranging from
                                                                             an inability to control large-scale illegal
                                                                             entry to an inequity in the existing immigra-
                                                                             tion law which unfairly allows illegal entrants
                                                                             to later obtain immigratin benefits while bona
                                                                             fide immigrants are denied early admission.
                                                                             GAO mentioned pending legislation which con-
                                                                             tained a provision to deter employers from
                                                                             hiring illegal aliens ~Y making it unlawful
                                                                             to knowingly employ them. Since this legis-
                                                                             lation, if enacted a~d enforced, would remove
                                                                             a major economic incentive which attracts il-
                                                                             legal aliens, GAO recommended that the Con-
                                                                             gress favorably consider these provisions.
                                                                             The seriousness of our immigration problems
                                                                             dictates a need for early correction. GAO
                                                                             also recommended that the Congress work with
                                                                             the Administration to totally reassess U. S.
                                                                             immigration policy.

                                                                                              Principa l Fi dings,
Date of Report                                     Title                                   Conclusions , PecommenJations

Dec.ember 1976   Domes lC Co unc1l   Frelim1nary Repor     - Dorr.es lC Coun -   A co~ prehensive disc ussi o n of the policy issues
                   CJmm 1ttee On       cil Committee o     I l legal Aliens      raised by the illegal a11en problem contained
                   Illegal Aliens                                                both immediate and long-term recommendatio ns
                                                                                 incl11ding, in particuler, that U.S. enforcement
                                                                                 policy continue to emphasiz~ prevention of il-
                                                                                 legal entry rather than apprehension of illegal
                                                                                 aliens after settlement. The Committee also
                                                                                 rec ommended that INS continue to pl ace emphasis
                                                                                 on evaluation te chniques 1              studies. and
                                                                                 simulation models that of          the prospect of
                                                                                 improving the c rrent deployment cf resources.
                                                                                 In striving to achieve this goal, the Committee
                                                                                 recommended that INS sho •1ld take full advantage
                                                                                 of the wide range of technical services that
                                                                                 are available within Lhe Federal Government.
                                                                                 To illustrate, the Committee pointed out that
                                                                                 "some joi nt a utoma ti c data p r oce ssing and tele-
                                                                                 co unica ion developmen an sharing be wee
                                                                                 I S , Cu~toms Service an DEA has a wi e ran ge
                                                                                 of potential benefits. Some I S and Cus t oms
                                                                                 pers on ne l at field of f ices around the country
                                                                                 are frequently co-lo c ated; the us of remote
                                                                                 ADP terminals and the developmen           f a common
                                                                                 communication network could resu l 1n siqni-
                                                                                 f icant cost savings; it appears f asi ble that
                                                                                 INS' alien documentat1on, ident1f1 c ation and
                                                                                 teleco      nication syste could use -~ exis -
                                                                                 ing Cus o s Service's ADP and co            ica ion


                              UNITED STATES CODE
                                                          APPENDIX II

                                   TITLE 19
                                  TO CUSTOMS
    19   u.s.c.   1534        Establishes penalties for failure to
                         manifest (invoice) merchandise upon entering
                         U~S.  Applies to masters of vessels and those
                         in charge of vehicles. No penalty if Customs
                         officer is satisfied that failure to invoice
                         was inadvertent (e.g., clerical error;.
                              If any of merchandise not invoiced was
                         heroin, etc., then specific monetary penalties

                         established per ounce. Such penalties may
                         constitute a lien against the vehicle or ves-
                         sel. However, no penalty is imposed if the
                         vessel is a common carrier and the master,
I                        owner, and any other officer knew nothing

                         about the contraband being on board, nor
                         should they have known.
    19   U.S.C~   1439         Imposes a duty upon the master of a ves-
                         sel to deliver a copy of the manifest to a
                         designated Customs officer immediately upon
                         arrival and before entering the vessel.
                         "Entry" is a process by which the master must
                         perform a variety of tasks as outlined in
                         19 U.S ~ C. 1434 (American Vessels) and
                         19 u.s.c. 1435 {Foreign Vessels).
    19   u.s.c.   1453        Prohibits the landing of merchandise or
                         baggage from a vessel or vehicle without a
                         permit. Violation will result in penalty
                         equal to the value of the merchandise and
                         subject it to forfeiture. If the V3lue ex-
                         ceeds $500, the vessel or vehicle is like-
                         wise subject to forfeitur e.
    19   U.S~C.   1454        Prohibits landing of passengers without
                         a permit--$500 penalty/passenger.
    19   u.s.c.   1460        A failure to report arrival 0 f vessel
                         or vehicle, or proceeding further inland
                         without a permit, is punishable by a penalty
                         of $100/offense. Any merchandise in such
                         vessel or vehicle which is not declared is

'                                     79
APPENDIX II                                            APPENDIX II

                     subject to forfeiture, as well as the vessel
                     or vehicle. The master or person in charge
                     is subject to an additional - renalty of the
                     value of the merchandise. Where passengers
                     are involved, a possible additional penalty
                     of $500/passenger.
19   u.s.c.   1585        Where a vessel or vehicle arrives in,
                     and then departs, from the U.S. without making
                     a report of arrival or complying with encry
                     procedures, or if any merchandise is landed
                     before such report of-entry, the master of a
                     vessel is subject to a $5,000 penalty and the
                     person in charge of a vehicle is subject to
                     a $500 penalty. The vessel or vehicle is
                     also subject to forfeiture.
49   u.s.c.   1509   a)   Navigation laws generally do not apply
                            to seaplanes or other aircraft.
                     b)   Grants authority to Secretary of the
                            Treasury to designate ports of entry
                            for aircraft, to assign Customs
                            officers to these ports, and by
                            regulation to apply Customs laws
                            to aircraft.
                     C)   Grants authority to Secretary of the
                            Treasury to improve laws and regula-
                            tions relating to entry and clearance
                            of vessels to aircraft.
                     d)   Grants authority to Secretary of Agricul-
                            ture to apply to aircraft the laws
                            governing animal and plant quarantine,
                     e)   Allows Government agencies the authority
                            to acquire space in airports through
Customs Regula-           Applies to aircraft arr1v1ng from Canada
  tion                     and Mexico {contiguous countries) the
 6.10 {19 CFR)             Cu stoms laws relating to vehicles.
                          Applies to ai1craft arriving from any
                           other place the Customs law relating
                            to vessels.

APPENDIX III                                                    APPENDIX I II

                     0t=-FtCE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
                            WASHINGTCN . O .C . 20503

                                                  AUG 16 1J77

    Mr. Victor L. Lowe
    Director, General Government
    General Accountin13 Office
    Washington, D. c. 20548
    Dear Mr. Lowe:

    We have reviewed the draft of the proposed report entitled
    "Illegal Entry at United St.ates-Mexico Border--Multiagency
    Enforcement Efforts Have Not Been Effective in Stemming
    The Flow of Drugs cmd Peopl1:!," received under cover of your
    letter of July 19, 1977.

    Early in this tldmin.i11tration the Off ice of Drug Abuse Policy
    (ODM)), in coordination wit..h the Office of ManageJtlent and
    Bud91•et (OMB) ,. ini ti.a ted three interagency studies ~of the
    problems and issues dii~cus ..;ed in your draft report. The
    fina1l report of the fi1~st C>f these--the Border Management
    and Interdiction study ··- will be issued by August 31, 19 77.
    Sin<!e the product of the Border Management and Interdiction
    study will be a "plan (which considers] the various alterna-
    tives for managing bctrder operations ranging from the present
    man.ag1ement structure to single-agency management," you might
    wish to reconsider the wording of your second maj • r recommenda-
    tion.. Otherwise, it may appear t o the reader tha          :he General
    Accounting Off ice is recommending actions that are already
    cornple ted.

    The second ODAP study :ls a c::ornprehens i ve review of d rug law
    enforcement and the thi.rd · s an analysis of narcoti c s
    intelligence. The two studies will be completed s .ho rtly
    after your report is issued, and we will wait until then
    to comment on the subst11nce of your secondary recommendations.
    The administration agreE~s with your observation that "the
    attempt to prevent ille9al entries at the border will not
    solve the illegal alien problem" {p. 20). I believ•~ your
    final report will be more complete if i contains an outline
    of the comprehensive propo!:als on undocumented aliens which
    President Carter submitted to Congress on August 4, 197 7.

APPENDIX III                                          APPENDIX III

                     [See GAO   not~   2, below.]

   Thank you for giving us the opportunity to comment on the
   draft of your forthcoming report.

                                W. Bowman Cutter
                                Executive Associate
                                Director for Budget


   GAO notes:   1.    Page numbers cited in this appendix
                      may not correspond to page numbers
                      in the final report.
                2.    Deleted comments relate to suggested
                      changes that have been made in this


                       J                                             I
APPENDIX IV                                                                    APPENDIX iV

                                        UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT <W Jl'STICE

                                                  WASHINGTON, D.C.   2053(1

      Addr- Jlepl1       lo   tbr                    NOV    3 1977
        DhiMon lndiuted
 •nd Reier   10   Initial. end Number

                    Mr. Victor L. Lowe
                    General Government Division
                    United States General Accounting Off ice
                    Washington, D.C. 20548
                    Dear Mr. Lowe:
                         This letter is in response to your request for comments
                    on the draft report entitled "Illegal Entry at United States-
                    Mexico Border--Multiagency Enforcement Efforts Have o t
                    Been Effective in Stemming the Flow of Drugs and People."
                         We have reviewed the draft report and generally agree
                    with the findings and recommendations. Overall we find
                    them to be compatible with current Departm~nt philosophy.
                    It is also worthy of note that the Off ice of Drug Abuse
                    Policy is currently addressing the border problem and will
                    undoubtedly deal with many of the same areas of concern
                    expressed in the GAO report.
                         The Department supports the recommendations to expand
                    the jurisdiction of Federal magistrates and appropriate
                    funds for appointing additional magistrates to the South-
                    west area. We have found that the trial of cases before
                    Federal magistrates greatly reduces the time spent on each
                    case by U.S. Attorneys, public defenders, and apprehending
                    officers, and also reduces the volume of r.ases processed
                    in U.S. District Courts. In fiscal year 1976, the Border
                    Patrol and Investigations Divisions disposed of over 7,000
                    cases before the Federal magistrates. Any proposal to
                    increase the number of magistrates should be coordinated
                    with the United States Marshals Service and the Bureau of
                    Prisons to determine the need for additional detention
                         The recommendation to establish criminal penalties
                    for pilots who fly without a valid certificate has merit.
                    However, we believe that sufficient legislative authority
                    exists for the prosecution of unlicensed smuggler s who
                    operate by means of small aircraft.

APPENDIX IV                                               APPENDIX IV

                               - 2 -

        After reading the report, we were somewhat disillu-
   sioned in terms of the scope of the study. According to
   the title, the report is presumed to address the issue of
   "Multiagency Enforcement Efforts Have Not Been Effective
   in Stemming the Flow of Drugs and People." Although the
   report makes reference to the many agencies with border
   responsibilities and the three principal agencies with
   border presence, the report concentrates heavily on drug
   interdiction efforts, with only passing references to all
   the other Federal border responsibilities. The apparent
   decision to study drug interdiction efforts has focused
   the report on the successes, failures, operations and inter-
   faces of the Customs Service, the Federal agency charged
   with drug interdiction at the borders, and has dealt with
   the other principal border enforcement agencies, the Immi-
   gration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Drug Enforce-
   ment Administration (DEA), only as they impact on the Customs
   drug interdiction mission. This narrow approach to a study
   of border law enforcement presents an incomplete view of
   border operations and results in several areas of the report
   presenting incomplete or misleading information. It does
   not provide the comprehensiveness of border activities
   necessary to develop a truly "integrated strategy, or an
   overall border control plan" which the report says is needed.
   The following paragraphs focus on the misconceptions that
   have resulted from a strictly drug-oriented approach and
   provide updated information and developments which have
   occurred since the time of the review.

                    [See GAO note 2, p. 90.]

                                                       The strategy
   o f apprehending illegal entrants at or near the border is
   f ar more cost effective than attempting to locate and remove
   a li ens from interior location~. The ultimate soluti , jn to
   th e pr o blem of illegal entry is dependent on the establish-
   ment of deterrents. HL~ever, in spite of deterrents, illegal
   ent r y across the border will continue as long as the push-
   pull f actors, created by the economic differences between
   the Uni ted States and Mexico, exist.

        Page 23 of the report comments on the shortage of
   actionable intelligence which DEA provides to interdiction
   agencies. DEA recognizes the need to integrate its invest i -


APPENDIX IV                                             APPENDIX IV

                              -   3 -

   gative and control strategy with the strategies of INS and
   Customs in order to increase the successfulness of opera-
   tions along the borders and at ports-of-entry. Efforts
   are being made to fulfill this need and accomplishments
   toward this objective have taken place in some areas. In
   this regard, a new intelligence-collection school for special
   agents has been initiated. At the present time, five schools
   have been held and 60 agents have been trained. We would
   also like to point out that in the past DEA provided, and
   will continue to provide, border interdiction intelligence
   in the form of profiles in the El Paso Intelligence Center
   (EPIC) Bulletin and in other publications. These profiles
   of drug smuggling patterns offer a significant interdic-
   tion potential to alert border inspectors. Customs patrol
   officers are also now being assigned to posts of duty at
   DEA regional offices for coordination purposes.

                     [See GAO note 2, p. 90.]

        The discussion on page 26 states that since the incep-
   tion of EPIC the number of users seeking information has
   increased and that this increased volume suggests growing
   reliance on the system by user agencies. The recent addi-
   tion of more analysts to the EPIC staff, the continued
   increasing participation by law enforcement agencies, the
   specialized training of DEA agents ~nd the expanded intelli-
   gence effort in the Mexican interior have resulted in greater
   seizures of heroin. A seizure of 32.7 pounds of brown
   heroin was made at the border crossing in Eagle Pass, Texas,
   in August of this year. At approximately the same time,
   an initial seizure of 23 pounds of heroin made at Del Rio,
   Texas, led to an additional 17 pound seizure and the arrest
   of three members of an important family in Chicago involved
   in drug trafficking.
        The discussion of intelligence-gathering efforts within
   Mexico, w~ich begins on page 27, was critical of intelligence-
   gathering and exchange in Mexico by Mexican and U.S. agencies.
   Since GAO visited DEA's Regional Intelligence Office (RIO)
   in Mexico City during June 1976, the staff has been expanded
   from one agent/supervisor and one collection agent to include
   nine professional personnel. The RIO has taken steps to
   strengthen and broaden · DEA's (as well as Mexico's) collec-
   tion of border interdiction intelligence. Land, sea, and
   air surveillance programs have been expanded to provide
   much broader coverage using Mexican officials as principal


                                                         APPENDIX IV

                               - 4 -

    collection agents with back-up systems employing informant
    networks. A phased approach is being implemented whereby
    principal seaports, airfields and vehicle routes are in-
    itially targetted for monitoring. As the program progresses,
    it will be expanded to cover all major transportation facil-
    ities in Mexico. The RIO has also been involved in efforts
    to upgrade Mexico's intelligence function. Assistance has
    consisted of developing recommended organizational charts,
    training clerical and analytical staff, and providing a
    preliminary data base.
         In the discussion of Intelligence Support Systems on
    page 31, the report refers to the Treasury Enforcement
    Communication System (TECS) and atates that •TECS, operated
    by the Customs Service, is the principal means of dissemi-
    nating intelligence information to inspection and enforce-
    ment personnel at border crossing points, airports, and
    seaports throughout the country.• It should be pointed
    out that the only TECS query made at the land crossing
    primary terminal by the inspector is the license plate of
    the vehicle entering the U.S. from Mexico. Unless a •hit•
    is achieved or the vehicle is referred to secondary inspec-
    tion for some other reason, the remaining information in
    TECS will not be queried. Operational intelligence will
    be of little value if a license number is not included.
          The report of the Domestic Council Committee on Illegal
    Aliens is mentioned on page 34 in reference to the Alien
    Documentation Identification and Telecommunication System
    (ADIT). The comment in the Domestic Council Committee
    r eport "that it appears feasible that ADIT could use the
    ex isting Customs ADP and communications network• is premature.
    ADIT system requirements could be provided in a stand-alone
    mode or in combination with existing systems. However,
    the ADIT automated system design is just now completed to
    the po int where such implementation alternatives can be
    realistically evaluated.
          Another portion of the discussion on Intelligence Support
    Systems on page 35 quotes the Commissioner of Customs as
    referring to the ADIT system as ••a computerized lookout
    s ystem similar to the already in-place and operating TECs.••
    Until early 1977 many Customs personnel thought ADIT to
    be no more than •a computerized lookout system.• Through
    multiple presentations to Customs, the system has been
    explained to be much broader in scope--encompassing volume
    ID card issuances, nationwide computerized document validation,
    and access to multiple INS data files. One aspect of the
    s ystem is its ability to search a portion or subset of the


                                                            f         •
APPENDIX IV                                             APPENDIX IV

                              - 5 -

   complete set of •1ookout book• type data. Immediate plans
   do not call for query of all arriving travelers at U.S.
   ports via ADIT, but in the future consideration should be
   given to reading all travel documents presented at ports-
   of-entry. We agree that the future should include joint
   INS/Customs planning for interface of data and communica-
   tions as justifiable. ADIT has just now reached the point
   of automated system design where meaningful consideration
   of alternatives for implementation can be addressed. Plans
   for a joint ADIT/TECS experiment are currently being discussed.

                  [See GAO note 2, p. 90.J

        In an effort to enhance DEA/Customs operations, the
   Administrator of DEA and the Commissioner of Customs have
   scheduled a series of meetings to develop improved coope:a-
   tion between the agencies and thereby increase Federal drug
   enforcement effectiveness. As a result of the initial
   meeting held on September 7, 1977, the Commissioner of
   Customs recognized that DEA's mission of developing major
   conspiracy cases that have far-reaching impact on trafficking

APPENDIX IV                                               APPENDIX IV

                               - 6 -

    organizations precludes any diversion of personnel speci-
    fically to support the interdiction of individual cases
    of smuggling at the border. The Co11JDissioner also recoq-
    nized that improved cooperation and liaison should be en-
    couraged rather than arbitrary non-acceptance of respective
    agency missions. The Administrator of DEA and the co.. is-
    sioner of Cust<>11s have demonstrated current co... it•enta
    to ensure that both agencies are given aaxi•u• opportunity
    to fulfill their respective roles. Thus the views of the
    Off ice cf Management and Budget that Cust<>11s is unwilling
    to accept DEA's lead role in EPI~ appear to te premature.
         Within this context, we would like to point out that
    while border interdiction is a deterrent to drug smuggling,
    it is a defensive rather than an offensive strategy. DEA's
    priorities will continue to stress pr09rams to r uce drug
    cultivation and production, illlllobilize •ajor tra f fickers
    through conspiracy investigations, and reduce the prof it-
    ability of drug trafficking.

                     [See GAO note 2, p. 90.]


         The discussion on ports-of-entry resources ends on
    page 40 with the statement that •while the Customs force
    continues to decrease in size, the workload increases.•
    No mention is made of INS inspection manpower requirements
    and workload. Obviously, this omission contributes to an
    incompl ete view of border operation problems.
         The section of the report on pages 40-42 which dis-
    cus es detection aide concentrates on drug interdiction
      d s tates that •Judgment of the inspector is a critical
    ingredient in drug interdiction.• This i an accurate s te-
    ment and applies equally to the detection of mala fide appli-

APPENDIX IV                                              APPE DI X IV

                              - 7 -

   cants for admission. However, no section of the report
   deals with the skills required to meet border threats other
   than drugs.
        The discussion on pages 42-43 regarding the overlapping
   roles of the Border Patrol and CustOlls Patrol between ports-
   of-entry •easures their achievements only in terms of drug
   interdiction. No mention is made of the superior nuaerical
   presence and equipment support of the Border Patrol. It
   should also be noted that •uch of the direct competition
   between the patrols which the report outlines has been
   mitigated by agreements at the local level.

                   [See GAO not e 2, p. 90.]

PPENf.,IX IV                                                   APPENDIX IV

                               - 8 -

      Page 45 - The section r ferrin9 to the inability of
                th   mmigration Border Patrol nd the Custom
                Patrol to communicat with each other ahould
                be m nded to add the following sent ncez
                   •aowev r, in 11<>st ar as, the r dio base
                   st tions of both patrols ar equipped
                   with c01111ercial sc nn rs which allow
                   e ch p trol base st tion to 110nitor
                   the frequencies of the other nd imme-
                   di t y retransmit me sages to 11<>bile
                   uni s.•                   -

                          [See GAO note 2, below.]

      We appreciate the opportunity to comm nt on this dr ft
 report. Should you h ve any further qu stlons, pl se feel
 free to contact us.                                                         ;

                                  Sincer ly,

                             As i tant Attorn·y Gener l
                                 for Administc tion

    GAO   notes:     i.   Page numbers cited in this appen ix
                          may not correspond to page number
                          in the final report.

                     2.   Deleted comm nts r 1 te to sugqe    d
                          changes that have been made in this

    APPENDIX V                                                                 APPENDIX V

                                   DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
                                        WASHINGTON. D.C. 20220


                                                                 auG 21 1971
              Dear Mr .. Lowe:
                    The draft report entitled, •111egal Entry dt United
              States-Mexico Border -- Multiagency Enforcement Efforts
              ff ve Not Been Effective in Stem11in9 the Flow of Drugs and
              People,• forwarded to the Secretary on July 19, 1977, has
              been car fully reviewed and we concur generally with the
              assess•ent of the problem.
                   The report correctly singles out the absence of an
              inte9rated strat gy or an overall border control pl n which
              has resulted in overl pping, duplication nd poorly coordin ted
              enforcement activities.
                   Currently, the D partment of the Tre ury, together w'th
              the US Customs S rvice: the Department of Justice, together
              with the Iaunigration nd Natur lization Service and the Dru9
              Enforcement Agency: nd the Department of Transportation ar
              involved in n overall review of bord r m, n 9ement bein9
              conducted under the dir ction of th~ Off ic of Drug Abuse
              Policy. The results of this I -View should provide-a oasis
              for improving the effectiveness and eff ici ncy of t>order
               nforcement activities referr -d to in the subject report.
                   In tbe course of this review, Tre sury and customs have
               dvanced rec01111aend tions which go beyond th scope of the
              report as presently dr fted. We would be p ased to discus
              them with you or your st ff.
                   In other interdep ctment - 1 meetin9 , nd most recently
              in prepardtion for the US-Ne•1can Con ult tive Mech4ni s m,

l             Treasury repeatedly dvocated a great r commitment of Mexic n
              r ources, with the bjective eventu lly of •oeAmeri canizin9 •
              the narcotics pcoqr m in Mexico. Specific lly, we have
              r commended that M xlco hould a) develop n lmprov~d intelli-
              gence capability to xchange information on th illicit

              movement of narcotics nd guna; b) mov      g inst the ~ajor



PE DIX V                                                                     APPE DIX V


                                                                                    t   s

         u.s.   cust                                   r l ting to       ci ic
          ons of th                                   tt ch d vith   h    view of
        r Hying th                s.

                                        .i            ft;~~
                                                 ther tone
                                                 nt S er t ry

  t                    Low .
 o· r
 Un         St t       Gen r l Ace       ting
       hington, D.C.           20548


APPENDIX V                                               PPE DIX V

     U.S.                 S RILATING TO THE DRAFT REPORT

                   th t                 d for .or
                                              nt nd
                                             nd co t
                                             (pp 22 ff).

             (See GAO note 2, p.     00 .J

APPENDIX V                                                APPENDIX V


         In the report (Chapter 4, pp. 28 ff) several areas
    that required improvement, were identified, viz. (1)
    resources for border inspection and patrol; (2) development
    and application of drug detection aids; (3) cooperation
    between Customs Patrol and INS Border Patrol; (4) air
    and marine interdiction programs, and (5) joint operations.
    The comments which follow are intended to amplify some
    of these issues.
         Re~ources   for Inspection and Patrol
         Lack of border enforcement resources, in a period
    of increasing workload and drug smuggling from Mexico,
    is a major problem. In the five year period 1971-76,
    for example, Customs Mexican border inspector positions
    increased by 25 percent. During the same period, however,
    key workload indicators increased even mor~ rapidly.
    The numbers only provide part of the story. Increased
    s~uggling attempts involving sophisticated tactics magnify
    the problem; ar.d Mexico has become the principal source
    for heroin entering this country. Therefore, we agree
    with the GAO conclusion that more resources are required
    at the Mexican border ports.
         Drug Detection Aids
         The Treasury Department and the U.S. Customs Service
    place a high priority on the development of technological
    support systems to increase the effectiveness of border
    enforcement. The comment on page 40 of the draft report,
    which states that only one third of the Customs research
    and development funds are used for drug detection systems,         I
    as opposed to between ports technological systems (e.g.
    airborne and ground sensor systems), is misleading.
    Airborne and ground sensor systems are extremely expensive
    compared to drug detection systems, and the relative
    funding levels do not indicate proportionate priorities.
    The following are examples of technological support systems
    being considered or in use by the Customs Service for
    the interdiction of illicit narcotics.
             - Customs developed an electro-mechanical sniffer
               which is currently being tested at selected
               ports of e ntry;
             - X-ray systems have been used in mail branches
               for years and cargo and tire x-ray systems
               are now undergoing development and field test;
APPENDIX V                                                    APPENDIX V


             - Neutron backscatte: devices are being evaluated
               fot detection of secreted drugs;
             - Hand-held infrared therwal viewers for det e ction
               of "hot spots" created b~ sec~eted drugs have
               been tested;
             -   Cloe~~ circuit television systems at port s
                 of entry have aided in identifying drug s mugglers;

             - In addition to increasing the number of detector
               dog teams in the field, tests and studies are
               being conducted on breeding, rearing and training
               detector dogs.
         Cooperation Between Patrol Units
         A significant issue raised in the chapter on Operations
    relates to the overlap of mission, resources, and tactics
    between the Customs Patrol and the INS Border Patrol
    (pp 42 ff) and the resulting apparent jurisdictional
    conflicts and lack of cooperation between these two groups
    (pp 44 ff). These points of general reference should
    be noted:
             - INS SP sor fields are generally located near
               ports of entry where most illegal alien crossings
               occur; Customs sensor fields are deployed much
               further away from the ports where smuggling
               activity occurs.

                       [See GAO note 2, p. 100.]

             - INS and Customs do not have similar interdiction
               strategies as th~ report implies. In attempting
               to intercept illegal aliens, the INS Border
               Patrol protects specific areas of the border
               which are well-known crossing points. Routine
               patrol and a "laying in" at the point of crossing
               are common tactics. In contrast, the Cus toms
               Patrol has employed a tactical interdiction
               approach. The crossing points and the time

APPENDIX V                                                  APPENDIX V


                  of crossing the border are not predictable.
                  Therefore, Customs units are geared to responding
                  to intelligence, both tactical and general, and
                  sensor alerts. To protect an area as extensive
                  as the Southwest border against smuggling by
                  routine patrols would be largely ineff~ctive.
                  The use of the tactical interdiction approach has
                  permitted Customs to employ its scarce re s ources
                  most efficiently.
                - In those instances where the Customs Patrol
                  arrests illegal aliens or INS uncovers smuggling,
                  the other agency is usually immediately notified.
             Air Interdiction
           The report emphasizes the lack of heroin seized
      by the air program as the significant measure of its
      usefulness and effectiveness. We believe, however, that
      such a view overlooks the importance of the air program
      in the Customs overall border interdiction effort, as
      well as the inadequacy of intelligence from all sources,
      on how the bulk of heroin actually enters the country • .
           In our view the intelligence that heroin smuggling
      at the Southwest border occurs almost exclusively at
      the ports of entry is not entirely supportable. Customs
      has made every effort to determine the routes and
      methodologies in an effective manner. During August/September
      1975, a special operation along the bqder was conducted
      uRing intensified inspection of vehicles by detector                     /
      dog ~earns. Some 35 teams were detailed to the border
      for a period of two months. Operating in conjunction
      Nith inspectors, who were also focusing on heroin smuggling,
      thousands of vehicles were thoroughly se a rched. The
      results were disappointing. Very little heroin was uncovered,
      indicating either that heroin is not being smuggled through
      ports of entry and established traffic routes, or, as
      Customs believes, smugglers adjust their operations to
      encounter the least possibility for detection over all
      possible points of entry, routes and times.
           Customs continues to direct its resources against
      heroin smuggling at and between ports of entry on the
      Southwest border. Because heroin seizures represent
      only a fraction of the estimated six to eight metric


APPENDIX V                                               APPENDIX V


     tons coming from Mexico annually, we are convinced that
     the Customs assessment of the situation is correct; no
     one knows how, when or where heroin is being smuggled
     into the U.S.: and that smugglers vary their methods,
     points and times of entry. Customs also feels that the
     mobile tactical interdiction strategy is the most effective
     means for combatting smuggling, and that strategy supported
     by adequate tactical intelligence, will disrupt smuggling
     operations and bring illegal traffickers to justice.
          The Customs enforcement posture is strongest within
     the ports. A full-scale inspection system, supported
     by TECS, detector dogs, and secondary search areas,
     is operating at each of these ports on the Southwest
     border. Our inspector force is experienced, highly motivated,
     and trained in detecting potential smugglers. Unquestionably,
     the risk potential for a smuggler is greater at these
     ports than in the vast areas between the ports, or in
     the use of aircraft to penetrate the border.
          To effectively combat this smuggling of narcotics
     and other contraband, a balanced border interdiction
     approach is required which combines improved enforcement
     at the ports.as well as between ports, and against air
     and boat smuggling. The greatest effectiveness against
     the smuggling of contraband is achieved through the deterrent
     effort. To attribute a low rate of seizures to the in-
     effectiveness of an interdiction tactic, e.g. air interdiction,
     without considering other factors such as lack of intelligence
     and the deterrent factor is at best questionable.
          The draft report's views on the effectiveness of Customs
     Air Interdiction, although accurate statistically for
     the time period .analyzed, do not reflect the increasing
     potential in Customs aircraft detection capability.
     During FY 1976 substantial progress was made in improving
     or acqu1r1ng the elements of the interdiction program
     necessary to achieve maximum productivity. The North
     American Air Defense Command, and also the Federal Aviation
     Agency, have extended the agreements enabling Customs
     to utilize the long-range ground radars of those agencie s.
     Discussions with the Air Force concerning the Airborne
     Warning and Control System (AWACS), which could ultimatel y
     provide the most complete radar detection and tracking
     capability possible along our border s , have al so recently
     been undertaken.

APPENDIX V                                               APPENDIX V


           An additional problem facing the Customs Air Program,
      but not alluded to in the Draft Report, is the condition
      and quality of the aircraft available for interdiction.
      Customs has been almost completely dependent upon the
      Department of Defense for its source of interdiction
      aircraft. The light aircraft supplied to Customs since
      1971 were military surplus, generally outmoded and already
      requiring extensive maintenance to keep them operational.
      Since these aircraft have been phased out of the active
      inventory, maintenance becomes even more difficult and
      costly. To increase effectiveness against the full-range
      of smuggler aircraft, it is essential to replace these
      old and obsolete military aircraft.
             Joint Operations
           The Operations Section also raises the issue of
      lack of coordination in joint operations. The planning
      for a major joint operation is complex. Much has been
      learned from past mistakes. In the future extensive
      planning will precede the operation, covering all facets
      of coordination, resource allocation, intelligence,
      etc. Currently under review is a planning document outlining
      the procedures for controlling all s~ch operations.
             Other Issues
           Customs endorses the GAO recommendation to expand
      the use of U.S. Magistrates in the prosecution of lower-
      level drug violators. Customs has already instituted
      administrative penalties for seizures of small amounts
      of marihuana. However, most cases must await prosecution             I
      in Federal, state or local courts. If magistrates could
      be used in lower-level violator cases, the risk of prosecution
      would increase and more serious cases would receive quicker

                      [See GAO note 2, p. 100.]


APPENDIX V                                                   APP ENDIX V

                     (See GAO note 2, p. 100.]

      The final issue concerns the imposition of administrat i ve
 penalties in lieu of criminal prosecution. Customs Circular
 ENF-4-0:I:PP, dated May 27, 1976, provided guidelines
 for imposing administrative penalties on pedestrians
 crossing the border found to be carrying marihuana or hashi s h.
 This may have resulted in the situation noted by GAO at San
 Diego. Under the Circular, pedestrians are subject to
 a mitigated civil penalty, in addition to forfeiture
 of the drugs. The guidelines contained in the Circular
 as follows:
 Penalty                Amount of Marihuana             Hashish
 $25                    1 oz. or les s               7 grams o r less
 $50                    up to .5 lb.                 up to .5 o z.
 $75                    up to 1 lb.                  l\P to 1 oz.
 $100                   up to 2 lb.                  up to 2 oz.
      If the amount of drugs carried exceeds tho s e s pecified,
 the penalty is cumulative. The penalty also applies to
 passenger s on common carriers and i n vehicles.

                                                        APPENDIX V


           At the time of the GAO study the Circular had only
      been recently issued and many of Customs Districts were
      not prepared to fully implement this action. There has
      been an increasing number of administrative penalties
      throughout the country. Collections, although varying
      ~idely by locations , are generally also improving.

     GAO notes:   1.    Page numbers cited in this appendix                   /
                        may not correspond to page numbers
                        in the final report.
                   2.   Deleted comments relate to suggested
                        changes that have been made in this


                                                                     ..   I
APPENDIX VI                                                     APPENDIX VI

                         DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                             W aqhlngton. 0   20520

                                                      August 22, 1977

    Mr. J. K. Fasick
    International Division
    U.S. General Accounting Office
    Washington, D. c. 20548
    Dear Mr. Fasick:
    I am replying to your letter of July 19, 1977, which
    forwarded copies of the draft report: "Illegal Entry
    at United States-Mexico Border--Multiagency Enforcement
    Ef forta Have Not Been Effective in Stemming The Flow
    of Drugs and People".
    The enclosed comments were prepared by the Deputy Senior
    Advisor for International Narcotics Matters.
    We appreciate having had the opportunity to review and
    comment on the draft report. If I may be of further
    assistance, I trust you will let me know.

                                        Sin~~rel~j/        ,

                                            el L. Williamson, Jr.
                                        Deputy Assistant Secretary
                                        for Budget and Finance
    Enclosure:   As stated

APPENDIX VI                                           APPENDIX VI


       The Department of State agreeP with the recommendations
  made in the GAO Report and support ~ the thesis that an inte-
  grated strategy for border control is needed. The Department
  further agrees with the specific recommendation of the report
  that the U.S. Mission in Mexico should expand the narcotics
  control action plan to include program goals and specific
  objectives for supporting border interdiction efforts, and
  design a program for developing information to assist in
  intercepting smugglers at the border (see iii and Chapter 4).
  Since the report was written and the authors of the report
  made their visit to the Mission in Mexico City in 1976, the
  Embassy has been developing joint planning with the Mexican
  Government directed at the achievement of these objectives.
        A Mission narcotics strategy paper more comprehensive
  than the narcotics control action plan was prepared in
  December 1976, which proposed common u.s.-Mexica drug control
  goals for the long-run period and described general steps to
  reach the agreed upon goals, including greater emphasis on
  interdiction. This paper is being revised to reflect the
  increased commitment and efforts of the new Mexican Adminis-
  tration. Additionally, the Embassy is carrying on negotia-
  tions with the Mexican Attorney General's office to develop
  a cooperative, rational and realistic Mexican proqram of
  goals - of the new Mexican Administration for the full six-year
  period of the new Administration. Consideration of appro-
  priate resource levels of the United States Government and        I
  the Mexican Government in order to carry out the long-range
  program, to meet required time frames and develop mutual
  evalua tion criteria; is part of this planning exercise. The
  joint planning approach is expected to increase Mexican ef fec-
  ti veness in controlling narcotics along the U.S.-Mexican
  border. It should also promote the development of needed
  intelligence and its exchange between the two governments.
       Following are specific comments relating to selected
  areas of the report that need clarification, qualification,
  or classification:
          - - Pg. 27: The last sentence on Page 27 states that
   the Government of Mexico provides l i mited cooperation in the
   deve lopment and exchange of narcotics intelligence with the
   U. S . Mission. In view of the increased commitment of the

APPENDIX YI                                                    APPENDIX VI


   new Mexican Administration, this statement should be revised
   to reflect more positively on the Mexican efforts in intel-
   ligence cooperation.
        -- Pg. 28: The comments in the first paragraph on Page
   28 concerning the lack of development and exchange of nar-
   cotics ~ntelliqence is out of date, in view of actions that
   have taken place later in 1976 and 1977 within the Mission
   to strengthen this part of the program.
        -- Pg. 29: The last paragraph criticizes Mexican efforts
   in the narcotics intelligence field. This statement is no
   longer considered valid, in view of the Mexican Attorney
   General's actions in reorganizing his narcotics intelligence
   effort. The same applies for the last statement on Page 29,
   in which consultations between the Mission and the Attorney
   General's office have focused on needed assistance for devel-
   oping Mexican capability in narcotics intelligence ..
        -- Pg. 30: We suggest that the report use more recent
   data concerning cooperation on specific exchanges of intel-
   ligence between DEA in Mexico and the Attorney General's

                                      W 11am B. Gr         t
                                Deputy Senior Advis
                             International Narcot-..;.a.,....191G


APPENDIX VII                                                   PPENDIX VII

                              WAllll•TON, D.C. 20110

                                Novenber 3, 1977
rot .-1111JUTtGR

  Mr. Henry Eschwege
  01 rector, C~ni ty and Econcmt c
     Develop11ent Division
  U.S. General Accounting Office
  Washington, o.c. 20548

  Dear Mr. Eschwege:
  I •    forward1 ng for your consideration the Department of Transportation
  (DOT) response to the draft report 111 911 Entry at united States-Mexico
  Border.                                                 -          -

  As a •tter of general coment on the entire study. som significant
  policy, •nage•nt and organizational problttlS affecting Federal law
  enforcnent activities on the southwest borG!r were identified. Speci-
  fically, the proble• SHllS to be N.l•rGUS cases Of Jurisdiction overlap
  and duplication of effort between the United Stites Cust     Service         I
  and the llllllgration and Naturalization Service (INS). However, the
  report does have several shortcOlltngs both in its approach and substance.
  One of the report's rec~ndlt1ons would have the Director, Office
  of Manage•nt and Budget (CMS) and the Di rector, Office of Drug Abuse
  Policy (ODAP) together with the Attorney General, Secretary of the
  Treasury, and other depart nt heads having responsibility for border
  law enforce•nt, develop a "plan" and •strategy" for border control.
  This rec~ndat1on has already been 111pl-nted ._. the President's
  Reorganization Project has circulated for COllllnt a set of options
  to be forwarded to the President for better •nagtng the entire border.
  These options were developed from an ODAP study on border nage nt.
  As the report indicates, 1'1Y border interdiction effort relies heavily
  on intelligence support; the need for mre and better inte111gene
  1s basic to good border •n1gement. However, the report does not
  aggressively pursue the ujor shortcoming of the El Paso Intelligence
  Center (EPIC).

APPENDIX VII                                               APPENDIX VII


The report also states U.1t •re wocat1on or suspenston of 1 pilot• s
He nse has little deterrent effect on 1fr drug smuggling. While this
may be 1 valid obsenatton, tt ts not 1 profound analysts of the enforce-
•nt prabl• of 1nterdtcttng atr drug       gglers. The lick of effect1 -
ness of current efforts should mre appropriately center around the
tactical thods (or lUk of)       loyed by t9'e Custom and DEA 11 r-t nter-
d1ct1on operations. At the present tt , proposals to -ncl Title YI of
the Federal Av11t1on Act to include cr1111na1 sanctions against pilots
who knawtngly Ind •111tngly engage tn fllegal acth1ttes IS c,.., _..rs
of a U.S. ctwtl aircraft •tthout appropriate and valid ptlot cert1ftcates
are under rewt• •tthtn DOT.
The GAO report concludes th •r1ne clnlg 1ntercHct1on progr• hlS
hid s. . success but there ts 1 need for increased cooperation and
progr• f ntegratton. However, the report fatls to ntton that the
C~stcm Patrol has pr1•'1 responstb111ty for the tnterdtctfon of
smuggling att•ts along the water borders of the United States.
The U.S. Coast Guard, IS one of sever 1 pri•ry llfsstons, supports
the •rtne drug 1nterdtct1on effort. It should be noted that the
ODAP/tllS stu• judged Coast Guard upport of these efforts to be
satisfactory and responsive.
In conclusion, the Dtj;artmlnt of Tr1nsport1tton rol tn border 1
enforc-nt ts one of support. While these Kthtttes are 1 relatively
111111 percentage of the FAA and Coast Guard operations, we place 1
htgh prtoritl on th tr perforwnce. We expect to continue this support
with a view toward asststtng the drug 1nterctictton efforts to our
•xi.,. capability.

                              Edward   w.   cott, Jr.

 PPENDIX VII I                                           APP       DIX VIII

                             -            -         --

                     DISCUSSED IN THIS REPORT
                                                           of off ice
                      DEPARTMENT 0   JUSTICE
    Griffin 8. B                          Jan.      1977       Pr         nt
    Richard L. Thornburgh (acting)        J n.      1977       J    n.     1977
    Edw rd H. Levi                          b.      197S       J n.        1977
    William B. S                          J n.      1974           eb.     1975
    Robert H. Bork, Jr. (acting)          Oct.      1973       J n.        1974
    Elliot L. Rich _rdson                 M y       1973       Oct.        1973
    Richard G. l ndien t                  Jun       1972       Apr.        1973
    Richard G. l ·ndien t ( cting)          b.      1969            b.     1972
    John N. Mitch 1                       J    n.    969            b.     1972
    Peter 8. 8 n inger                   F b.        97S       Pr sent
    Peter 8. B n nger (acting)           J n.       1975         b. 1975
    Henry S. Dogin (acting)               Jun       1974             1975
    John R.   rt l , Jr.                  Oct.      1973             1974
    John R. Bartl , Jr. (acting)          July      1973             1973

   Leonel C stillo                        ov.        976                 ent
   Leonard F. Ch    an, Jr.              Nov.       1973                   1976
   James F. Gr n ( _ct i ng )            Apr.       1973                   1973
   Raymond F. F rr 11                    J n.       1962                   1973
    w. Michael 8lu nthal                 Jan.       1977       Pr        ent
     illi m E. s·                        May        1974       J n.        1977
    George P. Shu                        Jun        1972         y         1974
    John 8. Conn                          F    ~.   1971                   1972
    D v id M.                            J     n.   1969                   1971
  Robert E. Ch    n                                 1977       Pr   nt
  G. R. Dick r on (acting)                          1977       J ly 1977
  Vernon D. er                                      1972       Apr.  1977
  Edwin P. i in (acting)                            1972       My          1972
  Myles J. Amb o                                    1969        b.         1972
        APPENDIX VIII                                                  APPENDIX VIII

                                                              Tenure o     off ice
                                                              Fram -              To

                                   DEPARTMENT OF STATE
            Cyrus Vance                                 J n.  1977         Present
            Henry A. Kissinger                          Sept. 1973         Jan. 1977
            William P. R09ers                           Jan..    1969      Sept. 1973
            Dean Rusk                                   J n.     1961      Jan.  1969

                            EXECUTIVE OFFICE OP _reE PRESIDENT
          AND BUDGET:
            James T. Mcintyre, Jr. (acting)             Sept. 1977         Present
            Bert Lance                                  Jan. 1977          &ept. 1977
            James T. Lynn                               Feb .. 1975        Jan.  1977
            Roy L. Ash                                  Feb. 1973          Feb.        1975
            Caspar W. weinber9er                        June 1972          Feb.        1973
            Peter Bourne                                Jan.     19·17     Present
            Mazie Pope (acting)                         Mar.     1976      Jan.        1977

                              DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
            Brock Adams                                 Jan.     1977      Present
            Wi liam T. Cole an. Jr.                     Mar.     1977      Jan. 1977
            John W. Barnum (acting)                     Feb.     1975      Mar. 1977
            Claude s. Brinegar                          Feb ..   1973      Feb. 1975
            John A. Vo lp
                        1                               Jan.     1969      Feb. 1973
                             FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATlON
            Langhorne M. Bond                           My       1977      Present
            Quinton S. Taylor (acting)                  Mar.     1977      May   1977
            John L. MeLucas                             Nov ..   1975      Mr.   1977
            J mes E. Dow ( ctin9)                       Apr ..   1975      Nov.        1975
            Alexander Butterfield                       Mar.     1973      Mar.        197 5
            John H. Shaffer                             Mar.     1969      Mar.        1973

                                    U.S. COAST GUARD
            Admiral OWen        • Siler                 May      1974      Present



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