'1 4 (1. I’t~ittvl Stattbs (~~~tt(~~~ili(~~~otttt~itt~Of’ f’iw __ 1I v . ) ItflpoY’ t.0t.hc f~I ""." I.. .." l_l.. ..I .-. .,.. ----___-- ..I._.._.... ._. .. .._......--.-- I GAO S;m hnn, IonoYxt)le (l~a,irman, IWmttncnt~ DRUG INTERDICTION Funding Continues to Increase but Program Effectiveness Is Unknown 142928 RELEASED RESTIUCTED--Not to be released outside the General Accounting OfYice unless specifically approved by the OffIce of Congressional Relations, United States GAO General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. 20648 General Government Division B-241634 December 11, 1990 The Honorable Sam Nunn Chairman, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Committee on Governmental Affairs United States Senate Dear Mr. Chairman: This report responds to your request for information on federal pro- grams to interdict illicit drugs being smuggled into the United States. These programs are designed to stop smugglers and/or their shipments at the borders by focusing on the mode of transportation used by smug- glers and are thus referred to as land, marine, air, and commercial cargo interdiction programs. You were concerned that information indicating which interdiction programs work and which do not is not available to help Congress allocate federal resources in the drug war. As agreed with the Subcommittee, our objectives were to provide infor- mation on (1) the available measures of drug interdiction program per- formance and whether performance can be compared between different programs, (2) funding for the interdiction programs, (3) quantities of drugs seized through the interdiction programs, and (4) the relationship between drug seizures and the use of advance information (prior intelli- gence) on the drug shipments. Although the federal agencies and the Office of National Drug Control Results in Brief Policy monitor drug interdiction program accomplishments and costs, they have not yet identified a good way to measure and compare the performance of different programs. This is recognized as a long-standing problem that has proven difficult to resolve. For example, while the agencies generally view increased seizures as an indicator of program success, a decrease in seizures does not necessarily mean a program is less effective than it was previously or less effective than other pro- grams making more seizures. Such decreases may be due to a variety of factors that could be equated with a program’s success, such as that the drug interdiction programs may have deterred some smugglers from bringing illegal drugs into our country and/or caused other smugglers to switch from one mode of transportation to another or to change their tactics. Because good measures of program performance have yet to be developed, it is not possible to determine accurately whether resources are being appropriately allocated to fight the drug war. Page 1 GAO/GGBBl-10 Drug Interdiction t B-241634 Available data indicate that total drug interdiction funding has increased about 40 percent (to over $2 billion) in fiscal year 1990 over the funding that the federal agencies-Customs Service, the Coast Guard, the Border Patrol, and the Department of Defense (DOD)- received for drug interdiction in fiscal year 1989. From fiscal years 1987 through 1989, the quantities of drugs seized by these agencies varied. For example, while the amount of marijuana seized by the Border Patrol interdiction program in 1989 was more than double that seized in 1987, the amount seized by the Coast Guard program was down about 76 per- cent over the same period. The types of drugs seized during that period also varied-the quantity of marijuana seized decreased by about 68 percent, and the quantity of cocaine seized increased by about 103 per- cent. According to the agency officials, prior intelligence was involved in several drug seizures included in our sample of larger seizures, but most seizures occurred during routine interdiction, In general, drug interdiction involves detecting potential smugglers and/ Background or their cargoes, sorting smugglers from legitimate travelers, inter- cepting and tracking them to the final destination, and apprehending t,hem. To do this, the federal government has established interdiction programs, which are run by Customs, the Coast Guard, and the Border Patrol, with assistance provided by DOD. The federal drug interdiction programs carried out by these agencies focus on particular modes of transportation used by smugglers. Customs has an air, a marine, and an inspection and control drug interdiction pro- gram. Under the inspection and control program, Customs is responsible for drug interdiction in commercial cargo and on persons entering and leaving the United States. The Border Patrol’s interdiction program focuses on the land transportation mode, and the Coast Guard’s program has a combined air/marine focus. Support activities to assist the agen- cies in their interdiction responsibilities are provided by DOD. Although generally prohibited by law from direct participation in an interdiction, search and seizure, or arrest, DOD is the lead federal agency for the detection and monitoring of aerial and maritime transit of illegal drugs into the United States. DOD is also authorized to provide law enforcement officials with support, such as equipment and personnel. In addition, information on drug smuggling activities is provided to law enforcement agencies by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Intelligence Center. Page 2 GAO/GGDBl-10 Drug Interdiction B34M34 The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 established, among other things, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in the Executive Office of the President. The Director, ONDCP, is responsible for developing and implementing a national drug control strategy, including a complete list of goals, objectives, and priorities for reducing the supply of and demand for drugs. In this role, ONDCP has close and continuing contact with federal agencies involved in the “drug war,” including the interdic- tion agencies. Setting budget priorities is a responsibility of ONDCP. It sets priorities for federal efforts, and reviews and certifies that drug budget submissions to ONDCP from the agencies are adequate to implement the objectives of the National Drug Strategy. Certainty in deciding budget priorities and where resources should be allocated is dependent on knowing how well the interdiction programs are doing. The objectives of this report are to provide the following information: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology - . a description of available measures of drug interdiction program per- formance and whether such measures can be used to compare the per- formance of the different interdiction programs, . the funding for each interdiction program for fiscal years 1989 and 1990, . the quantities of drugs seized during fiscal years 1987 through 1989, and l information on fiscal year 1989 drug seizures attributable to agencies having prior intelligence on the illegal drug shipments. To obtain background information on the interdiction programs and to identify the types and sources of available information, we interviewed headquarters officials at Customs, the Border Patrol, the Coast Guard, DOD, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Inves- tigation, ONDCP, and Interpol. Regarding measurement of interdiction program performance, we met with officials from each interdiction program and OND~P to discuss what indicators are used to measure program performance and how well they measure that performance. To understand program operations, we vis- ited the Border Patrol and Customs units in El Paso, Texas, and the Cus- toms marine enforcement and seaport commercial cargo inspection Page 3 GAO/GGD-91-10 Drug Interdiction facilities in Miami, Florida. We also met with Border Interdiction Com- mittee representatives in Washington, D.C. This committee was estab- lished in 1987 to coordinate the writing of a strategy for drug interdiction under the auspices of the National Drug Policy Board, one of the predecessors to ONDCP. It has become a forum where federal interdic- tion agency representatives meet monthly to discuss policy and opera- tions coordination. We also visited the Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Intelligence Center and Operation Alliance in El Paso, Texas. Operation Alliance provides for coordinating mul- tiagency efforts to interdict drugs and other illegal contraband along the United States-Mexico border. We obtained budget data from the Border Patrol, Customs, the Coast Guard, DOD, the Office of Management and Budget, and ONDCP. Budget data are shown only for fiscal years 1989 and 1990 because these were the most recent years for which comparable data were available. We obtained drug seizure data from the Border Patrol, Customs, and the Coast Guard for fiscal years 1987 through 1989. DOD is generally prohib- ited from making drug seizures and apprehensions. The seizure data covered the most recent years for which each interdiction program had readily available information. To examine the role that prior intelligence played in the amount of drugs seized, we obtained lists of drug seizures made during fiscal year 1989 from Customs, the Coast Guard, and the Border Patrol. We limited these lists to cocaine and marijuana seizures because these were the two drugs for which all agencies maintained seizure data, Since the Subcom- mittee was primarily interested in larger seizures, we further restricted the universe for review to seizures above selected numbers of pounds, as shown in table 1. Seizures of these sizes were considered to be signifi- cant by the agencies. To further focus on the larger seizures, we limited the list of commercial cargo seizures to containerized cargo seizures. The universe that we identified totaled 903 seizures and was selected from listings of seizures provided to us by the agencies. Because of problems we discovered with Customs’ marine seizure data, we excluded this pro- gram from the prior intelligence portion of our study.’ This resulted in a final universe of 833 seizures. 1During our review, we became aware of inconsistencies in seizure data provided by Customs marine program officials. For example, of three drug seizures listed as Customs’ marine seizures, two were actually Coast Guard seizures and one was a Customs air program seizure. Page 4 GAO/GGD-91-10 Drug Intmdktion 5241634 il Table 1: Drug Threshold Criteria for Sample Universe Agency/program Cocaine (Ibs.) Marijuana (Ibs.) Customs’ air program 1 1 Customs’ marine program 100 1,000 Customs’ commercial cargo program 140 300 Border Patrol 1 190 Coast Guard 1 1 W ithin each interdiction program, we judgmentally selected seizures for review. While the sampling process was judgmental to ensure the inclu- sion of the largest seizures plus a selection of smaller seizures, we had no foreknowledge of whether prior intelligence or routine interdiction prompted the seizure. From the universe of 833 seizures, we judg- mentally selected a total sample of 136 seizures from the 4 interdiction programs and obtained and reviewed information on the use of prior intelligence for these seizures. We obtained the information through a structured data collection instrument on which agency officials indi- cated whether each seizure was the result of prior intelligence or routine interdiction. The results obtained cannot be generalized beyond the par- ticular cases studied. We did not verify the accuracy of the data provided by the agencies. We did our work from August 1989 to August 1990 in accordance with gen- erally accepted government auditing standards. Drug interdiction program funding has increased and, according to Drug Interdiction ONDCP officials, there has been no effort to compare performance of dif- Programs Lack ferent interdiction programs because of the lack of comparable criteria. Criteria to Compare They said that comparisons are not feasible because of the nature of the programs, shortcomings in the existing data, and the fact that each pro- Performance gram is unique. However, at the agency level, officials said they do attempt to measure the performance of their own interdiction programs by using a variety of indicators. Measurement Problems Agency officials recognize that there are problems in measuring the per- formance of drug interdiction programs. For example, they said that the amount of illegal drugs crossing our borders is not known; the deterrent Y effect of interdiction programs is difficult to measure; there is double Page 5 GAO/GGDBl-10 Drug Interdiction E241024 r counting among agencies of the quantities of drugs seized; and it is diffi- cult to quantify interdiction efforts in relation to results when an agency’s primary mission may be other than drug interdiction. W ithout knowing the amount of illegal drugs being smuggled across our national borders, neither the percentage of illegal drugs being inter- dicted nor the effectiveness of the interdiction programs in reducing the amount of illegal drugs can be readily determined. We pointed out in a special report2 that data used to prepare estimates of drug availability and consumption are generally not designed to measure program effectiveness. Measuring the deterrent effect of interdiction programs is another problem. Agency officials believed that the existence of drug interdic- tion programs does deter some smugglers from bringing illegal drugs into our country and causes other smugglers to switch from one mode of transportation to another or change their tactics. One example, according to various agency officials, is the air interdiction program, which they believed has caused smugglers, who previously flew illegal drug cargoes into Florida, to now fly their cargoes into northern Mexico and move their drugs by land across our southwest border. Agency offi- cials believed that all of the interdiction programs have some deterrent effect but conceded that it is difficult to measure the impact of deterrence. Another measurement problem concerns the data reporting procedures of the drug interdiction agencies. When a drug seizure results from the coordinated efforts of more than one agency, any and all agencies involved in the seizure may record the seizure. Agency officials said that the rationale for this “double counting” is that each agency involved expended resources and therefore should be entitled to include the results in its statistics. While agency officials acknowledged the prac- tice, data are not now available on how often or in which instances this double counting occurs. Finally, it is difficult to assess the effect of an interdiction program when an agency’s primary mission is other than drug interdiction. For example, the Coast Guard has several major roles, ranging from “search and rescue” to “maritime law enforcement,” with drug interdiction being part of its broader responsibilities. Thus, when the Coast Guard boards a vessel and makes a drug seizure, that boarding may be made %ontrolling Drug Abuse: A Status Report (GAO/GGD-88-39, Mar. 1, 1988). Page 6 GAO/GGD-91-10 Drug Interdiction B-241934 for the purpose of enforcing US, laws and treaties and not solely for drug interdiction purposes. For the Coast Guard, and for other multipur- pose agencies, it is difficult to separate the routine costs of carrying out primary missions from interdiction costs or to attribute a seizure to the interdiction effort as distinct from the primary mission. Yet, for more informed budgeting or resource allocation decisions, such attributions would be required. We discussed the difficulties in making such attribu- tions in a recent report.3 Even when a program’s purpose is clearly interdiction, the cost effec- tiveness of interdiction alternatives is not easily determined. This is because seizure data currently available reflect only the results from successful interdiction attempts, not unsuccessful ones. It is not known how many cases of prior intelligence failed to uncover drugs nor how many staff hours were expended on each interdiction attempt. If agen- cies maintained these data, decisionmakers would have a better basis for understanding outcomes and be able to make more informed judg- ments about allocation of scarce resources. Agencies Use Different Each interdiction agency attempts to measure the performance of its Indicators to Measure own interdiction program. Most of these assessments consist of year-to- year comparisons of drug seizures. However, the Customs air program Performance goes beyond this and attempts to measure total air program results. Cus- toms officials have developed a series of indicators associated with air smuggling activities, such as drug-related aircraft seizures, that are intended to measure the overall effectiveness of its air interdiction pro- gram, including the deterrent effect. Customs is continuing to develop this system. (See app. I for a description of the different program assessments.) The federal budget for drug interdiction increased from $1.47 billion in Federal F’unds fiscal year 1989 to about $2.03 billion in fiscal year 1990, an increase of Budgeted for about 40 percent, with the largest increases going to DOD and Customs. Interdiction Have DOD funding increased from $356.7 million in fiscal year 1989 to $793.5 million in fiscal year 1990. The amount budgeted for Customs increased Increased from $4‘27.0 million to $512.9 million over this same time period. (See tables II. 1, 11.5,11.7,and II.9 for budget authority figures by fiscal year.) 3Developing a Federal Drug Budget: Implementing the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (GAO/ - 0 - 104, Aug. 23, 1990). Page 7 GAO/GGD-91-10 Drug Interdiction B-241694 Except for the Border Patrol, the quantity of marijuana seized decreased Quantities of Drugs between fiscal years 1987 and 1989. Cocaine seizures for all programs SeizedVaried by increased during this time period. (See figs. 1 and 2 and tables 11.2,11.3, Program and Type of 11.4,11.6,and II.8 for drug seizure information by fiscal year.) Dr% An increase in the quantity of drugs seized is considered an indicator of a drug interdiction program’s success. However, a decrease in the quan- tity of drugs seized does not mean that a program is less effective than it was previously or less effective than other interdiction programs seizing more drugs. It could mean that smugglers are switching to other modes of transportation to get their illegal drugs into the United States. A specific example of the quantity of drugs seized varying between interdiction programs is the Border Patrol and Coast Guard interdiction programs. The quantity of marijuana seized by the Border Patrol interdiction program in fiscal year 1989 was more than double that seized in fiscal year 1987. Conversely, the quantity of marijuana seized by the Coast Guard interdiction program went down about 76 percent over this same time period. Page 9 GAO/GGD-91-10 Drug Interdiction Flgure 1: Quantity of Marljuana Seized ‘\ l ----e?y. m$ppm<amml' 1 - .~,,.~.mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmr~~~mmg 19B7 1988 1089 Flaoal Year - Custome-cargo -1-1 Customs-air m Customs-marlne n n n n Border Patrol --- CeastGud Notes: Quantities shown for Customs’ cargo program only include seizures from commercial cargo. The aggregate total of drugs seized by the individual Customs drug interdiction programs does not equal the Customs national total because of discrepancies between the individual programs’ recording systems and Customs’ national recording system. Quantities shown for the Border Patrol include all marijuana seized, including quantities that were less than the threshold criteria used for our prior intelligence sample. Sources: Customs, Coast Guard, and Border Patrol. Page 9 GAO/GGD-9140 Drug Interdiction ,’ ./, I’ E-241624 Figure 2: Quantity of Cocaine Seized 80 Pound8 Salzad In Thousands 0 1967 1988 Fberl Yur - Customs-cargo ---- Customs-air m Customs-marina mmmm Border Patrol 1.1 CoastGuad Note: The aggregate total of drugs seized by the individual Customs drug interdiction programs does not equal the Customs national total because of discrepancies between the individual programs’ recording systems and Customs’ national recording system. Sources: Customs, Coast Guard, and Border Patrol. Prior intelligence refers to having specific details on a particular drug Prior Intelligence shipment-for example, a description of the smugglers and/or convey- Involved in Seizures ance, or the specific date and location of a shipment-before it reaches the U.S. borders. This intelligence could come from such sources as informants and investigative work. W ithin our sample we found differences among programs and their use of prior intelligence, although the findings are not generalizable to the programs overall. For example, our sample results showed that the Coast Guard used prior intelligence in 8 out of the 9 cocaine seizures and 8 out of the 10 marijuana seizures that we reviewed. For both drugs, the seizures that resulted from prior intelligence accounted for over 90 per- cent of the quantity of drugs seized (see app. III). Page 10 GAO/GGDBl-10 Drug Interdiction B241634 In contrast, our sample results also showed that none of the other interdiction programs used prior intelligence in a majority of their seizures. For example, the Customs commercial cargo program used prior intelligence in 1 out of the 10 cocaine seizures that we reviewed, accounting for 5 percent of the seized quantity of drugs. The program used prior intelligence in one out of the eight marijuana seizures in our sample, and this seizure accounted for 18 percent of the seized quantity of drugs. Our sample results on prior intelligence were consistent across drug types. For both marijuana and cocaine, the Coast Guard used prior intel- ligence in the majority of seizures, followed by the Customs air program, the Border Patrol, and the Customs commercial cargo program. Drug interdiction programs established by the Coast Guard, Customs, Conclusions and the Border Patrol, with support provided by DOD, are designed to stop smugglers and/or their shipments before they arrive in the United States or at U.S. borders by focusing on the mode of transportation. While available data indicate that funding for these programs in fiscal year 1990 has increased by about 40 percent, to more than $2 billion, over that budgeted for fiscal year 1989, it is difficult to measure and compare performance among the programs. This is because, while increased seizures are generally viewed as an indicator of program suc- cess, a decrease in seizures does not necessarily mean a program is less effective than it was previously or less effective than other programs making more seizures. Such decreases may be due to other factors-pro- grams may have deterred some smugglers from bringing illicit drugs into our country or caused other smugglers to switch from one mode of transportation to another. Because of these difficulties, no one can be certain whether resources are being appropriately allocated among the various drug interdiction programs. Our sample results showed that most drug seizures were due to routine interdiction, but that the relationship between seizures and the use of prior intelligence varies according to the particular interdiction pro- gram. Only the Coast Guard used prior intelligence in a majority of the seizures included in our sample. We discussed a draft of this report with officials of Customs, the Coast Agency Comments Guard, the Border Patrol, DOD, and ONDCP. These officials generally Page 11 GAO/GGDBl-10 Drug Interdiction , 5241634 , agreed with the information presented, and we incorporated their com- ments where appropriate. As arranged with the Subcommittee, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days after the date of this letter, unless you publicly release its contents earlier. After 30 days, we will send copies to the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; the U.S. Attorney General; and the Secretaries of Defense, Treasury, and Transportation, and will make copies available to others upon request. The major contributors to this report are listed in appendix IV. If you have any questions about the report, please call me at 27543389. Sincerely yours, Lowell Dodge Director, Administration of Justice Issues Page 12 GAO/GGD-91-10 Drug Interdiction ‘. Page 18 GAO/GGD-9140 Drug Interdiction 1 Contents Letter 1 Appendix I 16 Agencies Use U.S. Customs Service 16 17 Different Indicators to i*z’~~~~~~~~~ol 17 Measure Performance ’* Appendix II 18 Financial and Drug Seizure Information Appendix III Summary of Sample Results Appendix IV 23 Major Contributors to This Report - Tables Table 1: Drug Threshold Criteria for Sample Universe 6 Table II. 1: U.S. Customs Service Drug Interdiction Budget, 18 Fiscal Years 1989 and 1990 Table 11.2:U.S. Customs Service Drug Seizure 18 Information-Inspection and Control Commercial Cargo Interdiction Program, Fiscal Years 1987, 1988, and 1989 Table 11.3: U.S. Customs Service Drug Seizure 19 Information-Air Interdiction Program, Fiscal Years 1987,1988, and 1989 Table 11.4: U.S. Customs Service Drug Seizure 19 Information-Marine Interdiction Program, Fiscal Years 1987,1988, and 1989 Table 11.6: U.S. Border Patrol Drug Interdiction Budget, 19 Fiscal Years 1989 and 1990 Table 11.6:US. Border Patrol Drug Seizure Information, 20 Fiscal Years 1987, 1988, and 1989 Page 14 GAO/GGD-91-10 Drug Interdiction 1 Contenta T a b l e 1 1 .7 U : S . C o a s t G u a r d D r u g In terdiction B u d g e t, 20 Fiscal Y e a r s 1 9 8 9 a n d 1 9 9 0 T a b l e 1 1 .8 U : .S . C o a s t G u a r d D r u g S e i z u r e In fo r m a tio n , 20 Fiscal Y e a r s 1 9 8 7 , 1 9 8 8 , a n d 1 9 8 9 T a b l e 1 1 .9 D : e p a r tm e n t o f D e fe n s e D r u g In terdiction 21 B u d g e t, Fiscal Y e a r s 1 9 8 9 a n d 1 9 9 0 T a b l e III. 1 : G A O S a m p l e Results 22 Figures Figure 1 : Q u a n tity o f M a r i j u a n a S e i z e d 9 Figure 2 : Q u a n tity o f C o c a i n e S e i z e d 10 A b b r e v i a tio n s DOD D e p a r tm e n t o f D e fe n s e GAO G e n e r a l A c c o u n tin g O ffice ONDCP O ffice o f N a tio n a l D r u g C o n trol Policy Page15 G A O /G G D - 9 1 4 0 D r u g Interdiction Agencies Use Different Indicators to T I* Measure Petiormance Each interdiction agency attempts to measure the performance of its own drug interdiction programs. Generally, these assessments include a comparison of drugs seized on a year-to-year basis. The U.S. Customs Service, however, has designed a system to measure the performance of its air interdiction program using aircraft seizures and other program indicators. Customs operates three interdiction programs. Each is evaluated inde- U.S. Customs Service pendently of the others using different indicators to measure perform- ance. For example, the air interdiction program uses several indicators associated with drug smuggling activity, which include reports of planes flying into US. air space at the national borders, aircraft seizures, air- craft crashes, stolen aircraft, and the number of law enforcement alert messages for suspicious aircraft. These indicators are numerically weighted and consolidated to graphi- cally form a “threat level,” which represents the airborne drug smug- gling threat to different areas of the United States. The air program has divided the U.S. borders into sectors to geographically identify where border intrusions are occurring. This information has been used to real- locate air resources to areas showing indications of increased smuggling activity or to determine whether additional resources are needed and where they should be located. The information has also been used as indicators of the deterrent effect of Customs’ air interdiction program. For example, according to a Customs prepared document, the graphic portrayal of the smuggling threat compared to the level of resources assigned to the Customs air interdiction program over time has shown a correlation between the expanding resources and a diminishing smug- gling threat. Recently, Customs contracted with two vendors to study the validity of its air interdiction program’s assessment system. An agency official said the studies have been completed; one report has been issued and one report is still in draft form. The official said that both studies confirmed that the indicators and how they are used by Customs’ air interdiction program are valid, but the reports make recommendations for further refinements to the system. Customs’ marine program is responsible for carrying out smuggling investigations, such as undercover or sting operations, as a means to accomplish its overall mission, including its drug interdiction responsi- bilities. Because of this, officials said it is difficult to evaluate drug Page 16 GAO/GGD-91-10 Drug Interdiction Appendix I Agencies Uoe Miyerent Indicator t41 Meewe Performance interdiction by itself. Several indicators are used to measure the success of the total marine program. These include the number of drug seizures and amounts seized, how frequently Customs vessels are used, and the number of investigations that target groups associated with marine smuggling. The assessment for the marine program is based on the expenditure of resources compared to the amount of drug seizures and the number and types of investigations carried out. Customs’ inspection and control commercial cargo program uses quan- tity of drugs seized as an indicator to measure performance. Factors that affect the quantity seized include the number of containers inspected, the number of commercial cargo carriers that participate in inspecting containers for drugs prior to shipment (participating carriers have cooperative arrangements with Customs and examine their own vessels for illegal drugs), and the enforcement criteria used to decide which containers to inspect, such as the country where the shipment originated and the product being shipped. The Coast Guard measures the performance of its interdiction program U.S. Coast Guard through the quantity of drugs seized; the number of seizures; and the number of boardings, arrests, and vessels seized. In determining the per- formance, the agency looks at the entire interdiction picture, including other indicators such as street price and level of purity of cocaine and marijuana. If drug seizures are down and the level of effort is up, as was the situation in 1989, the agency concludes that its interdiction program is effective and that smugglers have been deterred or have changed tactics. The Border Patrol’s primary mission is the apprehension of illegal U.S. Border Patrol aliens, not the seizure of illegal drugs. Drugs are seized as a by-product of stopping illegal aliens crossing U.S. borders. The Border Patrol prepares a monthly report that it uses to judge its overall performance and identify locations where more or fewer resources are needed. The report contains such data as alien apprehensions, the number of drug seizures, and the number of Border Patrol hours worked at each loca- tion. The assessment is based upon the amount of resources used and the amount of seizures and alien apprehensions made. Page 17 GAO/GGDI)l-10 Drug Interdiction Appendix 11 F’inancial and Drug Seizure InfWmation Table 11.1:U.S. Curtoms Service Drug interdiction Budget, Fiscal Years 1989 Dollars in millions --_-- -_~---~ -____.- ___- ~--~ and 1990 Fiscal Year interdiction oroaram budaet authoritv 1989 actual 1990 estimate Commercial cargoa ____- ---__----_- $11.3 _____- $35.3 Air 9, 184.7b 287.3b Marine --__ 58.7 44.0 InsDection and controla 59.6” 56.1d Amount for drug interdiction not identified to program 1 12.7e _____.~ -__--.- __.90.3’ Total $427.0 !E13.og aThe commercial cargo interdiction program is part of Customs’ inspection and control operations. Also included in inspection and control operations is passenger processing, canine enforcement (drug detec- tion dog program), and overhead. Budget authority shown for commercial cargo only includes those amounts budgeted for cargo examination. The balance of inspectron and control budget authority is listed separately. bThese amounts include air operations and maintenance costs and salaries and expenses Yncluded in this amount is passenger processing ($42.3 million); canine enforcement ($9.6 million); and overhead ($7.5 million). dlncluded in this amount IS passenger processing ($39.1 million); canine enforcement ($6.6 million); and overhead ($6.4 million). ‘?ncluded in this amount is interdiction investigation ($8.9 million) and overhead ($10.7 million); support ($37.8 million); and the seized assets Forfeiture Fund ($55.3 million). These amounts could not be identi fied to a specific Customs drug interdiction program. ‘Included in this amount is interdiction investigation ($6.7 million) and overhead ($12.5 million): support ($31.2 million); and Forfeiture Fund ($39.9 million). These amounts could not be identified to a specific Customs drug interdiction program. gTotal difference from ONDCP budget summary is due to rounding. Sources: Customs and National Drug Control Strategy Budget Summary, Jan. 1990 Table 11.2:US. Customs Service Drug Seizure information -Inspection and Control Commercial Cargo interdiction Program, Fiscal Years 1987.1988. and 1989 Quantity in pounds ~- ---..------- FY 1987 FY 1988 FY 1989 No. of No. of No. of Drug type .~. ---___ --.---~ .--seizures Quantity seizures Quantity seizures Quantity Marijuana .__. ..-.------- -- 57 90,762 58 ----___~---_I____c.---~ 205,574 75 03,976 Cocaine ” -.-. 30 15,234 57 __-- 40,630~-.-.-.---.--~- 74 33,704 Total 87 --___- 115 149 Notes: The aggregate total of drugs seized by the individual Customs’ drug interdiction programs-air, marine, and commercial cargo-does not equal the Customs national total because of discrepancies between the individual programs’ recording systems and Customs’ national recording system. Number of seizures and quantities seized represent only those seizures from commercial cargo. Source: Customs, Page 18 GAO/GGD-91-10 Drug Interdiction Appendix Ii Financial and Drue S&are Information Table 11.3:U.S. Customs Service Drug Seizure Information-Air Interdiction Quantity in pounds Program, Fiscal Years 1987, 1988, and Fiscal Year 1989 Drug type 1987 1988 1989 -_____---- Mariiuana auantitv seized 170.943 137.490 120.511 Cocaine quantity seized 23,240 56,545 71,104 Total number of seizuresa 139 219 203 Notes: Table data represent all drug-related seizures in which Customs’ air interdiction program resources were involved, i.e., seizures made solely by Customs’ air interdiction personnel plus seizures in which Customs’ air interdiction personnel were participants. The aggregate total of drugs seized by the individual Customs drug interdiction programs-air, marine, and commercial cargo-does not equal the Customs national total because of discrepancies between the individual programs’ recording systems and Customs’ national recording system. aNumber of seizures by type of drug was not available Source: Customs. Table 11.4:U.S. Customs Service Drug Seizure Information-Marine Interdiction Quantity in pounds ~---. Program, Fiscal Years 1987,1988, and Fiscal Year 1989 Drua tvae 1987 1988 1989 Marijuana quantity seized 963,638 790,921 159,378 Cocaine quantity seized 27,519 46,020 39,897 Notes: Table data represent all drug-related seizures in which Customs’ marine interdiction program resources were involved, i.e., seizures made solely by Customs’ marine interdiction personnel plus setzures in which Customs’ marine interdiction personnel were participants. The aggregate total of drugs seized by the individual Customs’ drug interdiction programs-air, marine, and commercial cargo-does not equal the Customs’ national total because of discrepancies between the individual programs’ recording systems and Customs’ national recording system. Source: Customs - Table 11.5:U.S. Border Patrol Drug Interdiction Budget, Fiscal Years 1989 Dollars in millions and 1990 Fiscal Year 1989 actual 1990 estimate Drua interdiction budget authority $36.9 $39.4 Source: Immigration and Naturalization Service Budget Office. Page 19 GAO/GGD91-10 Drug Interdiction Appe* II . Financial and Drug Seizure Iniormation Table 11.8:U.S. Border Patrol Drua Seizure information. Fiscal Years 1987,1988, and 1989 Quantity in pounds FY 1987 FY 1988 FY 1989 No. of No. of No. of Drug ._ type .,__- . .._.. .---_.-- .-.. - seizures Quantity seizures Quantity seizures Quantity Marijuana ..”. . ...- _._ _ - ..-. - ..-I. .---_ 2,236 209,281 2,458 321,403 4,124 504,616 Cocaine 238 12,813 375 13,006 685 25,732 Total 2.474 2.833 4.809 Note: The number of drug seizures and quantity seized represent all cocaine and marijuana seizures in which the Border Patrol was involved, i.e., seizures made solely by the Border Patrol and seizures in which the Border Patrol was a participant. Source: Border Patrol. Table 11.7:U.S. Coast Chard Drug Interdiction Budget, Fiscal Years 1989 Dollars in millions and 1990 Fiscal Year 1989 actual 1990 estimate Drug interdiction budget authority $629.5 $670.2 Source: National Drug Control Strategy Budget Summary, Jan. 1990. Table 11.8:U.S. Coaat Guard Drug Seizure Information, Fiscal Years 1987,1988, and 1989 Quantity in .-- pounds--.. -- ..___.____-__ FY 1987 FY 1988 FY 1989 No. of No. of No. of Drug type seizures -___-- Quantity seizures Quantity seizures Quantity Marijuana 222 1,390,064 223 755,352 183 328,020 Cocame 22,454 38,957 34,786 Note: The number of drug seizures and quantity seized represent all cocaine and marijuana seizures in which the Coast Guard was involved, i.e., seizures made solely by the Coast Guard and seizures in which the Coast Guard was a participant. aNumber of seizures for cocaine is not routinely tracked. Separate marijuana seizure data are main tained to track trends relating to the marijuana growing seasons, which occur twice a year. Source: Coast Guard Page 20 GAO/GGD91-10 Drug Interdiction Appendix II Fhancial and Drug Seizure Infornwtion Table 11.9:Department of Defense Drug lnterdictlon Budget, Fiscal Years 1989 Dollars in millions and 1990 Fiscal Year 1989 actual 1990 estimate Drug interdiction budget authority $356.7 $793.5 Note: DOD is generally prohibited from direct participation in an interdiction, search and seizure, arrest, or similar activity, but is the lead federal agency for the detection and monitoring of aerial and maritime transit of illegal drugs into the United States. DOD is also authorized to provide support services, such as equipment and personnel, to law enforcement agencies to aid them in carrying out their drug interdiction programs. Source: Office of the Secretary of Defense, FY 1991 President’s Budget Justification of Estimates, Feb. 1990. Page 2 1 GAO/GGB@l-10 Drug Interdiction Appendix III Summary of Sample ~Results *. 6, This appendix summarizes the interdiction agencies’ responses to our structured data collection instrument in order to explore the relation- ship between prior intelligence, interdiction, and seizure size for a judg- mentally selected sample of seizures. Table III.1 shows the universe of fiscal year 1989 drug seizures from which we drew our sample (based on larger seizures), the minimum amount of the seizures for inclusion in the sample, the number sampled from each program, the number of seizures in the sample that resulted from prior intelligence and the poundage associated with these seizures, and the number of seizures in the sample that resulted from routine interdiction and the poundage associated with these seizures. Table 111.1:GAO Sample Results Due to prior Due to routine Agency/ Interdiction Seizure Deflnitlon of seizure GAO sample intelligence interdiction program/drug universe universe seizures Seizures Pounds Seizures Pounds Coast ..-__-...._Guard -__-.._---.-- -._. --___ Air/marine I __.._” Cocaine ..~,.._ ...___. -.__- __.._. -. 59 1 oound + 9 8 10,980 1 24 Marijuana 61 1 ’pound + 10 8 141,283 2 12,791 Customs Air __..”_-_”__...___.-___-__I .._--._-- _.__ Cocaine -_.__- ._.._-.-_-..- __..-__ - 58 1 Dound + 9 3 8,503 6 16,113 Marijuana 65 1 pound ’ + 10 3 16,780 7 58,901 _.....”^_......_.____cargo8 Commercial _-__-.--___-_-_ Cocaine 10 140 pounds + 10 1 821 9 16,119 Mariiuana 8 300 oounds + 8 1 6,000 7 26,794 Border PatroF . Land .___.~..-.-..-__-.I. _._-.------___- - Cocaine 75 1 Dound + 2oc 4 1,328 16 12,008 Marijuana 497 190 pounds + 59 9 13,364 50 46,193 aPoundage shown for the “definition of seizure universe” was the smallest amount seized for cocaine and the minimum amount that would be recorded for marijuana seizures in containerized cargo in fiscal year 1989. bathe Border Patrol gave us a listing of 331 cocaine seizures and 497 marijuana seizures. We limited the cocaine universe by eliminating seizures of less than 1 pound; this gave us a universe of 75 seizures. CDocumentation for one cocaine seizure had been destroyed before we requested information on it, so the agency could not provide information as to whether the seizure was due to prior intelligence or routine interdiction, Thus the seizure was eliminated from the sample. Source: Information for this table was taken from agency-supplied documents, data collection instru- ments completed by the agencies, and calculations made by GAO. Page 22 GAO/GGDOl-10 Drug Int.erdi&n Appendix IV M&j& Contributors to This Report Weldon McPhail, Assistant Director, Administration of Justice Issues General Government Thomas L. Davies, Evaluator-in-Charge Division, Washington, Donald E. Jack, Staff Evaluator William R. Chatlos, Social Science Analyst DC. WJ6781) Page 22 GAO/GGD-91-10 Drug Interdiction jl II ~j 1 --_-..-- --___ -_-._- _ ‘1 Ordwitig Ittf’ortttatiott ‘fht~ first, five copies of euch GAO report are free. Addifioual copies at-t’ $2 each. Orders should be sent. to the following address, accon~- pattitvl by a check or money order made out t,o the IS;uperint.ettdettt of I~ocutnt~ttts, when necessary. Orders for 100 or more copies to be tttailtxj t,o a single address are discounted 25 percent.. ITS. 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Drug Interdiction: Funding Continues to Increase but Program Effectiveness Is Unknown
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-12-11.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)