Many maritime smugglers use panga boats, 20-40 foot fishing vessels that are made of fiberglass and difficult to detect. "This, coupled with the sheer size of California's coastline, means that most panga discoveries are made either through tips or by happenstance," says a report issued by California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
"They're very polite to me, but every now and again when they're not so polite, the term 'hypocrite' gets into the discussion," Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, the SOUTHCOM commander, told the House Armed Services Committee.
News of the Saturday arrest by Mexican authorities of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán, the long-sought billionaire leader of the country's preeminent transnational crime organization, was met quickly by calls among some U.S. federal officials and politicians that he be tried in the United States.
A prerequisite to tackling the drug trafficking threat to the United States mainland posed by Puerto Rico is resolving systemic economic problems, says a report published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The Justice Department unsealed Monday a criminal indictment against two men accused of using the busted dark web, online drug market site Silk Road to launder more than $1 million via a virtual currency for drug trafficking purposes.
A plan by the Mexican government to create a National Gendarmerie staffed with Army and Navy personnel to better assert law and order over violence-plagued parts of the country has whittled down to a plan to create a new division within the Federal Police in 2014.
The Coast Guard conducted a 2 week deployment of a small unmanned aerial vehicle onboard the National Security Cutter USCG Bertholf, logging more than 90 hours of flight time, the service announced earlier this month.
An annual report on drug trafficking and consumption warns that a maritime route for smuggling heroin from southwest Asia via East and West African ports may be gaining in prominence. Maritime smuggling "poses a particularly knotty challenge for the authorities," given the large quantities that transit across oceans in container ships and even small boats.
The Coast Guard has started a portfolio review of its capabilities compared to its missions in light of a shrinking budget, said the service's second in command before a June 26 House panel. The review, which is being conducted with the Office of Management and Budget and the Homeland Security Department, will establish "given levels of funding, what we will be able to do and what we will not be able to do," said Vice Commandant Vice Adm. John Currier.
Details of the plan remain limited, but a number of skeptics have emerged. Some have questioned how different the new force will be from simply using the military itself--they could just be "soldiers in grey uniforms who lack real police training," a March report (.pdf) from the International Crisis Group said.