Drug Traffic off Florida Spikes as US Turns Its Focus to Terrorism ; Shift of Antidrug Resources to Guard against Terrorists Has Increased the Boldness of Narcotics Trafficking

By Kris Axtman writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, January 4, 2002 | Go to article overview

Drug Traffic off Florida Spikes as US Turns Its Focus to Terrorism ; Shift of Antidrug Resources to Guard against Terrorists Has Increased the Boldness of Narcotics Trafficking


Kris Axtman writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


When the Caribbean became a superhighway for drug trafficking in the 1980s, it became the inspiration for a TV show - "Miami Vice." Today, the azure waters of Florida are once again threatening to become a major artery in the narcotics trade. As US antidrug authorities have shifted their resources to the porous borders of Mexico and Canada over recent years, drug smugglers have been prompted to once again test the waters of the Sunshine State. Where's Crockett and Tubbs when you need 'em?

Even more alarming is how Sept. 11 has opened the floodgates in these pristine waters. With terrorism a top priority, no longer are US boats so vigilantly patrolling the coastal waters in search of drugs. Large amounts of antidrug resources and manpower have been diverted to that effort. The result: a boomtime for drug peddlers off America's coastlines.

"We've got the makings for a real upsurge in drug trafficking and an inability to cope with it," says William Walker, a professor of history and international relations at Florida International University in Miami. "They are seeing [drug-running] speed boats they haven't seen in south Florida in 20 years."

Indeed, the Coast Guard has seen its drug seizures plummet since crews were sent to guard ports and oil refineries. Well over half of the Coast Guard's anti-drug activities were redirected after Sept. 11, causing a 66 percent drop in cocaine seizures from a year ago, and a more than 90 percent drop in marijuana seizures. Experts say that the redeployment of resources is even affecting the Pacific coast, where drug traffickers are attempting routes they haven't tried in decades - or even creating new ones.

"One consequence of our shifting efforts is going to be less drug interdiction on the oceans, which creates an opening for traffickers," says Peter Andreas, a professor of international studies at Brown University in Providence, R.I.

FBI agents are now spending much of their time chasing the money trail of Osama bin Laden instead of the money trail of drug lords. Customs surveillance planes and radar, once used to detect drug transit routes, are now devoted to counter-terrorism surveillance. And many DEA agents have been reassigned to airport security or as sky marshals.

"Unfortunately, this is the way this game is played," says Stan Furce, director of the Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas. "The bad guys are always trying to get drugs into the US where they think they will get the most payoff. They know the Coast Guard has pulled back, and they are taking advantage of that. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Drug Traffic off Florida Spikes as US Turns Its Focus to Terrorism ; Shift of Antidrug Resources to Guard against Terrorists Has Increased the Boldness of Narcotics Trafficking
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.