Federal Agencies

Drug Policy Question of the Week – 10-6-11

As answered by Mary Jane Borden, Editor of Drug War Facts for the Drug Truth Network on 10-6-11. http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/3576

Question of the Week: What federal agencies enforce drug laws?

A new table based on a 2009 report from the RAND Corporation can be found in the Drug War Facts Interdiction chapter. This table lists a number of federal agencies that investigate and enforce drug laws. Among these are the United States Department of Defense, the Department of Justice and White House Office of National Drug Control Policy or ONDCP.

Under the Department of Defense, the Defense Information Systems Agency and its Anti-Drug Network engage in information sharing and data mining. The U.S. Northern Command oversees the continental United States and Alaska. The Joint Task Force North under the Northern Command stops transnational threats like drug smuggling. The U.S. Southern Command operates counterdrug operations in Central and South America. Its Joint Interagency Task Force South prevents illegal trafficking within the Caribbean.

The Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA has several divisions. Its National Security Intelligence Section interfaces with the intelligence community. The DEA’s Operation Pipeline targets private motor vehicles involved in drug trafficking, with its counterpart, Operation Convoy, handling commercial vehicles. The El Paso Intelligence Center is a major hub for disseminating drug related intelligence data. DEA Mobile Intelligence Units assist state and local drug-enforcement challenges.

The ONDCP operates 31 High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas or HIDTAs that collect counterdrug intelligence. Each HIDTAs has a Regional Intelligence Center associated with it.

The Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force focuses major drug-smuggling and money-laundering operations, while the multi-agency National Joint Terrorism Task Force brings together more than three-dozen other government agencies that collect and process terrorist intelligence.

A graphical map of these and other federal agencies created by the RAND Corporation can be found at the bottom of the aforementioned table.