Illegal Drug Fight Moves Underwater

By R. Stickney
|  Wednesday, Mar 30, 2011  |  Updated 2:16 PM PDT
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<a title=Alan Bersin, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is in San Diego to give a keynote address at a training seminar for the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. He stops by NBCSanDiego to discuss exports, imports, the use of U.S. drones in Mexico and the growing use of submersibles in the illegal drug trade." />

Alan Bersin, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is in San Diego to give a keynote address at a training seminar for the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. He stops by NBCSanDiego to discuss exports, imports, the use of U.S. drones in Mexico and the growing use of submersibles in the illegal drug trade.

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Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE), Border Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration use robots and radar to detect the cross border tunnels, which are a haven for human and drug smuggling.

Technology used by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan, like unmanned drones, help patrol the skies along the U.S./Mexico border.

Now, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are focusing on submersibles.

Alan Bersin, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, stopped by NBCSanDiego Wednesday and shared the agency’s policy on the growing use of submersibles in the illegal drug trade.

“We’ve now forced the smugglers into going under the water,” Bersin said. “We’re developing the techniques and ability to detect them.”

Cocaine moves from source countries in South America, through Central America and eventually into the U.S.

Not only is demand for cocaine lower than it was 10 or 20 years ago, Bersin said, but the agency has developed more techniques to intercept the shipments.

Bersin called the effort a cat and mouse game. “But the fact is, the cat is doing much better than it has in the past,” he said.

Bersin is scheduled to give a keynote address at a training seminar for the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.

The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism is an effort to open up supply chains, make it easier for trusted companies to ship their products through ports of entry of the U.S.
 

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