U.S.-Caribbean Border: Open Road for Drug Traffickers and Terrorists, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management of the Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, Second Session, June 21, 2012   [open pdf - 2MB]

This is the June 21, 2012 hearing on "U.S.-Caribbean Border: Open Road for Drug Traffickers and Terrorists," held before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management. From the opening statement of Michael T. McCaul: "Right now somewhere on the streets of New York, Miami, or maybe a few blocks away from where we sit in Washington, drug dealers are selling cocaine, heroin, or marijuana. These drugs entered the United States through a wide-open back door. They didn't see it come across the U.S.-Mexico or Northern Border. Mr. Rodney Benson, intelligence chief for the Drug Enforcement Agency, said that larger and larger loads of both cocaine and heroin were transiting, now staying in Puerto Rico. Once these drugs are in Puerto Rico they can cross into our borders into the mainland. This Caribbean region is America's third border, an open door for drug traffickers and terrorists. Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, illegal contraband that makes it to the island is unlikely to be subjected to further U.S. Customs inspections en route to the continental United States, meaning it is easily mailed or placed on commercial aircraft without inspection. In fiscal year 2011, 165,000 metric tons of illegal drugs were seized in the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Gulf of Mexico, up some 36 percent over 4 years. Up to 80 percent of the cocaine trafficked through Puerto Rico is directed to U.S. East Coast cities. The maritime smuggling routes widely used by international drug-trafficking organizations in the 1980s, the Miami Vice era, are utilized more and more today. These routes are a threat to America's National security." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Michael T. McCaul, William R. Keating, Bennie G. Thompson, Luis G. Fortuño, William D. Lee, Janice Ayala, Kevin McAleenan, Michael C. Kostelnik, Marco Rubio, and Jorge Santini Padilla.

Report Number:
Serial No. 112-100
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Printing Office: http://www.gpo.gov/
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