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REAUTHORIZATION OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: CRIMINAL LAW ENFORCEMENT
SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIME, TERRORISM,
AND HOMELAND SECURITY
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
MAY 6 AND MAY 14, 2003
Serial No. 43
Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
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Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/judiciary
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr., Wisconsin, Chairman
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
LAMAR SMITH, Texas
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
WILLIAM L. JENKINS, Tennessee
CHRIS CANNON, Utah
SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
RIC KELLER, Florida
MELISSA A. HART, Pennsylvania
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
MIKE PENCE, Indiana
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
STEVE KING, Iowa
JOHN R. CARTER, Texas
TOM FEENEY, Florida
MARSHA BLACKBURN, Tennessee
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JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
JERROLD NADLER, New York
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
MAXINE WATERS, California
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
LINDA T. SÁNCHEZ, California
PHILIP G. KIKO, Chief of Staff-General Counsel
PERRY H. APELBAUM, Minority Chief Counsel
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina, Chairman
TOM FEENEY, Florida
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
RIC KELLER, Florida
MIKE PENCE, Indiana
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
MAXINE WATERS, California
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
JAY APPERSON, Chief Counsel
SEAN MCLAUGHLIN, Counsel
ELIZABETH SOKUL, Counsel
KATY CROOKS, Counsel
PATRICIA DEMARCO, Full Committee Counsel
BOBBY VASSAR, Minority Counsel
C O N T E N T S
May 6, 2003
CRIMINAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
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CRIMINAL LAW COMPONENTS AT MAIN JUSTICE
May 6, 2003
The Honorable Howard Coble, a Representative in Congress From the State of North Carolina, and Chairman, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
The Honorable Robert C. Scott, a Representative in Congress From the State of Virginia, and Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
May 14, 2003
The Honorable Howard Coble, a Representative in Congress From the State of North Carolina, and Chairman, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
The Honorable Robert C. Scott, a Representative in Congress From the State of Virginia, and Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
May 6, 2003
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. Pasquale J. D'Amuro, Executive Assistant Director Counterterrorism/Counterintelligence, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice
Mr. Richard J. Hankinson, Deputy Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice
Mr. Rogelio E. Guevara, Chief of Operations, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Department of Justice
May 14, 2003
The Honorable Deborah Daniels, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
Mr. Harley G. Lappin, Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Department of Justice
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Mr. Benigno G. Reyna, Director, United States Marshals Service, U.S. Department of Justice
Ms. Julie L. Myers, Chief of Staff, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
May 6, 2003
Summary of study entitled ''Controlling Cocaine: Supply Versus Demand,''produced by RAND Drug Policy Research Center for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, 1994,
May 14, 2003
Article from the Houston Chronicle entitled, ''DeLay backs federal aid to track down walkouts,'' May 13, 2003
Letter to Attorney General Ashcroft from Members of the House Committee on the Judiciary regarding Federal intervention in matters of the State Legislature of Texas
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 APPENDIX
Material Submitted For The Record
May 6, 2003
Prepared Statement of the Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee, a Representative in Congress From the State of Texas
Response from Richard J. Hankinson, Deputy Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, to questions submitted by the Subcommittee
Response from Rogelio E. Guevara, Chief of Operations, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Department of Justice, to questions submitted by the Subcommittee
May 14, 2003
Prepared Statement of the Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee, a Representative in Congress From the State of Texas
Response from the Honorable Deborah Daniels, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, to questions submitted by the Subcommittee
Response from Harley G. Lappin, Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Department of Justice, to questions submitted by the Subcommittee
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Response from Benigno G. Reyna, Director, United States Marshals Service, U.S. Department of Justice, to questions submitted by the Subcommittee
Response from Julie L. Myers, Chief of Staff, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice, to questions submitted by the Subcommittee
Sexual Abuse/Assault Prevention and Intervention Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons
CRIMINAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
TUESDAY, MAY 6, 2003
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism,
and Homeland Security
Committee on the Judiciary,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:04 p.m., in Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Howard Coble (Chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. COBLE. Mr. Scott just mentioned that you all were standing at attention. We are not accustomed to that sort of respect, are we Bobby, although we appreciate that.
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Folks, at the outset I want to apologize for the nonmelodious sound of my voice. I am battling a cold, and I am coming out second best. And I hope I don't give it to you or to anyone else today. So, you all bear with me.
Today, the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security conducts its first of two hearings relating to the reauthorization of the Department of Justice. This Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the largest portion of the Department of Justice, the criminal law components, as well as counterterrorism and intelligence components.
Representatives of three of the Department's enforcement agencies are here to testify before the Committee today. The agencies testifying today are the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
On September 25th, 2002, the President signed the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, which was the first reauthorization of the Department in over two decades. The Subcommittee held hearings in May of 2001 to assist with the reauthorization. That act made a number of improvements in the way the Department operates and maintains its programs.
Since those hearings, our Nation has experienced what seems like a lifetime of historical and sometimes tragic events. The terrorist attacks of September 11th, the anthrax attacks, and the resulting war on terrorism have changed the priorities of the Department of Justice and its components to prevent, disrupt, and respond to terrorism. Just as our Nation has met these challenges over the last 2 years, so have our Federal law enforcement officials. I commend the witnesses and the employees for their fortitude, flexibility, and courage.
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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is the newest component of the Department of Justice. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Congress enacted the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to create a new Department of Homeland Security. As part of that bill, the ATF was transferred to the Department of Justice from the Department of Treasury. ATF traces its roots back to 1791, when Alexander Hamilton imposed the first Federal tax on distilled spirits. Similar to the FBI and the DEA, ATF's mission has changed over the years to meet the needs of the Nation. Along with transferring the Bureau, Congress expanded ATF's authority through the Safe Explosives Act to place more stringent controls on explosives to prevent terrorists and others prohibited from obtaining them.
The FBI will testify as to the challenge it faces after the 9/11 attacks. The FBI grew outas many of you knowgrew out of a small force of investigators, creating the Department of Justice in 1908. Over the years, the FBI's mission has expanded as the Nation has changed. Today, the FBI has the broadest mission of any other enforcement agency, ranging from antiterrorism efforts to white collar fraud, to child abduction laws.
The FBI has recently made substantial changes to address the growing threat of terrorism against our citizens and our country. Most recently, on December 3rd, 2001, the FBI recognized and reorganized its priorities to make counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and cybercrime its top priorities.
The third agency represented today is the Drug Enforcement Administration, the world's preeminent drug law enforcement agency. DEA is the single point of contact for coordination of all international drug investigations. Created in 1973, the Agency is responsible for enforcing the controlled substances and chemical diversion trafficking laws and regulations of the United States. DEA oversees 21 domestic field divisions and 78 international offices in 56 countries, giving it extraordinary intelligence capacity, which is a huge benefit to the overall effectiveness with the war on terrorism. DEA was established by Reorganization Plan Number 2, rather than statute. DEA's enforcement authority derives from the Controlled Substances Act.
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These agencies are vital to our Federal justice system and the security of our Nation. I want to thank the witnesses in advance for testifying before us today. I believe their testimony will provide valuable information for the Committee to further improve the performance of the Department of Justice.
And now I am pleased to recognize the distinguished gentleman from Virginia, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, Mr. Scott.
Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I am pleased to join you in convening this hearing on the reauthorization of the U.S. Department of Justice, their law enforcement components.
Although we reauthorized the entire Department of Justice just last Congress, I believe this is the first time that we have had a chance to conduct an oversight hearing on these agencies since September 11, 2001.
The Federal law enforcement arena has changed drastically since 9/11, perhaps appropriately so in many respects. However, I am concerned with some of the changes we have made, particularly as it relates to the unprecedented expansions of Federal law enforcement authority over traditional liberties, privacy, and everyday activities of ordinary citizens. I understand, Mr. Chairman, that the Committee intends to do specific oversight of the USA PATRIOT Act provisions that the Department of Justice enforces at a later time. Yet there are activities which agencies have undertaken on an administrative level which also affect the lives of ordinary citizens in a dramatic way, and we need to examine some of those matters today.
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In the meanwhile, Mr. Chairman, the ravages of drug abuse and gun violence continue, generally unabated. While law enforcement efforts and prison populations have continued to go up in this country, so have quantities and quality of illegal drugs coming to this country, while the street price actually goes down. Yet studies continue to show that we get substantially more drug reduction value from drug treatment than law enforcement.
Mr. Chairman, at this point I would like to introduce a study which cites the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which statesthe top three thingsit says that treatment is three times more cost-effective than interdiction in reducing the use of cocaine in the United States. A recent RAND Corporation study found that every dollar invested in substance abuse treatment saves taxpayers $7.46 in societal costs. And the same study found that additional domestic law enforcement efforts cost 15 times as much as treatment to achieve the same reduction in societal costs. I would like to introduce this study into the record.
Mr. COBLE. Without objection.
[The information referred to follows:]
Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Chairman, with respect to gun violence, clearly we need to look at prudent restrictions on gun access, such as assault bans, one gun a month sales limitation, gun show sales regulations, and studying the effect of ballistic fingerprinting to help address the growing gun violence carnage. We also need to take a look at the level of our law enforcement efforts. I believe that our law enforcement agencies consist of dedicated, hard-working public servants who have had a tough job to do, and that is made even tougher since 9/11. Our job as congressional overseers is all the more important as well as to ensure that we don't do to ourselves through denial of civil rights what the terrorists could never accomplish, and that is deny our basic civil rights and liberties in a free society. I say that especially in the light of the fact that the changes we made after 9/11 were not limited to terrorism, but affected general criminal law and procedure.
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So I thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I look forward to the testimony of our witnesses and to working with you as we take a look at the operations of these agencies during this Congress.
Mr. COBLE. I thank the gentleman.
And we are pleased also to have with us the gentleman from Florida, and the gentleman from Wisconsin and the gentleman from Virginia. I stand corrected. The other gentleman from Virginia.
Let me give you a little background about our witnesses. I think the people of our office need to know the caliber of the witnesses who are with us, and I will be brief. One of our witnesses today is Robert J. Hankinson, the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Mr. Hankinson, I have always said ATF. I guess I may have to amend that now to ATFE to be grammatically correct.
Mr. Hankinson was appointed Deputy Director on October 20th, 2002, is a native of Pennsylvania and a graduate of the University of the Richmond in Virginia. Prior to his service with the ATF, he was appointed in 1990 as the first inspector general for the Department of Justice. He has also worked for the General Services Administration and the United States Secret Service.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Our witness representing the FBI today is Mr. Pasquale D'Amurohave I pronounced that correctly, Mr. D'AmuroExecutive Assistant Director for Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence division of the FBI. Mr. D'Amuro graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration from Niagara University located in Lewiston on the northern border of the city of Niagara Falls. He was appointed as FBI Special Agent on May 6, 1979, and completed his training at the FBI Academy in Quantico. He was initially assigned to the New York office.
Our final witness today will be Mr. Rogelio E. Guevara, Chief of Operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration. Mr. Guevara grew up in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles, California, where he attended the California State University. Mr. Guevara graduated with a B.S. Degree in political science and administration.
Gentlemen, it is good to have each of you with us. You all have been requested in advance to try to limit your remarks to 5 minutes. When the red light appears in your eyes, you will know that the ice is getting thin, and if you could wrap up shortly after that.
Mr. D'Amuro, why don't we begin with you.
STATEMENT OF PASQUALE J. D'AMURO, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR COUNTERTERRORISM/COUNTERINTELLIGENCE, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Mr. D'AMURO. Good afternoon, Chairman Coble, Congressman Scott, and others. I am grateful for the opportunity to appear before you today. I am very pleased to be seated alongside my colleagues from DEA and ATF.
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Congressman Scott, I believe you are right. This is the first time that an FBI representative has testified before your panel on authorization matters since the tragic events of September 11th. As each of you know, that day put into motion a series of historical changes within the FBI, much like those faced after the attack on Pearl Harbor some 60 years ago. The FBI responded to its new national security responsibilities then and has been working diligently these past 20 months to address the new challenges and threats that confront us now.
I want to ensure that everyone clearly understands that, as President Bush recently emphasized during a speech at FBI headquarters, ''the FBI has no greater priority than preventing terrorist acts against America.'' And I would like to reiterate what Director Mueller said earlier this month to your Senate counterparts, that ''the FBI is committed to carrying out its mission in accordance with the protections provided by the Constitution. Every FBI agent is trained to recognize that the responsibility to protect the law is the basis for their authority to enforce it. Respect for constitutional liberties is not optional, it is mandatory.''
Recognizing that today's hearing is one of the first steps in the authorization process, I have included with my statement FBI summary excerpts from the Department of Justice 2004 Authorization and Budget Request.
Today I would like to highlight some of those concrete steps the FBI has taken to improve cooperation and information-sharing with the Intelligence Community, other Government agencies, and our very essential partners at the State and local level. These initiatives touch each of your districts and are an unprecedented commitment to ensuring that information-sharing and operational coordination succeeds at all levels.
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To enhance cooperation with Federal, State, and local agencies, we have almost doubled the Joint Terrorism Task Forces operating today. Prior to 9/11, 35 JTTFs were in existence; today, 66 JTTFs are operational throughout the country.
The JTTFs partner FBI personnel with hundreds of investigators from various Federal, State, and local agencies in FBI field offices across the country. As part of this expansion, we are providing 500 JTTF agents as well as State and local law enforcement personnel with specialized counterterrorism training, and by the end of the year basic counterterrorism training to every JTTF member. We are also expanding basic counterterrorism training on a national level, and estimate that almost 27,000 Federal, State, and local law enforcement officers will ultimately benefit from these FBI training initiatives. JTTFs are truly our first line of defense against terrorism.
To improve the effectiveness of our expanding JTTF base, in July of 2002, we established the National Joint Terrorism Task Force at FBI headquarters. Staffed by representatives from 30 different Federal, State, and local agencies, the National JTTF serves as a point of fusion for terrorism information by coordinating the flow of information across the country between the representative agencies and the JTTFs in the field. On a weekly basis over 17,000 law enforcement agencies receive the FBI Intelligence Bulletin, providing needed information on terrorism issues and threats particularly to patrol officers and other law enforcement personnel who have direct contact with the general public.
For the Intelligence Community as well as the JTTFs, the FBI also prepares an Intelligence Information Report. These reports provide FBI information and analysis on counterintelligence as well as counterterrorism matters. In the last 6 months alone,the FBI has prepared over 1,200 of these reports that have been disseminated to the field.
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To further strengthen the FBI's ability to forge more cooperative relationships with our State and local counterparts, the Office of Law Enforcement Coordination was created. Headed by a former chief of police, this vital office also has liaison responsibilities with the White House and Homeland Security Council.
I would also like to note that besides enhancing our cooperative efforts at home, the FBI has expanded its liaison efforts overseas, and we currently have 45 Legal Attache offices in operation. These offices are vital links in following up on terrorist leads around the world.
As you well know, the FBI's investigative efforts depend on state-of-the-art technology, and I want to take this opportunity to report that tremendous progress is being made in this critical area. Over 21,000 new desktop computers and nearly 5,000 printers and scanners have been provided, along with high-speed local area networks that have been deployed in over 600 FBI locations.
I understand that we still have a long way to go, but I want to thank the Subcommittee for the support it has provided on these critical technology issues.
In closing, I want to assure you that the men and women of the FBI are fully committed to today's challenges much like their colleagues 60 years ago. With the vital tools that you have provided, I am confident that we can carry out our mission to protect America.
Again, I offer my gratitude and appreciation for you giving me this opportunity to appear today before your Subcommittee, and I will be happy to respond to any questions.
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Mr. COBLE. Thank you, Mr. D'Amuro.
[The prepared statement of Mr. D'Amuro follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF PASQUALE J. D'AMURO
Good afternoon Chairman Coble, Congressman Scott, and other distinguished Members. I am grateful for the opportunity to appear before you today and am very pleased to be seated alongside my colleagues from DEA and ATF.
I believe that this is the first-time that an FBI representative has testified before your panel on authorization matters since the tragic events of September 11th. As each of you know, that day put into motion a series of historic changes within the FBI much like those faced after the attack on Pearl Harbor some 60 years ago. The FBI responded to its new national security responsibilities then and has been working hard these past 20 months to address the new challenges and threats that confront us now.
I want to ensure that everyone clearly understands that as President Bush recently emphasized during a speech at FBI Headquarters that ''the FBI has no greater priority than preventing terrorist acts against America.'' And I would like to reiterate what Director Mueller said earlier this month to your Senate counterparts that the ''FBI is committed to carrying out its mission in accordance with the protections provided by the Constitution. Every FBI agent is trained to recognize that the responsibility to protect the law is the basis for their authority to enforce it. Respect for Constitutional liberties is not optional, it is mandatory.''
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Recognizing that today's hearing is one of the first steps in the authorization process, I have included with my statement, FBI summary excerpts from the Department of Justice's 2004 Authorization and Budget Request.
Today, I would like to highlight some of the concrete steps the FBI has taken to improve cooperation and information sharing with the Intelligence Community, other government agencies and our very essential partners at the state and local level. These initiatives touch each of your districts and are an unprecedented commitment to ensuring that information sharing and operational coordination succeeds at all levels.
To enhance cooperation with federal, state and local agencies, we have almost doubled (from 35 pre-9/11 to 66) the number of Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) operating today. The JTTFs partner FBI personnel with hundreds of investigators from various federal, state and local agencies in FBI field offices across the country. As part of this expansion, we are providing 500 JTTF agents and state and local law enforcement personnel with specialized counterterrorism training and by the end of the year, basic counterterrorism training to every JTTF member. We also are expanding basic counterterrorism training on a national level and estimate that almost 27,000 federal, state and local law enforcement officers will ultimately benefit from these FBI training initiatives. JTTFs are truly our first-line of defense.
To improve the effectiveness of our expanding JTTF base, in July 2002, we established the National Joint Terrorism Task Force (NJTTF) at FBI Headquarters. Staffed by representatives from 30 different federal, state and local agencies, the NJTTF serves as a ''point of fusion'' for terrorism information by coordinating the flow of information across the country between the represented agencies and the JTTFs in the field.
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On a weekly basis over 17,000 law enforcement agencies receive the ''FBI Intelligence Bulletin'' providing needed information on terrorism issues and threats particularly to patrol officers and other law enforcement personnel who have direct contact with the general public.
For the Intelligence Community, the FBI also prepares ''I ntelligence Information Reports'' that provide FBI information and analysis on counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism matters. In the last 6 months alone, over 1,200 of these reports have been prepared and disseminated.
To further strengthen the FBI's ability to forge more cooperative relationships with our state and local counterparts, the Office of Law Enforcement Coordination was created. Headed by a former Chief of Police, this vital office also has liaison responsibilities with the White House Homeland Security Council.
I would also like to note that besides enhancing our cooperative efforts at home, the FBI has expanded its liaison efforts overseas and we know have 45 Legal Attache offices. These offices are vital links in following up terrorist leads around the world.
As you well know, the FBI's investigative efforts depend on state-of-the-art technology and I want to report that tremendous progress is being made in this critical area. Over 21,000 new desktop computers and nearly 5,000 printers and scanners have been provided and high-speed local area networks have been deployed in over 600 FBI locations. I understand that we still have a long way to go but I want to thank the Subcommittee for the support it has provided on these critical technology issues.
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In closing, I want to assure you that the men and women of the FBI are fully committed to today's challenges much like their colleagues 60 years ago. With the vital tools that you have provided, I am confident that we can carry out our mission to protect America.
Again, I offer my gratitude and appreciation for your giving me this opportunity to appear before the Subcommittee and I will be happy to respond to any questions.
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Mr. COBLE. Mr. Hankinson.
STATEMENT OF RICHARD J. HANKINSON, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Mr. HANKINSON. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Scott, and Members of the Subcommittee, I am pleased to be here this afternoon on behalf of Director Brad Buckles, representing the men and women of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Thank you again for this opportunity to testify.
This is our first time before this Subcommittee as part of the Department of Justice, and I am confident you will find that ATF provides great value to the American people. As you previously mentioned, we trace our roots back to 1791 to the time of Alexander Hamilton. Since that time we have been granted and maintain jurisdiction over Federal firearms enforcement and regulation, and we investigate crimes committed via arson and explosives, as well as investigate tobacco smuggling. Above all, our mission today is to reduce violent crime and protect the public. We currently have somewhat over 2,300 special agents, about 660 inspectors, and 1,800 other employees who support our mission.
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In fiscal year 2002, we initiated 27,241 firearms investigations. Our criminal referrals in the past year have resulted in over 6,600 indictments and more than 5,100 convictions.
On January 24 of this year, the Homeland Security Act transferred the public safety functions of ATF, both law enforcement and regulatory, to the Department of Justice. The revenue collection and consumer protection functions previously performed by ATF remain in the Department of the Treasury. A great deal of time, effort, and resources were devoted to ensure a seamless transition, and we believe these efforts have been successful.
The Department of Justice, we believe, clearly is the right place for the newly configured ATF. We share a common cause in law enforcement, we share a common mission in protecting the public, and we share a deep commitment to ensuring a safer America.
We believe that AFT's mission and expertise will complement other Justice Department assets and agencies as we work together to defeat the Nation's number one threat, terrorism. We have worked with the Justice components in the past, and those experiences have proven positive to the American public. We look forward to strengthening this ongoing relationship. In no way does this transfer duplicate missions within DOJ, because ATF and each Justice component brings unique jurisdiction, missions, responsibilities and talents to the table.
This transition has been smooth, but ATF does face significant challenges in what remains of 2003 and into 2004 as a result of a significant increase in responsibilities from the new explosive control laws. The Safe Explosives Act was included in the larger Homeland Security Act, amended Federal explosive laws enforced by ATF since 1970. It expands the categories of persons prohibited from purchasing or possessing explosives, requires a Federal permit of all retail purchasers of explosives, and mandates additional ATF inspection activity.
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ATF currently has less than 500 inspectors to police over 100,000 firearms licensees and over 8,000 explosive licensees and permittees. With the new permit requirements of the Safe Explosive Act, the number of explosive permittees is expected to increase significantly. ATF aims by this law to keep explosives out of the hands of those who would use them against us, while facilitating the acquisition of explosives for use in industry and agriculture. Despite these challenges, the men and women of ATF continue to perform as dedicated professionals and reliable partners in our enforcement of the Nation's firearms, explosives, arson, and alcohol and tobacco diversion laws.
ATF is a proud participant in the President's Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. And while the threat of terrorism from outside the United States is real, the criminal misuse of firearms and resulting loss of life is a daily event. Recent statistics show that more than 10,000 lives are lost annually to criminals with guns, and for every fatal shooting there are three nonfatal shootings. Untold numbers of people are terrorized each year by the threatened use of a gun. While we are ever alert to the possible terrorist angle to everything that we do, the overwhelming majority of our work is directed at reducing gun violence in the streets and neighborhoods of this great Nation.
The President's Project Safe Neighborhoods provides for the effective use of Federal resources through a series of locally designed and driven anticrime efforts. We have a lead role in this effort, and we are in approximately in this effort in over 100 areas in the United States.
The Youth Crime Gun Initiative is also a main component. The idea here is to prevent our youth from illegally possessing firearms.
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I want to thank you for taking the time to permit me to testify today. We look forward to working with you and the other Committees charged with the oversight of the Department of Justice and its components. And I will be happy at any time to answer any questions that you may have.
Mr. COBLE. Thank you, Mr. Hankinson.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hankinson follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF RICHARD J. HANKINSON
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Scott, and members of the Subcommittee, I am pleased to be here this afternoon on behalf Director Buckles, representing the men and women of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Thank you for this opportunity to testify.
This is our first time before this committee as a part of the Department of Justice and I am confident you will find that ATF provides great value to the American public, and that we are responsive, thoughtful and effective in the way in which we approach our business. I am equally confident thatas you get to know ATFyou will come to share my pride in its people and their accomplishments.
ATF traces our roots to 1791, when Alexander Hamilton imposed the first Federal tax on distilled spirits. The collection of this tax by revenue officers appointed by President Washington was no easy task and, in some cases, was met with violent physical resistance, such as the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794.
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Since then we have been granted and maintained jurisdiction over Federal firearms enforcement and regulation; and we investigate crimes committed via arson and explosives, as well as investigate tobacco smuggling. Above all, our mission today is to reduce violent crime and protect the public. We currently have 2305 special agents; 666(check number on backgrounder) inspectors and 1810 other employees who support our mission.
In fiscal year 2002, ATF initiated 27,241 firearms investigations (including nearly 13,000 NICS referrals). ATF criminal case referrals have resulted in over 6,660 indictments and more than 5,l00 convictions in fiscal year 2002. Also in fiscal year 2002, ATF initiated 3,221 arson and explosives investigations that resulted in 780 defendants recommended for prosecution. Additional arson and explosives cases resulted in 421 indictments and 430 convictions during fiscal year 2002.
ATF's experience has resulted in our assisting in every major explosives investigation in the United States, including: the World Trade Center bombing of 1993; the Murrah Federal Building bombing, and the terrorist acts of September 2001 in New York, the Pentagon, and western Pennsylvania. It was during these major events that ATF contributed unique skills, knowledge and jurisdiction while working closely with other law enforcement agencies at the Federal, State and local levels.
On January 24 of this year, the Homeland Security Act transferred the public safety functions of ATF, both law enforcement and regulatory, to the Department of Justice. The revenue collection (including related law enforcement authorities) and consumer protection functions previously preformed by ATF remain in the Department of the Treasury. A great deal of time, effort, and resources were devoted to ensuring a seamless transition, and we believe those efforts have been successful.
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The Department of Justice is the right place for the newly configured ATF. We share a common cause in law enforcement. We share a common mission in protecting the public. And we share a deep commitment to ensuring a safer America. We believe that ATF's mission and expertise will complement other Justice Department assets and agencies as we work together to defeat the nation's number one threat: terrorism. We have worked with Justice components in the past and those experiences have proven positive to the American public. We look forward to strengthening this on-going relationship. In no way does this transfer duplicate missions within DOJ because ATF and each Justice component brings unique jurisdiction, missions, responsibilities, and talents to the table.
The transition has been smooth, but ATF does face significant challenges in what remains of 2003, and into 2004 as a result of a significant increase in responsibilities from the new explosives control laws. The Safe Explosives Act, approved by this committee and included in the larger Homeland Security Act, amended Federal Explosives laws enforced by ATF since 1970. It expands the categories of persons prohibited from purchasing or possessing explosives, requires a federal permit of all retail purchasers of explosives, and mandates additional ATF inspection activity.
The new categories of prohibited persons include non-permanent resident aliens, persons who have renounced their US citizenship and persons dishonorably discharged from the military. The Safe Explosives Act also requires background checks on all purchasers of explosives, and in some cases, on the employees of companies that purchase explosives. Today, a purchaser merely self-certifies on a form that he is not a prohibited person. Beginning this month, May 24, no one will be able to lawfully purchase explosives without a license or permit issued by ATF.
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The new law also mandates that we physically inspect permit premises to ensure compliance with rules on the safe and secure storage of explosives. Although the timing and frequency of these inspections varies with the type of permit, the new law still mandates more inspection work than ATF has performed in the past.
ATF currently has less than 500 inspectors to police over 100,000 firearms licensees and over 8,000 explosives licensees and permitees. With the new permit requirements of the Safe Explosives Act, the number explosives permittees is expected to increase by a minimum of 10,000. ATF aims, by this law, to keep explosives out of the hands of those who would use them against us, while facilitating the acquisition of explosives for use in industry and agriculture.
Despite these challenges, the men and women of ATF continue to perform as dedicated professionals and reliable partners in our enforcement of our nation's firearms, explosives, arson and alcohol and tobacco diversion laws. Perhaps the most effective way to provide a clearer picture of their work is to highlight ATF's involvement in several high profile cases over the past few months.
This past fall, nearly 650 ATF special agents, forensic lab personnel, firearms examiners, and support staff joined forces with other law enforcement agencies in the DC Sniper case. This on-going investigation crossed state and international borders and is one of the very best examples of the strong law enforcement partnerships that ATF has built over the years.
In February, ATF agents in Rhode Island responded to one of the worst nightclub fires in our Nation's history which resulted in 99 deaths. ATF special agents and our National Response Team responded immediately and evidence gathered at the fire scene is currently being examined and analyzed at ATF's National Laboratory.
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During 2002, an ATF investigation in North Carolina resulted in convictions for contraband cigarette trafficking, money laundering, and providing material support to a terrorist organization. The case revealed a conspiracy where in the defendants were illegally trafficking cigarettes between North Carolina and Michigan, and through various methods funneling the profits back to the Hezbollah.
In addition to these and many other important criminal investigations, ATF is a proud participant in the President's Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. While the threat of terrorism from outside the United States is real, the criminal misuse of firearms and the resulting loss of life is a daily event. Recent statistics show that more than 10,000 lives are lost annually to criminals with a gun, and for every fatal shooting there were three non-fatal shootings. Untold numbers of people are terrorized each year by the threatened use of a gun. While we are ever alert to a possible terrorist angle to everything we do, the overwhelming majority of our work is directed at reducing gun violence in the streets and neighborhoods of this great nation.
The President's Project Safe Neighborhood provides for the effective use of Federal resources through a series of locally designed and driven anti-crime efforts. ATF anchors the Federal enforcement efforts in projects around the country. United States Attorneys leads PSN initiatives by bringing State and local police and prosecutors together with ATF and other federal resources to develop unified strategies tailored to the problems of particular communities.
One component of PSN is specifically designed to protect our youth. The Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative seeks to reduce firearms-related violence among our nation's youth by identifying and interrupting the sources of illegal firearms. This program is due to be expanded from 50 to 60 cities in FY 2004.
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This is but a snapshot of what we do. Thank you for taking the time to permit me to testify today. We look forward to working with you and the other committees charged with the oversight of the Department of Justice and its components. I would be happy to answer any questions the committee may have.
Mr. COBLE. Mr. Guevara.
STATEMENT OF ROGELIO E. GUEVARA, CHIEF OF OPERATIONS, DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Mr. GUEVARA. Chairman Coble, Ranking Member Scott, and distinguished Members of the Subcommittee, it is a pleasure for me to appear today before you for the first time in my capacity as the Drug Enforcement Administration's Chief of Operations to discuss DEA's reauthorization. On behalf of Acting Administrator William B. Simpkins and all the men and women of the DEA, I want to thank you and the entire Subcommittee for their continued support of the DEA and its mission.
The DEA employs a universal approach in enforcing the provisions of the controlled substances and chemical diversion trafficking laws and regulations of the United States. As a single-mission agency, DEA's only focus is reducing drug trafficking abuse in America. There is much work to be done. Worldwide drug trafficking generates billions of dollars in illicit proceeds, sometimes used by criminal and terrorist organizations to carry out horrific acts against law-abiding citizens and established governments, including the United States.
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In 1973, DEA's first budget was $74 million and covered 2,868 special agents and support personnel. In 2003, DEA's enacted appropriation was 1.6 billion, and our authorized positions have reached 8,475 employees that are deployed worldwide.
To address America's drug threat, DEA has instituted a number of strategic enforcement, intelligence, and support programs. I would like to share a few of them with you today.
In April of 2001, DEA initiated the Priority Drug Trafficking Organization, or PDTO, initiative. This system was developed as a clear and specific enforcement objective targeting the highest levels of drug trafficking organizations by disrupting the networks that link them. Since April 2001, DEA has initiated approximately 1,200 PDTO cases, which has resulted in the disruption of 158 organizations and the dismantling of 187 others.
The DEA's State and Local Task Force Program, a key to our successes, continues to foster productive relationships and enhance coordination. These task forces account for nearly 40 percent of all DEA case initiations and seizures. Recognizing the value of this program, the President's 2004 budget provides for an additional $4 million for additional task force officers.
To augment DEA's enforcement operations, one of our most enforcement programs, the Special Operations Division, or SOD, is a DEA-led division with participation from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Justice Criminal Division. SOD's mission is to coordinate the dismantling of national and international drug trafficking organizations by attacking their command and control communications. The unique investigative support provided by SOD allows the program to act as a force multiplier for drug law enforcement because it provides an effective medium for communication, intelligence sharing, and coordination among America's major drug law enforcement agencies. I have listed several of our enforcement operations in my written statement. Let me share two cases with you now.
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Operation Webslinger was the first national operation that targeted organizations utilizing the Internet to traffic predatory drugs. Culminating in September 2002, it resulted in the arrest of 170 individuals and the seizure of 3,600 gallons of GHB, GBL, BD, other illegal drugs, and $2.4 million in currency.
Operation Mountain Express III, an investigation targeting pseudoephedrine suppliers from Mexican methamphetamine superlabs, revealed that proceeds from sales of Canadian pseudoephedrine were being funneled through traditional hawala networks to individuals in the Middle East. This operation resulted in the arrest of 136 subjects and the seizure of 35 tons of pseudoephedrine and the seizure of $4.5 million.
Regarding DEA's Office of International Operations, our presence has grown to 79 offices in 58 countries. Foreign operations enables DEA to share intelligence, coordinate and develop worldwide drug strategy and cooperation with our host countries. These offices support DEA domestic investigations through foreign liaison, training for our host country officials, bilateral investigations, and intelligence gathering.
The Intelligence Division, another integral DEA component, provides dedicated analytical support to our investigations, programs, and operations worldwide. DEA's Intelligence Division has been active in international cooperation, strengthening the bilateral drug intelligence working groups.
DEA's Office of International Control focuses on the illegal diversion of legitimately produced controlled substances and listed chemicals, while ensuring adequate supplies for legitimate needs. Among Diversion's initiatives are a national program to prevent diversion of Oxycodone, and an international partnership to prevent global diversion of key chemicals used in the illicit production of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine-type stimulants.
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In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, DEA remains committed to our primary goal of targeting and arresting the most significant traffickers in the world, and we will continue to work in close partnership with our local, State, Federal, and international counterparts to target drug trafficking groups who spread misery and false hope to our American citizens.
Again, I would like to thank the Subcommittee for inviting me here today, and I would be happy to answer any questions.
Mr. COBLE. Thank you, Mr. Guevara.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Guevara follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF ROGELIO E. GUEVARA
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) employs a universal approach in enforcing the provisions of the controlled substances and chemical diversion trafficking laws and regulations of the United States. As a single mission agency, DEA is strictly focused on reducing drug trafficking and abuse in America, which continues to bring misery to America's cities and children. DEA's strong presence, both domestically and internationally, enables the agency to focus its resources on the most substantial drug trafficking organizations impacting the United States.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 DEA's primary duty is to provide the best drug law enforcement agency to the American people, thereby reducing America's abuse of illicit drugs. America's efforts to reduce drug abuse have resulted in various successes. However, there is still much work to be done. Worldwide drug trafficking generates billions of dollars in illicit proceeds, sometimes used by criminal and terrorist organizations to carry out horrific acts against law-abiding citizens and established governments, including the United States.
To combat America's drug threat, DEA has instituted a number of strategic enforcement and intelligence programs and initiatives, which the Subcommittee should be aware of as it considers a new authorization bill, including:
DEA's Priority Drug Trafficking Organization (PDTO) initiative will focus substantial resources in its 21 nationwide field divisions on local, regional, national and international drug organizations significantly impacting the drug supply;
DEA's Intelligence Division vigorously focuses on intelligence driven targeting, in support of DEA's strategic goal to identify, target, investigate, disrupt and dismantle the most substantial drug trafficking groups;
DEA's Operational Support Division has implemented significant changes regarding their management, technology, facilities and oversight, which has resulted in cost effective operations more efficient, expeditious and systematically run programs;
DEA's Demand Reduction Program, an element of our enforcement strategy, compliments DEA's investigative operations by educating the media, law enforcement, the public at large and anti-drug groups, through initiatives such as Operation X-Out and Meth in America: Not in Our Town.
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Chairman Coble, Ranking Member Scott and distinguished members of the subcommittee, it is my distinct pleasure to appear before you for the first time in my capacity as the Chief of Operations of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Before I begin, Mr. Chairman, I would like to recognize you and the members of the subcommittee for your outstanding support of the mission and men and women of the DEA. I look forward to a continued productive and cooperative relationship with the subcommittee, as we work to advance DEA's mission and objectives.
THE DEA MISSION
The mission of DEA is to enforce the Controlled Substances laws and regulations of the United States and to bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the U.S., or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations involved in the growing, manufacturing or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States.
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE STRATEGY
On March 19, 2002, the Attorney General announced a six-part drug strategy for the Department of Justice, which was squarely focused on reducing the availability of illegal drugs to Americans. Given the inherent relationship between drug supply and drug demand, the Department's strategy plays a pivotal role in achieving the President's overall goal of reducing drug use. Specifically, the Attorney General's strategy mounts a comprehensive multi-level attack on drug trafficking and money laundering organizations, as the central means of accomplishing Priority III of the President's National Drug Control StrategyDisrupting the Drug Market. That strategy consists of six key elements:
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Reduce the supply of drugs available in the United States by 10 percent.
Through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), engage the talent and resources of all of the federal law enforcement agencies to identify and target the major trafficking organizations responsible for the U.S. drug supply across the nine OCDETF regions.
Create, for the first time, a unified national list of drug organization targetsthe consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT) listdeveloped collaboratively by federal drug enforcement agencies.
Emphasize financial investigations to eliminate the infrastructure of drug organizations and remove the profits from these organizations through asset forfeiture.
Undertake a substantial redirection of resources to the drug importation and bulk distribution ''hot spots'' so that federal resources are realigned, commensurate with the current drug threat.
Conduct expanded investigations that move simultaneously in many districts against the different parts of the targeted organizations in order to eliminate their ability to supply illegal drugs to Americans.
To accomplish this mission, DEA has specific long-range goals and objectives to target and immobilize major drug trafficking organizations operating at all levels of the drug trade. DEA directs investigative resources toward every angle of drug trafficking groups, using both traditional and innovative drug control approaches. This overall strategic approach is based on the recognition that the major drug traffickers, operating both internationally and domestically, have insulated themselves from the drug distribution networks but remain closely linked to the proceeds of their trade. Consequently, the identification and forfeiture of illicitly derived assets is a powerful means to successfully destroy the economic base of the drug trafficking organization, as well as a means of proving a connection between violators and a criminal drug conspiracy at the time of prosecution.
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DEA's investigative efforts continue to be directed against major international drug trafficking organizations and their facilitators at every juncture in their operationsfrom the cultivation and production of drugs in foreign countries, to their passage through the transit zone, and eventual distribution on the streets of America's communities. DEA's Strategic Plan takes into account its management infrastructure and the current drug trafficking situation affecting the United States and works to identify the characteristics and exploit the vulnerabilities of all three levels of the drug trade. By focusing directly on the agency's investigative priority targeting system, DEA responds to each of the following levels, simultaneously:
International Targets: DEA will eliminate the power and control of the major drug trafficking organizations and dismantle their infrastructure by disrupting and dismantling the operations of their supporting organizations that provide raw materials and chemicals, produce and transship illicit drugs, launder money worldwide and halt the operations of their surrogates in the United States.
National/Regional Targets: DEA will continue an aggressive and balanced enforcement program with a multi-jurisdictional approach designed to help focus Federal and interagency resources on illegal drug traffickers, their organizations and key members who have control of an area within a region of the United States, and the drugs and assets involved in their activities.
Local Initiatives: DEA will continue to assist States and localities in attacking the violence that plagues our cities, rural areas and small towns to protect our citizens from the impact of drugs and help restore a positive quality of life. (DEA considers this an important part of its overall strategy to complement the state and local efforts with specialized programs that bring DEA's intelligence, expertise and leadership into specific trouble spots throughout the nation.)
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Management and Infrastructure: DEA will develop a secure and effective infrastructure and ensure that management oversight provides DEA personnel with the tools necessary to get the job done. DEA must also have the systems and structures to monitor its programs carefully, comply with reporting and information sharing requirements and manage its finite resources efficiently.
THE TASK: DOMESTIC DRUG TRENDS AND TRAFFICKING PATTERNS
The drug market in the United States is one of the most diverse and profitable illegal enterprises in the world. Drug trafficking organizations exploit legal and geographic vulnerabilities and demonstrate a high-degree of flexibility in their operations to evade law enforcement. Consequently, the deployment of DEA's counter-drug resources remains flexible in order to respond to the dynamics of the illicit drug trade.
Marijuana is the most widely abused and most readily available illicit drug in the United States and is available in varying degrees in every state in the union. Although precise estimates for the source of marijuana consumed in the United States cannot be made, marijuana smuggled into the United States, whether grown in Mexico, Colombia, or Jamaica, accounts for a large share of the marijuana available in the United States. High potency marijuana also enters the country from Canada. However, based on eradication statistics, domestic production is increasing. In the United States, cannabis is mainly cultivated in remote locations and frequently on public lands.
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Mexican-based traffickers, with extensive networks in the United States, control poly-drug smuggling and wholesale distribution from hub cities to retail markets throughout the country. Mexican marijuana primarily enters the United States through entry points along the Southwest Border. Multi-ton amounts are often smuggled in tractor-trailers.
Colombian organizations control the worldwide supply of cocaine and move cocaine by land, sea and air. These groups have ceded an increasing role in cocaine trafficking to Mexican-based trafficking organizations that smuggle cocaine from Mexico into the United States. Colombian traffickers control wholesale-level cocaine distribution in the Northeast, while Mexican traffickers control distribution throughout the West and Midwest.
Southeastern ports, most notably Miami, Houston and New Orleans, are the primary maritime arrival zones, while cities along the Southwest Border are arrival and distribution points for overland cocaine movement. Chicago is a critical distribution hub for Mexican-based cocaine trafficking organizations, while New York City remains under the control of Colombian-based organizations.
Heroin is readily available in many U.S. cities, as evidenced by its high purity at the street-level. Heroin from the four source areasSouth America, Southeast Asia, Mexico and Southwest Asiareaches the United States. Virtually all heroin produced in Mexico and South America is destined for the U.S. market.
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Since the mid-1990s, when Colombian traffickers penetrated the market with high-purity, low-priced heroin, South American heroin has dominated the market in the eastern half of the country. Couriers traveling on commercial airlines are the primary smugglers of Colombian heroin to the United States, and their primary entry points are Miami and New York. Mexican heroin continues to dominate the market west of the Mississippi and is generally smuggled overland through Southwest Border states. Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin are available in the Northeast and North Central sections of the country.
Domestic methamphetamine production, trafficking and abuse are concentrated in the western, southwestern and mid-western sections of the United States. Although outlaw motorcycle gangs traditionally controlled methamphetamine production and trafficking, criminal groups composed of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans now produce most of the domestic methamphetamine. Methamphetamine produced in large-capacity laboratories, primarily located in the western and southwestern United States or Mexico, is transported via passenger vehicle across the country. Many of the largest methamphetamine laboratories can be found in California. Thousands of small independent laboratories, especially in the Midwest, produce gram or ounce quantities of methamphetamine, primarily for personal use or small-scale distribution.
MDMA (Ecstasy, XTC, Hug Drug), a hallucinogen with stimulant properties that is primarily produced in the Netherlands, remains the most prevalent of all the so-called club drugs in the United States. Often distributed at nightclubs and ''raves,'' all-night dance parties, it is widely abused by middle-class teenagers and young professionals. In Fiscal Year 2001, the U.S. Customs Service seized approximately 7.2 million MDMA tablets. MDMA tablets smuggled into the United States from Europe are destined for distribution primarily in New York City, Miami and Los Angeles.
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OTHER DANGEROUS DRUGS
Often referred to as designer or club drugs, these illicit drugs, primarily synthetic, vary widely in their psychoactive effects and are most commonly encountered at nightclubs and ''raves.'' In addition to MDMA, the most widely available club drugs include the depressant/predatory drug GHB and the hallucinogens PCP and LSD. These drugs have gained popularity principally due to the false perception that they are not as harmful, nor as addictive, as mainstream drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine. The United Nations recently stated that, if current trends continue, ''synthetic drugs'' like MDMA and predatory drugs will be the number one drug problem in the world.
The synthetic substances, 5-MeO-DIPT, known by the street name ''Foxy'' or ''Foxy Methoxy,'' and alpha-methyltryptamine (AMT), are being reported as new drugs of abuse in limited areas of the United States. These substances, which produce hallucinogenic effects, are indicative of a trend in which many non-controlled synthetic substances are sold to capitalize on the current popularity of club drugs, especially MDMA. Recognizing this problem, DEA temporarily placed these two drugs in Schedule I, in April 2003.
THE RESPONSE: DOMESTIC OPERATIONS
In 1973, DEA was comprised of 2,868 Special Agents and support personnel. Today, DEA has 8,475 authorized positions worldwide, including Special Agents, Intelligence Analysts, Diversion Investigators and Chemists. DEA's first budget was $74 million. In 2003, our enacted appropriation was $1.6 billion. Domestically, DEA maintains 21 Field Divisions, with offices in every State and the Special Operations Division at DEA Headquarters. At the core of DEA's operational successes lie specific programs and initiatives to combat America's greatest drug trafficking threats.
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In April 2001, DEA initiated the Priority Drug Trafficking Organization (PDTO) initiative. The PDTO system was developed as a clear and specific enforcement objective targeting drug trafficking organizations by disrupting the networks that link them. PDTOs are regionally identified by field divisions as investigations of drug trafficking organizations that control the highest known level of the drug trafficking hierarchy.
PDTO investigations must reveal that the organization is stable and deals violently with members of its organization, competitors, clients, law enforcement officers, or citizens. Large-scale drug trafficking organizations use sophisticated techniques such as business fronts and the use of the Internet to facilitate their criminal activity. Their methodology consists of money laundering schemes, established lines of command and control, establishment of drug manufacturing, importation, transportation and distribution cells and diversion of controlled substances or precursor chemicals.
Since April 2001, DEA has initiated 1,276 PDTO cases. Of those cases, 158 organizations have been disrupted and 187 have been dismantled. Currently, there are 911 open, active PDTO investigations within DEA.
The greatest impact in combating drug trafficking organizations has been made when the full concentration of federal resources are brought to bear on these individuals and organizations through the efforts of the Department of Justice's OCDETF program. Just as when the program was originally initiated, DEA remains the leading initiator of OCDETF cases within the federal law enforcement community. The OCDETF program functions through the investigative, intelligence and support staffs of DEA; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and components of the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the efforts of the U.S. Attorneys, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Coast Guard and state and local law enforcement agencies.
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The primary goal of each OCDETF investigation is to reduce the availability of drugs in America by strategically targeting and eliminating those trafficking organizations responsible for supplying the largest amounts of drugs. The OCDETF member agencies determine connections to related investigations, nationwide, in order to identify and dismantle the entire structure of the drug trafficking organization (DTO). OCDETF investigations emphasize disrupting the financial dealings and dismantling the financial infrastructure that supports the DTO. DEA's State and Local Task Forces and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)-funded groups are engaged as partners with the OCDETF program and enhance the effectiveness and success of the OCDETF program.
Complementing DEA's PDTO and OCDETF initiatives, the DEA State and Local Task Force (SLTF) Program continues to foster productive relationships and enhance cooperation and coordination with our state and local counterparts in the enforcement of federal drug laws. These SLTFs address drug problems of concern in the geographic regions where they operate. State and local agencies that participate in this program are actually force multipliers, which add additional resources to DEA. Statistically, DEA SLTFs account for approximately 40 percent of all DEA case initiations and seizures.
It is important to emphasize that there are no real operational differences between the types of cases conducted by DEA Task Forces and DEA's regular enforcement groups. This program provides numerous advantages to both the DEA and participating agencies. DEA is able to share resources and expertise with state and local law enforcement, thereby increasing investigative results. The SLTF Program also allows state and local officers to be federally deputized, thus extending their jurisdiction. The SLTF Program is a significant asset to DEA and America's efforts to curb drug trafficking and abuse.
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And finally, the HIDTA program is a national strategy providing Federal assistance in coordinating law enforcement efforts of local, state and Federal entities in areas where major drug production, manufacturing, importation or distribution flourish to such a degree that they have harmful effects on other parts of the country. DEA maintains a strong ongoing commitment to the HIDTA program, addressing regional drug problems of concern. The DEA continues to achieve success in HIDTA-funded initiatives through cooperation and coordination with our state and local counterparts in the enforcement of federal drug laws.
DEA currently oversees and directly supervises 48 HIDTA-funded task forces located in DEA offices, consisting of 527 Task Force Officers. Over 300 DEA Special Agents work within HIDTA initiatives to share and develop narcotics intelligence and pursue joint investigations. DEA's commitment to the HIDTA program has resulted in significant HIDTA program successes, in furtherance of the Department of Justice's Domestic Drug Enforcement Strategy.
In furtherance of our mission, DEA has conducted numerous significant investigations. I would like to share a few of DEA's notable investigations with the Subcommittee.
In July 2001, the DEA Miami HIDTA Task Force initiated an international investigation that identified a worldwide MDMA distribution network operating in Colombia, Israel, the Netherlands and the United States. Title III intercepts, undercover operations and search warrants resulted in the seizure of approximately 2 million MDMA pills and more than $2 million. Nine of the organizational leaders were arrested in Spain, Colombia and the United States. The investigation also determined that Israeli organized crime elements were financing the smuggling operation and obtaining the MDMA from the sources of supply in Holland. In January 2003, as a result of the international scope of this investigation, the authorities in Switzerland froze additional accounts of the organization totaling $1.5 million. The investigation is active and continuing.
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In September 2001, the FBI initiated the undercover investigation in Houston, Texas. The target was attempting to obtain $25 million worth of East-bloc military weapons for the AUC, a Colombian terrorist organization, in exchange for cocaine and U.S. Currency. In April 2002, DEA Houston HIDTA Major Drug Squad (MDS) 6 became involved in the investigation. To date, the investigation has revealed that the original PDTO target has been a long-time member of an international drug trafficking organization responsible for the importation of more than 50 tons of cocaine into the United States. The undercover operation resulted in the arrest of four defendants in connection with the weapons deal, three of which occurred in Costa Rica.
In October 2002, an international MDMA investigation conducted in Belgium, Israel and the United States culminated with three arrests in New York City. The case began with the seizure of 1.4 million tablets of MDMA in Antwerp, Belgium, by the Belgian Federal Policethe largest MDMA seizure in Europe to date and the third largest MDMA seizure in the United States. The shipment had a retail value of approximately $42 million. During the course of the investigation, the Israeli National Police identified the shipment as part of an ongoing investigation targeting a group of Israeli nationals. These individuals were affiliated with violent, organized crime elements in Israel.
Oliver BEASLEY, identified as a major cocaine and heroin distributor in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, was the leader of an organization responsible for the distribution of 50100 kilograms of cocaine and at least 12 kilograms of heroin, per month. Direct evidence has corroborated that at least 11 heroin overdose deaths, from January 2002 to March 2002 in the Pittsburgh area, were attributed to the heroin bearing the stamps of this organization. To date, 45 individuals have been indicted and arrested. The seizure of the organization's assets total in excess of $8.6 million dollars, including U.S. Currency, real estate, jewelry, vehicles and businesses 12 weapons, three and a half kilograms of heroin, a half-kilogram of crack cocaine and three-quarters kilogram of cocaine.
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DEA's Office of International Operations maintains 79 offices in 58 countries. These offices support DEA domestic investigations through foreign liaison, training for host country officials, bilateral investigations and intelligence gathering. The DEA's international presence is an invaluable asset in the pursuit of drug traffickers in all areas of the world. Foreign operations enables DEA to share intelligence and coordinate and develop a worldwide drug strategy, in cooperation with our host countries. The DEA's foreign operations are managed in five sections: Southeast Asia, Central America/Mexico, South America, Europe/Middle East and the Caribbean.
Southeast Asia covers fifteen country offices. Intelligence indicates that, although there has been a marked decrease in the amount of Southeast Asian heroin seized in the U.S., Southeast Asian heroin continues to pose a threat to the United States. A shift in U.S. heroin trafficking trends could easily result in the resurgence of Southeast Asian heroin. Southeast Asian heroin has the broadest U.S. geographical distribution. The most visible trafficking organizations operating in Bangkok are the West African groups. In addition, DEA offices in Southeast Asia have reported an increase in methamphetamine production/abuse. The methamphetamine epidemic has negatively affected many U.S. strategic partners in this area, including the Philippines, Japan and Thailand.
DEA has supported significant investigations in Southeast Asia. In April 2002, an investigation with host country counter-parts culminated in the seizure of approximately 317 kilograms of heroin and the arrest of 13 subjects. This investigation is significant, as it was the first time that the exchange of ''real-time intelligence'' had led to a major seizure in China.
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Central America/Mexico covers fifteen country offices. Current reporting indicates that the Southwest Border remains the point of entry for the majority of all illicit drugs smuggled into the United States. The Mexico-Central America corridor is currently the predominant route for cocaine movement to the United States, with an estimated 72 percent of the cocaine transiting this corridor. Mexico also supplies heroin, methamphetamine and a significant amount of the marijuana consumed in the United States.
The U.S. diplomatic and DEA presence in Mexico is one of the largest outside the United States. The Government of Mexico (GOM) and DEA have achieved great successes in drug interdiction and eradication. Bilateral cooperation and the exchange of information have been unprecedented under President Vincente Fox-Quesada's administration. Under his Administration, the GOM has pursued every major drug trafficking organization (DTO). However, despite recent successes, Mexico still faces daunting and significant challenges in the areas of counter-narcotics, its legal system and anti-corruption effort.
Significant arrests of prominent Mexican DTOs have been made by the GOM over the last two years. In March 2002, Special Forces of the Mexican Army, in conjunction with the Mexican Organized Crime Unit, arrested Benjamin Arellano-Felix, leader and patriarch of the Arellano-Felix drug trafficking organization. Mexican authorities charged Arellano-Felix with money laundering, organized delinquency and trafficking in marijuana, cocaine and heroin. He is also indicted in the Southern District of California with operating a Continuing Criminal Enterprise, money laundering and drug conspiracy charges. Arellano-Felix led one of the most powerful and violent drug cartels in Mexico since the 1980, transporting ton quantities of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin into the United States, through the Tijuana and Mexicali corridors.
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The South America section covers fifteen country offices. The DEA in South America and, in particular, the Bogota, Colombia Country Office (BCO), is aggressively targeting international drug trafficking organizations, in addition to facilitating the objectives of the Andean Regional Initiative. The BCO continues to focus on the dismantling of trafficking organizations with international implicationsspecifically, those with a connection to the United States. Colombia has long been the largest exporter of cocaine to the U.S. and has become a major supplier of heroin, as well. In addition, the BCO is focusing its efforts on the importation and diversion of precursor chemicals. The BCO's Special Investigative Units (SIU) and the Andean Programs have been very successful in mounting cases against major traffickers and having these traffickers extradited to the U.S. for prosecution.
Enforcement actions in the BCO demonstrate DEA's commitment in the war against drug trafficking and abuse and terrorism. In 2002, several high ranking members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) were indicted in the United States for drug trafficking. This investigation highlighted the link between groups and individuals under investigation for drug trafficking, as well as terrorist activity. This case represented the first time that drug trafficking charges were brought in the United States against members of foreign terrorist organizations.
In November 2002, the BCO successfully concluded a two-year investigation with the arrests of 16 defendants. The arrests included the principal targets in Colombia and Ecuador responsible for the 13-ton shipment of cocaine seized from the vessel M/V Svesda Maru. In June 2002, the BCO concluded the yearlong investigation, Operation Julieta, by arresting 21 individuals in Colombia responsible for shipping multi-kilograms of heroin and cocaine to the United States.
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The Caribbean section covers seven foreign country offices and four domestic offices. The Caribbean has long been an important transit zone for drugs entering the United States and Europe from South America. The drugs are transported through the region, to both the United States and Europe, through a wide variety of routes and methods, primarily marine vessels. The Caribbean remains a major transit route for South American cocaine destined for the United States and other world markets. The Caribbean is also an important transit point for marijuana and heroin destined for the United States, as well as a major money-laundering center for illicit drug proceeds.
The Caribbean Offices strive to strengthen the region's collective ability to track, interdict, arrest and prosecute successfully money laundering and drug smuggling organizations that operate in the Caribbean.
EUROPE, AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST AND CANADA
Europe/Middle East covers 156 countries, with 24 DEA country offices. With various drug trafficking organizations' methods of operation and tentacles stretching around the globe, DEA offices in these regions are combating the aggressive activities of numerous DTOs. These include the new methods of operation of the Albanian DTOs, the influx of MDMA and multi-ton shipments of cocaine from South America in containerized shipments.
The DEA initiated Operation Containment, an enforcement program involving the Central Asian States, India, Pakistan, Turkey, the Balkan countries, Russia, Germany and the United Kingdom. The goal of Operation Containment is to reduce the amount of Afghan heroin flowing to Western Europe through enhanced interdiction efforts, intelligence sharing and database connectivity. During Operation Containment's ''Interdiction Blitz,'' from June 10, 2002 through July 10, 2002, the following drug seizures were made: 1705 kilograms of heroin, 125 kilograms of hashish, 1.5 kilograms of liquid cocaine, 1.6 kilograms of powder cocaine, 250,000 tablets of amphetamines, 690 tablets of MDMA, 5329 kilograms of cannabis, 352 kilograms of opium, 1574 metric tons of toluol, (precursor), 1008 kilograms of poppy straw and 2013 opium plants.
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SPECIAL OPERATIONS DIVISION
DEA's Special Operations Division (SOD), created in 1995, is a DEA led Division with participation from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Justice's (DOJ) Criminal Division. SOD's mission is to establish seamless law enforcement strategies and operations aimed at dismantling national and international trafficking organizations by attacking their command and control communications. Special emphasis is placed on those major drug trafficking organizations that operate across jurisdictional boundaries on a regional, national and international level. The unique investigative support provided by SOD allows the program to act as a ''force multiplier'' for drug law enforcement because it provides an effective and efficient medium for communication, intelligence sharing and coordination among America's major drug law enforcement agencies.
Significant operations supported by SOD include Operation Webslinger, the first national operation that targeted organizations utilizing the Internet to traffic the predatory drugs GHB, GBL and 1,4 BD (BD). Operation Webslinger culminated in September 2002 and resulted in the arrest of 170 individuals and the seizure of 3,600 gallons of GHB, GBL and BD; 2 clandestine laboratories; 4.75 pounds of methamphetamine; 1.3 kilograms of MDMA; 2,500 vials of steroids; 17 properties; 10 vehicles; 44 weapons; and $2.4 million in U.S. currency. SOD also supported Operation Double Trouble a money laundering operation that targeted international money brokers responsible for laundering drug proceeds. To date, this operation has resulted in the arrest of 62 individuals and the seizure of 170 kilograms of cocaine, 7 kilograms of heroin, 10 weapons, 4 vehicles and $12.4 million in U.S. currency.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Operation Mountain Express III, a nationwide investigation targeting pseudoephedrine suppliers for Mexican methamphetamine ''super labs,'' revealed that proceeds from sales of Canadian pseudoephedrine were being funneled through traditional ''hawalah'' networks to individuals in the Middle East. This operation resulted in the arrest of 136 individuals, the seizure of 35.8 tons of Canadian origin pseudoephedrine, 179 lbs. of methamphetamine, six methamphetamine labs and $4.5 million.
Operation Northern Star employed a comprehensive strategy targeting the entire methamphetamine trafficking process, including the suppliers of precursor chemicals, chemical brokers, transporters, manufacturers, distributors and the money launderers who helped conceal their criminal proceeds. DEA and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced the arrests of over 65 individuals in ten cities, throughout the United States and Canada. The arrests resulted from an 18-month international investigation targeting the illegal importation of pseudoephedrine, an essential chemical used in methamphetamine production. As part of this investigation, agents targeted six executives from three Canadian chemical companies. All sold bulk quantities of pseudoephedrine to methamphetamine manufacturers in the United States, with the full knowledge that their sales were intended for the illegal production of the highly addictive and dangerous drug methamphetamine.
The Intelligence Division provides dedicated analytical support to DEA investigations, programs and operations worldwide. The headquarters component advises on all matters pertaining to the formulation, direction, coordination and management of DEA's global drug intelligence and information exchange programs. Intelligence functions include policy development and management, guidance on sensitive activities and maintenance and development of methods and techniques, domestic intelligence, international intelligence and the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC). The Intelligence Division also is active in countering terrorism. DEA has over 700 Intelligence Analysts assigned to field divisions; foreign offices; and headquarters functions, including EPIC and the Aviation Intelligence Group.
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EPIC concentrates primarily on drug movement, illegal aliens and weapons violations in the United States and the Western Hemisphere. A number of EPIC programs are dedicated to port-seizure analysis and the establishment of links between recent enforcement actions and ongoing investigations. EPIC coordinates training for state and local officers concerning interdiction and concealment methods used for drugs and drug currency. EPIC also provides tactical intelligence information to the officers within the first critical week after a seizure or a stop.
In FY2002, 32 percent of EPIC's inquiries were related to counterterrorism. EPIC has supported the FBI, the Department of Defense, the United States Coast Guard, other federal and state and local agencies by processing almost a million database accesses, providing over 33,000 investigative leads and forwarding over 6,000 communiqués to investigators. The Office of Special Intelligence (NS) also is involved, routinely researching its databases for leads. NS has been critical in the identification of impending terrorism activities.
DEA's Intelligence Division is committed to interagency cooperation. Each designated HIDTA has at least one intelligence element, usually called an Investigative Support Center (ISC). HIDTA intelligence elements serve as hubs for the sharing of drug intelligence among federal, state and local law enforcement HIDTA-funded participating agencies. DEA's commitment to HIDTA shows in the assignment of nearly 10 percent of our analytical resources to HIDTAs. EPIC also plays a critical role in support of the HIDTA funded task forces by dedicating specific intelligence resources to facilitate HIDTA requests. Additionally, DEA provides leadership to the Counterdrug Intelligence Coordination Group and the Counterdrug Executive Secretariat and provides, on a reimbursable basis, at least three employees to the Central Intelligence Agency to support that agency's counterdrug programs.
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DEA's Intelligence Division has been active in international cooperation, strengthening the Bilateral Drug Intelligence Working Groups. Mutually beneficial meetings have been held with the partners: Germany, Canada and Australia. To expand this initiative, meetings also were conducted with China.
OFFICE OF DIVERSION CONTROL
The mission of DEA's Office of Diversion Control (OD) is to prevent the diversion of legitimately produced controlled substances and listed chemicals while ensuring adequate supplies for legitimate needs. In fulfilling its mandate under the Controlled Substances Act, among many functions, OD maintains a national registration program for all controlled substances handlers (those who manufacture, distribute, dispense, import or export such substances); conducts major diversion investigations, unilaterally or together with state/local authorities; serves as the U.S. Competent Authority in fulfilling national obligations under United Nations drug and chemical control treaties; establishes national drug production quotas; controls the import/export of controlled drugs and listed chemicals; and maintains liaison with the drug and chemical industry, associations and related professions.
Among current important OD initiatives are a national program to prevent and detect diversion of the powerful narcotic OxyContin; international partnership initiatives to prevent and detect global diversion of key chemicals used in illicit cocaine, heroin and amphetamine-type stimulant (e.g., MDMA) production; and a program to target use of the Internet to illegally obtain controlled drugs. In a continual effort to streamline/improve efficiency of service to DEA registrants, OD is in the process of ''re-engineering'' the registration program to allow interactive Internet provision of registration services and is embarked on a major E-commerce initiative. This initiative which will provide for the secure use of the Internet to conduct controlled substance prescription and ordering functions.
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One notable Diversion case concerned the owner and six physicians of the Carolina Neurology and Pain Management Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, who were named in a 59-count federal indictment. Each defendant was charged with conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense Oxycodone, as well as a variety of other controlled substances. Due to the large amounts of controlled substances distributed for non-legitimate medical reasons at the clinic, several patients died. The defendants also were charged with money laundering in excess of $5,000,000 during the period between June 1997 and July 2001.
DEA employs over 500 Diversion Investigators, who are assigned to domestic field divisions, foreign offices and Headquarters elements. The Diversion Control Program is a fee-funded activity with respect to its controlled pharmaceutical functions.
OFFICE OF TRAINING
The Drug Enforcement Administration's Office of Training is the nation's preeminent law enforcement training organization for national and international drug law enforcement training. The Office of Training provides technical and non-technical training to DEA personnel and appropriate domestic and foreign law enforcement officers, to improve individual and organizational performance and assist in achieving mission and performance goals.
The primary purpose of the DEA Training Academy is to train the agency's four core constituencies: Basic Agents, Basic Diversion Investigators, Basic Intelligence Research Specialists and Basic Forensic Scientists. In addition, the Academy provides for professional and executive development training, certification training and specialized training. The Academy also is used to conduct drug law enforcement seminars for state and local law enforcement personnel, and through the use of specially equipped classrooms, international drug training seminars for foreign law enforcement officials. DEA training includes Executive and Professional Development training, state and local training, clandestine laboratory training and various international training programs. During FY 2002, DEA's Office of Training provided instruction to over 7,800 DEA and other federal, state, local and international students. DEA anticipates training approximately the same number of personnel in FY 2003.
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OPERATIONAL SUPPORT DIVISION
The Operational Support Division is responsible for the management and operation of DEA's Offices of Administration, Investigative Technology, Information Systems and Forensic Sciences. Numerous improvements have been realized in the areas of investigative technology, information technology, laboratory services, clandestine laboratory cleanups, audit requirements and domestic and laboratory replacements and renovations.
For example, the Office of Investigative Technology implemented a Centralized Call Data Delivery system for intercepted cellular pen register data for the field. This system enables each division to obtain cellular call data without the need to establish a dedicated connection to individual cellular companies, thus generating substantial cost savings to DEA. The Office of Information Systems was the first component in the Department of Justice to electronically transmit information through the Department's Joint Automated Booking System (JABS) to the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, through the Firebird Booking Station. This system provides rapid identification of individuals under arrest or detention, minimizes duplication of data entry during booking, and it promotes data sharing among Department law enforcement agencies and other authorized parties, through an interface with the Nationwide JABS.
The Operational Support Division has improved hazardous waste disposal by implementing significant cost savings and efficiencies with a new five year hazardous waste cleanup contract and developing an alternative clean up program. In addition, significant improvements have been made in DEA's audit requirements, as apparent in the recently completed KPMG 2002 Financial Audit, in which DEA went from three IT material weaknesses in 2001 to none in 2002.
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While DEA is principally a law enforcement agency, demand reduction is an important element of DEA's overall enforcement strategy. Through investigations such as Operation Webslinger and Operation Pipe Dreams, an investigation that targeted national distributors of drug paraphernalia, DEA carries out its enforcement mission while achieving the complementary goal of raising public awareness regarding the dangers of drug abuse and drug trafficking.
DEA also provides training in support of national conferences held by a variety of federal, state and local agencies. These conferences bring together law enforcement, health, prevention and education groups to craft a specific strategy to deal with methamphetamine abuse unique to their states. Last year, for example, DEA hosted Methamphetamine Conferences in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Hawaii and at the Midwest Governor's Summit in Iowa. DEA's Demand Reduction Program also spearheaded the following campaigns:
DEA'S ''METH IN AMERICA: NOT IN OUR TOWN'' CAMPAIGN IN 2002
Methamphetamine has become the number one drug problem of rural and small-town America. As a law enforcement agency, DEA felt this message was an important one to put out to the American people. This public awareness campaign has led to numerous congressional offices requesting DEA participation in ''Meth Town Hall Meetings,'' allowing Members to bring awareness about the problem to their constituents.
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Operation X-Out shows how deeply integrated supply reduction and demand reduction are. X-Out combines enforcement operations against MDMA and predatory drug traffickers with public news conferences and town hall discussions in communities about the devastating effects of club drugs. Local citizens, drug prevention experts and victims of drug-inspired crimes participate and articulate how the community can actively engage and stop the spread of club drugs in their community.
FY 2003 ENACTED APPROPRIATION AND FY 2004 BUDGET REQUEST
In FY 2003, DEA's enacted appropriation of $1.6 billion and 8,475 positions, provides 161 positions (including 95 Special Agents) and $43.8 million in direct funding to enhance drug enforcement activities, strengthen financial investigations and protect DEA's personnel and sensitive information.
The President's FY 2004 Budget Proposal for DEA of $1.7 billion and 8,815 positions responds to the challenge we facereducing availability of illegal drugs in America. To this end, DEA's FY 2004 Budget Request includes three programmatic enhancements as follows:
To target Priority Drug Trafficking Organizations, DEA requests $38.9 million and 329 positions (including 123 Special Agents and 20 Diversion Investigators). This initiative includes a request for administrative support positions to free up the equivalent of 80 Special Agents' work hours for enforcement activities and $4 million to support 100 State and Local Task Force Officers. These resources are necessary to fully support DEA's plan for addressing the Nation's illegal drug threats in the post-September 11, 2001, environment.
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To continue the International Training Program, DEA requests $1.5 million and 20 positions (including 16 Special Agents). These resources will address an anticipated shortfall of reimbursable resources that the Department of State currently provides for this program.
To improve DEA's Financial and Asset Management Programs, DEA requests $2.5 million and 20 positions. This enhancement will allow DEA to make systemic improvements necessary to ensure continued success in future financial audits.
For the Diversion Control Fee Account, the FY 2004 President's Budget continues the increased level of funding requested in FY 2003 to strengthen our enforcement capabilities for investigating the diversion of controlled substances, including OxyContin.
In addition, the President's FY 2004 Budget includes $23 million and 150 positions (110 Special Agents) for DEA under the OCDFTF Program to support the Department's Strategy by targeting Consolidated Priority Organization Targets.
The DEA remains committed to our primary goal of targeting and arresting the most significant traffickers in the world today. In particular, we will continue to work in close partnership with our local, state, federal and international counterparts to target drug trafficking groups, who spread misery and false hope to America's citizens.
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Again, I would like to thank the Subcommittee for inviting me here today. You have given me an opportunity to speak to you regarding DEA's programs, initiatives, goals and objectives in addressing drug trafficking and abuse in America. As the Members of this Subcommittee know well, drugs know no boundaries and do not make distinctions between big city and small town America, between color and ethnicity, whether rich or poor. It is the responsibility of every American to contribute in the fight against illegal drugs.
I will be happy to respond to any questions you may have.
Mr. COBLE. Time permitting, we may have a second round here, because I suspect we will all have a good number of questions to put to you all.
Mr. D'Amuro, today's Washington Post story indicates that we may well be on our way to winning the war on terrorism. The article includes, ''The failure of al-Qaeda to launch terrorist attacks against the U.S. or its allies during the war in Iraq has bolstered a growing belief among U.S. intelligence agencies that 19 months of worldwide counterterrorism operations and arrests have nearly crippled the organization.''
The article goes on to say that ''senior intelligence officials continue to speak optimistically about the progress that has been made since September 11th, 2001.'' .
Now, Mr. D'Amuro, my heart wants to warmly embrace the contents of this article. My head conversely reminds me that we have an enemy that is not only willing to die, but eager to die as long as they can take us down with them. So I am in a quandary. I hope the article is correct, but if anyone in the room is in a position to authoritatively respond to it, it is you. So, what say you to the article?
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Mr. D'AMURO. Well, I agree with aspects of that article, Mr. Chairman. The United States Government, the Intelligence Community, both the Agency, the Bureau, the Department of Defense have had significant achievements against al-Qaeda. Now, that does not mean that there are not numerous other entities out there, terrorist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda that received training in al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan that are not a threat to this country. While al-Qaeda may very well be in disarray, I still believe it has the potential to attack United States interests, as well as all the other tangential groups to al-Qaeda that sympathize with their cause. Those groups are still the number one priority of the FBI. Our mission is the identification of terrorist cells, sleeper cells in this country to prevent the next attack.
So, while I agree with the disruption of al-Qaeda efforts, I still want to emphasize that it is still a severe threat to this country's safety.
Mr. COBLE. And I didn't want to portray myself as a naysayer. But we are pretty much coming from the same vantage point, I think.
Mr. Hankinson, the implementation of the Safe Explosives Act has created some confusion between the duties of DOT and ATF with regards to regulating the explosives. Is it the intention of ATF to regulate in any aspect of the transportation of explosives and is there an effort to coordinate to avoid duplication, A? And, B, what has ATF done to notify individuals and corporations about these changes? I can see that all sorts of inconvenience is going to be imposed. I realize we don't need every Osama bin Laden walking down the street with explosives in his handbag, but at the same time we don't want to make it difficult for other folks who do, in fact, need explosives in their day-to-day work. So talk to us about that.
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Mr. HANKINSON. As a result of this act being implemented, what we did, we went out to the industry trade groups, to also industry associations. We went further; we made up posters and sent them to retailers delineating this law and the affect it would have on people who actually purchase, maintain, retailers, so forth, these explosives. And we also placed it on our Website. So we made a concentrated effort to inform the public, and specifically those people who would be affected by this law, to advise them of what they would need to do and to go through in order to purchase explosives.
In respect to Department of Transportation, we do not believe there is any duplication. In fact, Department of Transportation does have the responsibility under the law in regard to transportation of explosives. They have also issued regulations. Before they issued those regulations, they gave us an opportunity to comment upon them, which we did. So in that regard, there is no duplication because that is where their authorities and jurisdiction lie. And I do not believe, as we move to this act's implementation on the 24th of this month, that we will see any problem regarding duplication or friction between Department of Transportation and ATF. We have met with them on many times, had conferences, personal meetings to ensure that all the regulations that are issued by us and those regulations issued by them are not in conflict.
Mr. COBLE. Thank you.
My time has expired. The gentleman from Virginia.
Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. Hankinson, there has been controversy about how long firearms dealers will keep their records. What is the present situation there?
Mr. HANKINSON. I do not believeand I have only been in this position for the last number of monthsthere have been any change whatsoever in the law or how it is applied on the part of ATF.
Mr. SCOTT. Is there any desire to shorten the length of time that the firearms dealers will keep their records?
Mr. HANKINSON. I am not aware of any desire in that particular matter.
Mr. SCOTT. What is ATF's position on ballistic fingerprinting, or at least a scientific study of whether it is a good idea or not?
Mr. HANKINSON. Well, this study is actually under the auspices and within the Department of Justice. We have given our expertise and information, any questions they may have to the Department of Justice. So it is actually out of our hands in particular and under their domain.
Mr. SCOTT. When would we expect results from the study?
Mr. HANKINSON. That is a question, I am sorry, I cannot answer.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. SCOTT. Okay. Mr. D'Amuro, can you tell me something about the diversity in the FBI workforce? There wasI think a lack of diversity in the workforce has been part of the problem of us getting good information. Can you tell us how much more diverse the FBI is than it was before September 11th?
Mr. D'AMURO. Congressman, I don't have the official numbers with me here, but we have created an engineering product to take a look at our hiring requirements and the specialty needs of the Bureau to ensure that the Bureau is in a position to focus on the future to make sure we have the critical needs going through our Academy at Quantico both in the analytical core and in the special agent category. I can get you the figures as to the recent hires, I just do not have them with me.
Mr. SCOTT. Well, is it significantly more diverse now than it was, particularly with Middle Eastern agents?
Mr. D'AMURO. We are looking to increase our language ability of the agent position. We have made significant efforts in that area, both in our language services as well as the agent cadre, and will continue to look toward that.
Mr. SCOTT. Well, you made efforts. Have we got any results?
Mr. D'AMURO. I don't have any results with me as to numbers. There have been significant results in the language services areas, but I don't have the numbers.
Mr. SCOTT. Well, you don't have the numbers right now. There have been significant increases. If you can get me those numbers, I would appreciate it.
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Can you tell me the FBI position on investigating people, gathering information on people without an ongoing criminal investigation? The old rule, as I understand it, was that you wouldn't gather information domestically unless you were actually investigating an ongoing criminal investigation. And there were public comments, that you would start gathering information on American citizens by attending public meetings and this kind of thing, gathering information, developing dossiers and whatnot on American citizens. Can you tell me the status of that little operation?
Mr. D'AMURO. Congressman, we are bound by the Constitution of the United States, we are bound by the Attorney General guidelines in how we conduct our investigations. We have two types of investigations that we undertake at the FBI; they are both criminal and the national security type investigations. When we have an individual under investigation for national security, there is a file. It is pursuant to the Attorney General guidelines for conducting those investigations. We do not attend group meetings per se. If we have a source that we are worried about protecting, we have certain guidelines that we are allowed to attend that and coverage for the source of a particular meeting. We do not violate constitutional requirements in this country. Those guidelines are still in place. They were in place prior to 9/11. We are constantly looking at them to see if they need to be revamped.
Mr. SCOTT. Let me be more direct. In the absence of an ongoing criminal investigation, are you gathering information on people?
Mr. D'AMURO. If we have a reason to suspect an individual, we open up a file on that individual, and we are required to do so. Now, in the process of conducting
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Mr. SCOTT. If you have
Mr. D'AMURO. If we have information of an individual involved in terrorism, there is an official file opened on that individual.
Mr. SCOTT. And you would be investigating a specific crime.
Mr. D'AMURO. Correct.
Mr. SCOTT. My question is are you doing this in the absence of an ongoing criminal investigation?
Mr. D'AMURO. No, Congressman. We still operate pursuant to opening those files. In conducting any investigation, there is information and intelligence in the national security type investigation that may not pertain to that particular file. That is the purpose for us creating the Office of Intelligence, where there is positive intelligence gathered on counterintelligence investigations.
Mr. SCOTT. Chairman, could I ask just one follow-up? Does this mean the procedure has changed or not changed?
Mr. D'AMURO. It has not changed, Congressman.
Mr. SCOTT. Thank you.
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Mr. COBLE. The gentleman from Florida.
Mr. FEENEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, thank you for being here.
Mr. D'Amuro, please excuse me; I am a freshman, and if I ask a question that is sensitive or secure, of course you are not going to give me an answer in this forum. But I am interested, given the fact that recent reports indicate that some of our longstanding allies have been perhaps cooperating with the Iraqi Government, amongst others, in providing both information and equipment, in the case perhaps of the Russians, I am interested in terms of how we are treating some of those allies in their business dealings in the United States of America as it relates to technology or to other information that may be heretofore shared on a fairly frequent basis with companies from France, for example, or others. And I am interested in whether the FBI has enhanced efforts to watch foreign companies and their representatives as they do business with American technology companies or other American companies that may have access to secure information.
Mr. D'AMURO. Congressman, a lot of that question I can't answer, but I will say this: That we do have increased concerns, and we have increased our economic espionage coverage in the Bureau, and we will continue to look toward that goal in the very near and long-term future. It is one of the major problems that we foresee the Bureau to be involved in.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. FEENEY. Well, criminals on a wide array of matters, both foreign and domestic, are increasingly sophisticated in terms of their technological capabilities. And the FBI has ramped up its technological infrastructure and is trying to keep pace with the activities of terrorists and criminals and presumably perhaps threatening foreign nations. It is my understanding that that has resulted in some large cost increases that perhaps were unanticipated a few years ago in the FBI.
And where are we going with respect to the costs of dealing with the enhanced technological challenges that the FBI has to deal with? And do you have any predictions for the Committee about where we will be in the future?
Mr. D'AMURO. Yes, I do. And first let me say again thank you to the Committee for enhancing the Bureau's technology problem. In my opinion, in my 24 years with the FBI, it has been the most significant problem that we have faced. The management of our information is critical to protecting this country. We anticipate with the enhancements of Trilogy and other information technology advancements within the FBI that there could be a shortage of approximately $137 million. We are in the process of working with the Department of Justice in coming back to the appropriation Committees and looking at that shortfall.
Mr. FEENEY. And with respect to the Joint Terrorism Task Forces, obviously until 1812 it had been a long time since the continental mainland of the U.S. had been attacked by a foreign power. Since 1812, it really hadn't occurred outside of Pearl Harbor and a few lesser incidents. But nowadays the cooperation with respect to the information that we gather at the Federal level, and Federal, State, and local law enforcement and other first responders and other counterintelligence activities is increasingly important.
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And, number one, I would like to know how you are breaking down the barriers between the different domestic Federal agencies; and secondly, with respect to the barriers between the Federal Government and the States and locals. And the third question would be as it relates to the fact that some States, like my own in Florida, have fairly aggressive public records laws that protect the access under the first amendment and then go further of the press to records involved in potential criminal activity. So what do you do on the one hand to share as much information as you can, while preserving and protecting the access, the secure nature of some of the things that you are sharing? So I guess those are three related questions.
Mr. D'AMURO. I will start with that. There is a lot of different pieces to that question, and I will try to answer that the best that I can.
The JTTFs are a community entity. It is an operational piece of the FBI that belongs to the communities that they serve. With various Federal, State, and local agencies that are part of that entity, it is not only an operational piece to the counterterrorism program, it is an intelligence collection and dissemination piece, and the significance of going from 35 to 66 JTTFs throughout the country hopefully will greatly enhance the amount of intelligence that is collected by the JTTFs and shared back here at FBI headquarters, and then the amount of information that the FBI disseminates to those JTTFs as appropriate.
The beauty of the JTTF is that not only does it collect that information, it also acts upon it and has the ability to disrupt terrorist activities in the field.
With respect to the sharing of intelligence, I think another significant piece is the TTIC, the newly created TTIC, with all Federal components participating at a collocated center so that the one piece that has been missing in the past with respect to threat analysis is the coupling and the fusion of all the intelligence that the Federal entities have with respect to terrorism to provide one-stop shopping for threat analysis. And that organization was just put into operation the first of this month. In fact, they just went out again this morning to take another tour of the facility.
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We are also under way, as I said in my statement, with providing intelligence reports to the field, to the JTTFs both on counterintelligence and counterterrorism, over 1,200 reports in the last 6 months.
Mr. COBLE. The gentleman's time has expired. When we pick up on the second round, just hold that thought, if you will.
The gentlelady from Texas.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank the Chairman very much.
Let me thank the witnesses for their presentation. And again, we have lived togetheras I have been a Member of this Judiciary Committee ever since I have come to the United States Congress, it has been my honor to work with agents from the DEA and the ATF and the FBI. And this should not be taken personally, but let me acknowledge the SAC in charge in Houston, Richard Garcia, who has been a delight and extremely involved in working with us on Homeland Security issues. And I might attribute those same compliments to the representatives from the DEA and ATF as we work together.
But let me pursue a line of questioning that has concerned my office and my constituents and are crucial, of course, to whether we get the job done on terrorism in this Nation and fight terror together.
Constituents of mine, happen to be Muslims, had a tragedy in their family which resulted in a number of individuals dying. And so the mourning started, the mourning the loss of these individuals, and Muslims from around Houston began to gather at their home. Information was given by the neighbors that individuals were going to a home with heads wrapped and clothing on, Muslim attire, and before you know it, the INS had raided this home early in the morning, causing almost a heart condition by the father. It is one of those 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, 6 a.m. raids where the father had to be taken into the hospital, elderly grandmother was in shock. And it was based upon information given to authorities that wasthe information itself was wrong.
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Certainly I would be disingenuous not to say that there was some immigration issues within that family, but they were law-abiding. There was not oneshort of the immigration issuesone iota of any kind of criminal activity, terror activity involved. But they were swooped up on an INS raid on the basis of information given.
And without you saying, well, we got some INS violations, let me go to the larger question: Thatand this is to Mr. D'Amuro. We have several points here about you now receiving voluntary information from groups, from private entities, the outsiders, encouraging that. It is important for me to know what you are doing to ensure the accuracy of this information.
Let me quickly go to my other question so that I can leave time for the Member panelists to ask. The accuracy of this informationbecause obviously those neighbors, private entities, outsiders, gave information ofwhich we certainly want to encourage, but it was wrong. Because obviously their information is they are gathering to talk about terror acts against Houston, Texas, et cetera, and it was absolutely wrong. And you sent people to hospitals, you destroyed a family, et cetera.
The other question I am interested in is the status of this gathering together or the process of Iraqi nationals and what happened with that. And has that ceased, or are we still doing that?
The other, of course, is the problem we have with the immigration community in general, throngs of individuals I have had in meetings, on the distrust and fear of even saying anything because you will be called in. How are you treating immigrants now, particularly those from Muslim background, young men? And I would be interested in getting a status report on the registration lists, to my knowledge, particularly impacting Pakistanis. And are you engaged in expanding that list? Is the FBI intimately engaged in expanding that list? If you would.
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Lastly, to the DEA and ATF. And if we are going to have a second round, just to say to you that I would be interested in what resources you need to be fully a part of Homeland Security in the fight against terror from your agencies.
Mr. D'Amuro, if you would start on your questions.
Mr. D'Amuro, if you would start on your answer.
Mr. D'AMURO. Congresswoman, I will not attempt to speak for INS. I am unaware of the specific investigation you are talking about.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. You can focus on getting private information.
Mr. D'AMURO. You mentioned our Iraqi program. I have to be very cautious as to what specific information we put forth in an open hearing. However, I will say this, that I am very, very pleased with the results of the program that the Bureau put forward on that.
We took great careand we began planning that program last springin making sure that we reached out to those communities and we talked to community leaders to make sure they understood what the FBI was going to be doing, what actions we would be taking, and what kind of information we were looking for.
We had our SACs from all the divisions reach into those communities and liaison with those communities. We also put forth through the media what actions the FBI would be taking with potential hostilities occurring with Iraq. The results of that program have been phenomenal. We have received very few complaints. We have received outstanding information that we have provided to the appropriate Government entities. So I think that is a success story.
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I can understand the concerns of a lot of communities looking at actions since the events of 9/11, but we remain focused on making sure that our field office executive management liaisoned with those communities and made sure that we have appropriate coverages to investigate not only terrorist acts but also civil rights violations. We have made sure we have told those communities that in the event of hate crimes or civil rights violations that they contact the FBI office, and we will investigate those crimes in addition to counterterrorism threats.
Mr. COBLE. Sheila, if you will suspend on the second question, I will recognize the gentleman from Virginia and Wisconsin, and you may come back on the second round.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you.
Mr. COBLE. The gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Goodlatte.
Mr. GOODLATTE. Thank you for holding the hearing, and I appreciate the contributions of the witnesses, but I have no questions.
Mr. COBLE. The gentleman from Wisconsin.
Mr. GREEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have two questions for the FBI and the ATF.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Last year, last August, the GAO issued a report entitled Internet Cigarette Sales: Giving the ATF Investigative Authority May Improve Reporting and Enforcement. That report examined the growing problem of remote sales of cigarettes via mail order, the phone, and Internet, in clear violation of the Jenkins Act.
Currently, the FBI has primary authority for the enforcement of the Jenkins Act, but for some obvious reasons does not have all the resources to focus on the Jenkins Act enforcement. To improve enforcement of the law, GAO has suggested transferring primary enforcement authority from the FBI to the ATF, which is already engaged in tobacco-related enforcement activities.
Two questions. First off, how would the FBI and ATF receive such a change if it were proposed?
Secondly, what is the best way to accomplish this transfer of enforcement authority? Is legislation necessary, or can this be done administratively by the Attorney General?
In any order you would like to take it up in.
Mr. HANKINSON. I recall very well this review by GAO and looking at this particular matter. Yes, we do vigorously investigate various aspects of tobacco violations. Of course, they are becoming more numerous every day as the States continue to raise taxes on cigarettes, whether it be counterfeit tobacco, whether it be counterfeit stamps, whether they are sold on the black market, so to speak.
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 But this particular act probably, as I understand it from our chief counsel's office, would need legislation. I also want to point out in this particular act I believe that the violation amounts to a misdemeanor, which is a particular problem. The legislation would be needed to enhance the penalties.
Mr. GREEN. Mr. D'Amuro.
Mr. D'AMURO. Congressman, to answer your question, we have been utilizing some of those statutes with respect to the cigarette tax, with respect to investigating Hezbollah activities in this country. We have been very successful in doing that to disrupt those terrorist activities.
We are looking at a vast array of different classifications that ATF and the Bureau is working on, and we are in the process of those discussions to see how we go forward in the future.
Mr. GREEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. COBLE. Let's start a second round right quickly here. Mr. Guevara, we have ignored you, so I will bring you into the center ring, here.
Given the FBI's redirection of resources toward terrorism and away from drug investigation, how is the DEA picking up the slack, A; B, is the current budget request adequate to cover these additional responsibilities; and, C, generally what is the DEA's role in the war on terrorism?
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Mr. GUEVARA. Yes, sir. If I may begin with the latter part of the question with regard to DEA's role in terrorism, let me say that DEA is fully coordinating all our efforts with the rest of the Government agencies that require that cooperation. As my colleague from the FBI mentioned earlier, the Joint Terrorism Task Force on the ground level is, first and foremost, one of the central points of coordination in the field. DEA has personnel assigned to each and every one of those units for purposes of coordination.
The other thing that we are doing is, through the Special Operations Division that I mentioned in my testimony, we are providing additional support that will ensure that any intelligence that DEA is privy to is shared with the appropriate agencies.
As an example, between September 11, 2001, and December 31 of 2002, DEA's Office of Intelligence completed over 3,300 products in support of the FBI's counterterrorism activities.
In addition to that, the El Paso Intelligence Center, which is a DEA-led co-mingled effort, through February of this year was responsible for servicing 39 percent of all their inquiries relating to counterterrorism.
In addition to that, let me add that DEA has engaged in a heightened awareness of drug investigations to ensure that any investigations that DEA is pursuing in the course of our responsibilities is identified and passed to the appropriate agencies.
In addition to that question, DEA is fully committed to the OCDETF program, where DEA continues to be supported with budget increases that have allowed us to receive additional agent personnel that will again allow DEA to pursue drug trafficking investigations at the highest level of the traffic and, through our presence overseas, as well as domestically, allow us to target the major kingpins that are responsible for introducing narcotics and drugs into our communities.
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Mr. COBLE. Thank you, sir.
Mr. Guevara, I have been told that appropriators may be attempting to eliminate the Demand Reduction coordinators under the RAVE Act. What do you say to that? It is my belief that these coordinators are essential.
Mr. GUEVARA. Yes, sir. The DEA Demand Reduction Program was initiated by DEA in 1986. The program involves 21excuse me, involves a coordinator in each of the 21 field divisions. These Drug Demand Coordinators are responsible for outreach programs in the community and education, as well as training. Through this program we have reached some 10.4 million people across the United States.
We consider this a very important part of our efforts that are designed to complement the drug enforcement principal duties DEA is responsible for.
Mr. COBLE. Thank you.
Mr. SCOTT. No, thank you.
Mr. COBLE. The gentlewoman from Texas.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I thank Mr. Scott, as well.
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Because we were in the midst of a line of questioning and maybe a line of reasoning, I might follow up again.
Mr. D'Amuro, let me pursue again with youI appreciate the answers, but let me pursue this. I want you to be able to confine your responses to what is declassified, so let me be pointed about my questioning about the Iraqi nationals.
Clearly, I am sure that the attitude was to be helpful, but you have to understand that out of the desire to be helpful is also a fear not to complain. What are the guidelines and protections that are evidenced to this community that say, if you complain, you are as protected as if you don't complain? I am concerned about that.
If it is declassified, I would like to know, has it ended; or is this program still being monitored, still being utilized?
Let me press further on the outreach question or the question about the immigrant community. I don't think we have fixed that problem. There is no doubt that, whether it is the DEA, whether it is the ATF, that intelligencewhen I say that, informationhelps you solve cases. If you have a chilling effect where it is not known to the immigrant communityyou can't speak for the INS, but when it is not known to the immigrant community whether any encounter with law enforcement will result in their incarceration, I don't know how you are being helped in getting information.
With the new FBI focus on terror, that is a key aspect of your business, getting information. I am not convincedand I did not hear you talk about the registration list, where we are on the registration list. I can assure you that that created enormous hardship, panic, fear and trepidation. I would like to know where you are and whether or not the FBI is engaged in expanding the list or doing anything with the list.
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With the other gentlemen I raise that same question: How are you fitting yourselves into the Homeland Security Department on those aspects of your business, and what do you need from us? I serve on that Committee, the Select Committee on Homeland Security, and we are trying to deal specifically with solutions as to how we can make sure that we are working together.
Mr. D'Amuro, if you would focus on the concerns that I have.
Mr. D'AMURO. Congresswoman, I believe you are talking about the INSR list. That is an INS project. It is not a list that the FBI is going out trying to get people to register in. I don't know how to answer your concern about an INS program right now.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I do know it is an INS program. My understanding was that the FBI is collaboratively assisting. You can correct that if that is incorrect.
What connection do you have to any who may be registered on that list in terms of interrogating them about information that may come to your attention? I am trying to find the nexus, and to suggest that there is a nexus; but more importantly, that the FBI has a responsibility in the immigrant community as it relates to your outreach necessities and getting information.
Mr. D'AMURO. Again, let me reiterate: We have gone to great lengths to make sure that the immigrant communities, the communities that we serve, understand what their legal rights are. We have instructed our special agent in charge of all the field offices to make sure they liaison with those communities.
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They did this prior to hostilities occurring in Iraq to ensure that these communities were well aware that in the event that civil rights were violated, the FBI was there to conduct those investigations and to offer solutions to the problems that they were having, to make sure that connectivity was in place.
We also wanted to ensure that the communities felt as comfortable as they could. I know it is never comfortable when an FBI agent or a Federal officer is knocking on your door, but we felt it crucial to go out and reach those communities and to obtain the information that we feel this country needed to better protect itself.
We were very concerned, as the Post article that I commented on earlier stated, that we were in a situation that, once hostilities were engaged in with Iraq, that we would see additional terrorist acts in the United States. We have not seen those, and we are very fortunate we have not seen those. It is due to, I believe, the efforts of a lot of men and women in the Federal Government and in State and local law enforcement entities to try to prevent that.
I am not sure how else to answer your question. When we go out and we find people that are out of status, if those individuals are of concern to us, with INS, some of those individuals are picked up and arrested and incarcerated. They have the opportunity through the legal system to work out those particular problems.
We are very concerned that we reach out to the communities and obtain the information and obtain the intelligence we need to better protect this country. Those are the efforts that we are trying to make. We are not trying to go out and harass citizens that are here legally, that are law-abiding citizens. We are trying to do the best we can walking down a path that sometimes may seem very difficult.
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Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Chairman, can I ask unanimous consent for an additional minute for these gentleman who got passed up in the first round to at least answer this question?
Mr. COBLE. Permission is granted, if the gentleman from Florida will hang tough.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. If I can just restate it, Mr. D'Amuro, if you would give me in writing a response dealing with the question of whether you have access to these individuals on the registration lists, and whether you engage them in any sort of organized questioning, or do you utilize the list, I would appreciate it. We can talk directly on that point. I'm not asking you to answer it now. We can talk directly on that point by phone call or in writing. I would appreciate it very much.
The gentleman here wearing the homeland security hat, the question is how you interface with that department and what more can we do to make sure there is a good fit. Obviously, there is a suggestion of laundering of drug money, utilization in terror activities, and certainly weapons would be utilized.
Mr. HANKINSON. Speaking of ATF, we do have two important jurisdictions that relate potentially to terrorism. One, of course, is weapons. The second most important is explosives.
The Safe Explosives Act itself is prevention. That is, Congress clearly had the intent to see that explosives do not fall into the hands of, one, the criminal element and, two, people associated with terrorism. In that particular matter, we think that is a very important factor in the potential prevention of terrorism.
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Ms. JACKSON LEE. Are you working with the Homeland Security Department?
Mr. HANKINSON. There is no doubt that we need to work better and harder with Homeland Security.
In that effort, we are establishing a separate directorate of information/intelligence for that data that we do gather in our everyday work so that we can, one, assemble it in one area; two, analyze it; and, three, get it to our Federal counterparts, as well as necessary to the local and State law enforcement officials.
Mr. COBLE. Very quickly, if you will.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The gentleman from the DEA, as well.
Mr. GUEVARA. Yes, ma'am. I can assure you that the DEA is taking steps aggressively to make sure that coordination is implemented. I know of at least six liaison officers who are attached to the Department of Homeland Security for purposes of coordination and for purposes of capturing any information that may come to the attention of the Department of Homeland Security, where DEA may service any request, by way of any data or information that DEA is privy to.
Page 83 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 On the other hand, or in reverse, they are there also for purposes of sharing any information that DEA may collect, particularly since we do have a foreign presence in 58 foreign countries. We are taking it very seriously, I can assure you, and have established these open lines of communication; while at the same time we are seeing these representatives come back to DEA and making suggestions on how we can best improve that.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you very much.
Mr. COBLE. You are indeed welcome.
The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Feeney.
Mr. FEENEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. D'Amuro, when my last 5 minutes concluded you were at the point where you were describing the relationship between the FBI and information flow back and forward, and also intercepting and interdicting actual criminal behavior. We were talking about the 1,200 or so FBI notices that you have sent to sheriffs.
By the way, my sheriffs in Central Florida get those and they appreciate them. They say they are working with you to coordinate wiretapping capabilities because you don't have enough manpower to coordinate all the things you would like to be doing, at least in my area. If you can elaborate on that and finish your thought.
Also, I asked you about the States that have, as my State does, a public records policy of open access to the media and to individual citizens, to what extent is that hampering your ability to communicate freely with those local and State officials?
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Mr. D'AMURO. We do have a project under way called Operation Gateway in which we are sharing intelligence with State and local entities, and where we are creating a database where those entities participating in the information-sharing will load their information into a database that is accessible to all the participants.
This particular programthe first one we have planned is hopefully going to be under way by the end of the month. It will be pursuant tothe State and local agencies are going to have to abide by their State and local laws, but it is an effort on our part to share Federal information that we can collect, that we are able to share, with all the securities built into that information, to try to enhance our information-sharing.
The intelligence reports are just one aspect of what we are trying to do at headquarters by centralizing the counterterrorism and counterintelligence program to make sure we get the information at headquarters and disseminate that to the communities that need it.
There are concerns. Whenever you share information on operations, you run the risk of divulging sources or techniques. We take great care in trying to protect those sources and techniques.
One of the positions we have created at FBI headquarters is that of a Reports Officer. The Reports Officer's function is to take the intelligence, take the information, and clean out and glean out the techniques and sources so we can share that information with the various communities.
Page 85 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 We do all this, as I said earlier, under the guidelines that we haveunder regulations with the Attorney General, guidelines and oversight from the Attorney General community and our own Office of Professional Responsibility. So all the protection for the American public is in place to ensure that we don't violate any civil liberties in the collection of this information and then in the dissemination or sharing of that information.
Mr. FEENEY. Some have suggested that the collection and analysis of intelligence-gathering domestically ought to be separated from the law enforcement capacity, and have even suggested that the FBI concentrate on law enforcement and have the intelligence-gathering aspects removed. Do you agree with that? What is your response to those critics?
Mr. D'AMURO. I vehemently disagree with that. I will tell you why.
The beautyI will use the counterterrorism program as an example of this. The beauty of how the Bureau operates in the counterterrorism world, I said earlier, is two-fold. It deals with national security issues; it deals with criminal issues.
Whenever we open investigations, there are national security concerns. That is how we look at them. We look at the prevention issue.
The beauty of what we do, if we look at the situation in Buffalo, New Yorkand I can't get into a lot of details in this particular hearingthat was a national security investigation in which we were collecting intelligence. Once we learned that actual crimes had taken place, it gave the FBI, it gave the JTTF the ability to request to have that information passed over a wall so we could utilize it in a criminal proceeding to disrupt the actual activity that was taking place in this country.
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Many other countries that have intelligence organizations only can only collect information; they can't act upon it. Within 24 hours of receiving intelligence information that crimes had taken place, these individuals were off the street.
There are many other law enforcement entities and intelligence entities that I have dealt with over my career that wished they had the ability tonot to have stovepipes, but be able to act upon intelligence and law enforcement evidence at the same time. That I think is the beauty of what the JTTF brings to this country. It has the ability for the intelligence collection as well as the disruptive law enforcement action, and all of it is monitored so that we don't overstep our bounds.
If I could just add one more thing, I would say to Congresswoman Lee, I would like to offer you a full briefing on how we operate with INS. They are on the task forces, and we do work very closely with them. I offer you that briefing at any time you would like. I will reach out to your office to get that scheduled.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Absolutely. I appreciate it.
I hope to be back before the conclusion to say one or two things on the record. Thank you very much.
Mr. COBLE. The gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Scott.
Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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Just following up on that, Mr. D'Amuro, is the CIA part of the JTTF?
Mr. D'AMURO. Many of the JTTFs do have CIA representation on them; not all 66, but many of them.
Mr. SCOTT. Now, your USA PATRIOT Act additional powers are not limited to terrorism, is that right?
Mr. D'AMURO. That is correct. The ones I am most familiar with are the counterterrorism ones.
Mr. SCOTT. When you start gathering information on people with these accelerated procedures and without the normal checks and balances, you can get foreign intelligence information without probable cause that a crime is being committed.
Mr. D'AMURO. There is a different threshold of what probable cause is for a national security investigation.
Mr. SCOTT. Yes. But a crime does not have to be involved?
Mr. D'AMURO. That is correct. That's correct.
Mr. SCOTT. If this was limited to terrorism, I don't think many of us would have much of a concern. But we are doing this in run-of-the-mill, everyday domestic crimes, right?
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Mr. D'AMURO. No, not in the domestic crimes. We are looking at this for counterintelligence and counterterrorism information.
Mr. SCOTT. Is there anything in the USA PATRIOT Act that limits the application of that act in sharing information between the CIA and the FBI? Is there anything that limits it to
Mr. D'AMURO. Not in the sharing of the information, no. We do share information much more freely now, specifically as it pertains to FISA-derived information, which is the biggest change.
Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Guevara, you mentioned that you have been dismantling drug operations. Has there been any study to show whether or not the dismantling of a drug operation actually results in a reduction in drug use, rather than having a situation where others come in to fill the demand, fill the void that has been created by your investigatory and prosecution
Mr. GUEVARA. Yes, sir. We have the Metropolitan Enforcement Teams, the MET program, that goes into high crime, violent-type street crime activity. Studies following the deployment of these teams have indicated that crime does, in fact, go down.
As to the second part of your question, whether others come in and take over, we have not had exhaustive and long-term studies to address that specifically. That is one of the things that DEA needs to do better, in terms of measuring our success.
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Mr. SCOTT. You have measured the drop in actual drug use with treatment?
Mr. GUEVARA. Yes, sir, we have. There are studies that indicate, for example, that cocaine use has declined over the course of the last 10 years. That I will daresay is, in part, because of the efforts of law enforcement, and DEA in particular, in dismantling these major drug trafficking organizations that are responsible for bringing in the large-scale quantities of drugs into our country.
Mr. SCOTT. All of the studies show that you can reduce drug use more with treatment than with law enforcement. Are you familiar with those studies?
Mr. GUEVARA. Yes, sir. That is correct.
Mr. SCOTT. How much money would it cost for us to be able to provide drug treatment on demand so there are no waiting lists?
Mr. GUEVARA. I do not know the answer to that. If I may, perhaps I could respond to you in writing.
Mr. SCOTT. Okay.
I say that because we spend billions for interdiction and law enforcement. If we could get drug treatment on demand, which would have, as we know, a more cost-effective way of reducing drug usewe ought not to be stingy on drug treatment, where it is more cost-effective.
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Mr. D'Amuro, in your response to the Chairman's first question, I wasn't sure whether you had connected terrorism to Iraq or not. We know that the terrorists for 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, everywhere except Iraq, and that there are a great number of questions as to whether Iraq has anything to do with international terrorism landing in the United States or not.
Is it your testimony now that the Iraqi government was any more of a threat of terrorism in the United States than anybody else in the Middle East? Or is it your testimony that the FBI and others have been effective withnot in Iraq but all around the world dealing with al-Qaeda.
Mr. D'AMURO. As I said, I believe DOD, CIA, and FBI has been very effective with al-Qaeda. Iraq has long been a state sponsor for terrorism. I would be more than happy to brief you in a closed hearing as to some of the different aspects of Iraqi support of terrorism, as well as some of the other state sponsors.
My opinion of Iraq has not changed. They are a state sponsor and they were a threat to this country.
Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Chairman, I would like to pose one further question that I would like answers in writing for, because I suspect they will take longer than can reasonably fit into whatever the extension of 5 minutes there will be.
The last time we were here, we had testimony that firearms were being lost by some of our law enforcement agencies. I would like an update on what we are doing to prevent firearms from being lost in our various agencies, from all three agencies.
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For the FBI specifically, what is going on in our criminal labs after the questions are raised about whether or not the test results have been accurate or not?
If they could respond as soon as they can, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. COBLE. If you all could respond in writing to Mr. Scott for that.
Mr. D'Amuro, I like the idea of a closed hearing for this Subcommittee. I think that has merit. We will talk about that in more detail.
Before I recognize the gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Goodlatte, in response to Mr. Scott's question, I believe you said it would not require a crime. But if it is a United States citizen, it would in fact require a crime, would it not?
Mr. D'AMURO. Yes. There are separate regulations governing investigation of United States citizens.
Mr. COBLE. Okay.
The gentleman from Virginia.
Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Chairman, if you will yield on that point, on these roving wiretaps, where there are taps all over the place, you may in fact be listening in on American citizens that have nothing to do with the operation. They just happen to be using the same phone, and the tap was put there without any predicate of a crime being committed.
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Mr. D'AMURO. There are separate guidelines. Once that is identified, we have to immediately notify the Attorney General. I will be glad to go through those procedures with you, where we have to seek appropriate authority once we have shown a United States citizen is acting on behalf of a foreign power.
Mr. SCOTT. I am saying, you have a target who is an agent of a foreign government using a phone, a corner pay phone, and you have a tap on it. Some citizen wanders in, uses the same phone, and you have got a wiretap on him.
I had an amendment when this thing went through the Committee on the Judiciary that said when the target leaves the building where one of these roving wiretaps are placed that you would stop listening.
Mr. D'AMURO. Correct.
Mr. SCOTT. Well, except that the amendment was not adopted.
Mr. D'AMURO. There are minimization laws and requirements that are imposed upon different types of techniques that we utilize. There are oversights to make sure that we don't overstep those bounds. I will not say that there are not mistakes made, but they are identified and reported whenever they occur.
Mr. SCOTT. If you have a minimization of listening in on an American citizen because you are listening to somebody else and you heard him blurt out a crime, what would happen?
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Mr. D'AMURO. If there was information that was obtained that was outside of the minimization laws, we would have to make that known.
Mr. SCOTT. Within the minimization laws, you are listening, you just happen to be listening
Mr. D'AMURO. He blurts out a crime? If this is a national security case, we would go back to the FISA court and request authorization by them to be able to use them, in that case.
Mr. SCOTT. Not a foreign threat, a drug deal.
Mr. D'AMURO. There is a whole different thing. Are you talking about a criminal investigation?
Mr. SCOTT. No, I am talking about listening in on an agent of a foreign government. You use your minimization, an American citizen wanders in on the same phone, you listen to determine whether it is your man or not, and he blurts out an entirely unrelated crime.
Mr. D'AMURO. That would have to go back to the FISA court. The only two mechanisms we have for intercepts such as you are speaking of are national security laws governed by the FISA court or title III governed by a criminal court.
Page 94 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. SCOTT. You are listening in on a FISA wiretap and you just happen to trip over some information of another crime.
Mr. D'AMURO. That would be made known to the FISA court, because there are minimization procedures set upI don't understand what you are saying. If we did not violate the minimization procedure, we would still make that information known to the FISA court to determine whether or not it could be used in a criminal case.
Mr. COBLE. The gentleman from Virginia.
Mr. GOODLATTE. Thank you. I do have one question of Mr. D'Amuro.
You mentioned assessments, ensuring information-sharing and comprehensive analysis of threats. How does the TTIC differ from the Homeland Security's information analysis division?
Mr. D'AMURO. I won't speak for Homeland Security, but what we tried to do with the TTIC, the one piece that was missing was the fusion of all the different intelligence community components.
In the fusion of that threat analysis, Homeland Security is a full participant in the TTIC. I believe it chooses to do the threat analysis within the TTIC, but all the different agencies are providing the information there, so you have one-stop shopping for that fusion of information.
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Now, Homeland Security, in addition to the threat analysis piece that it obtains from the TTIC, has the vulnerability assessment analysis within the department itself. So it would take the threat assessment, the threat analysis, and lay that over the vulnerabilities assessment in doing the infrastructure protection. We have a separate analytical center for that.
Mr. GOODLATTE. Thank you.
Mr. COBLE. Thank you, Mr. Goodlatte.
Gentlemen, we thank you all for your testimony. The Subcommittee very much appreciates your contribution.
This concludes the oversight hearing on the reauthorization of the Department of Justice criminal law enforcement agencies. The record will remain open for one week. Thank you for your cooperation.
The Subcommittee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:38 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
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