July 13, 2011 in Customs and Border Protection
Drug Trafficking Organizations Adaptability to Smuggle Drugs across SWB after Losing Key Personnel
- 3 pages
- For Official Use Only
CBP BorderStat drug seizure information was used to evaluate seizure statistics in relation to the arrest or death of key DTO personnel. The drug seizure data was collected from January 2009 through January 2010. This data was analyzed to determine if the arrest or death of key personnel had a direct impact on the flow of U.S.-bound drugs. This research indicates that there is no perceptible pattern that correlates either a decrease or increase in drug seizures due to the removal of key DTO personnel. (See Attachment)
(U//FOUO) Since 2008, Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) have lost key personnel due to arrest or death. This assessment addresses the primary presumptive question:
- Does the arrest or death of key Drug Trafficking Organizations affect drug flow?
(U//FOUO) There is the assumption that marijuana trafficking from Mexico decreases annually in the summer months due to it being the end of the harvest cycle. Subsequently, the only marijuana available for trafficking is the remainder from the previous year’s harvest in the fall.
(U//FOUO) Generally, a steady stream of drugs are trafficked across the Southwest border (SWB) as long as they are available in Mexico.
(U//FOUO) Key Findings
- There was no change in the seizure rates when a key DTO member was arrested or killed.
- If the weight of drugs seized was increasing prior to the event, the trend continued.
- If the weight of drugs seized was decreasing prior to the event, that trend also continued.
- Availability due to agricultural growth cycles had the greatest impact.
- The lowest seizure rates correlate directly with major religious holidays.
- Arresting one or two individuals from a DTO does not significantly impact drug trafficking flows.
(U//FOUO) Intelligence Gaps
(U//FOUO) The total amount of drugs trafficked across the SWB is unknown.
(U//FOUO) DTO line of succession operational capabilities is unknown.
(U//FOUO) The removal of key personnel does not have a discernable impact on drug flows as determined by seizure rates. DTO operations appear to have built in redundancy and personnel that perform specific duties to limit the damage incurred by the removal of any one person. By sheer volume alone, drug operations would require more than one individual to coordinate and control the process. While the continued arrest or death of key DTO leadership may have long-term implications as to the control and viability of a specific DTO, there is no indication it will impact overall drug flows into the United States.
Related Material From the Archive:
- (U//FOUO) LulzSec Release: DHS Sinaloa Drug Cartel Reference Guide
- Latin America and the Caribbean: Illicit Drug Trafficking and U.S. Counterdrug Programs
- Mexico’s Drug Trafficking Organizations: Source and Scope of the Rising Violence
- (U//FOUO//LES) Texas Fusion Center: Mexican Drug Cartel Warns of Coming Violence
- Los Zetas and Gulf Cartel Perpetrators of Mexican Drug Trafficking Violence Organizational Chart
- (U//LES) ATF Project Gunrunner Mexican Cartel Strategy
- Drug Cartel Dumps 72 Bodies At Mexican Ranch
- Mexico Drug Cartel Carnage Photos