Saturday, May 19, 2012



Note: looks like govt. types only. Citizens invited?

Phoenix hearing to focus on drugs at border
by Erin Kelly - May. 18, 2012 08:49 PM
Republic Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - A congressional panel will meet Monday in Phoenix to
talk about ways to improve information-sharing among government
agencies to thwart the flow of illicit drugs from Mexico into Arizona.

Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., said he pushed to have the field hearing in
Phoenix because much of the marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine
smuggled across the border ends up in Phoenix drophouses before being
distributed nationwide.
"Phoenix is really ground zero," said Quayle, who will lead the
hearing as vice chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee's
12-member subcommittee on border issues.

Quayle said he wants subcommittee members to get a better feel for
the seriousness and complexity of the drug problem by hearing from
Arizona-based law-enforcement officials and visiting the state.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, is one of the panel members
expected to attend the hearing, which will begin at 10 a.m. at the
Arizona National Guard's Building M5101, Russell Auditorium, 5636 E.
McDowell Road.
"I'm really hoping that the other members of Congress can talk to and
learn from the Arizonans who will be there," Quayle said.

Monday's hearing will feature witnesses from federal and state
agencies talking about their efforts to improve intelligence-sharing
to fight the cartels.

During the hearing, officials from Immigration and Customs
Enforcement will point to more than a dozen major programs and scores
of smaller ones in which they work with local, state and
international agencies to target drug smuggling.

Arizona examples include Operation Pipeline Express, a multi-agency
investigation that dismantled a huge drug-trafficking organization
suspected of smuggling more than $33 million worth of narcotics a
month through Arizona's western desert.

That operation led to the creation in January of the West Desert Task
Force, which is led by Homeland Security Investigations and the
Border Patrol and includes the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, the
Tohono O'odham Police Department and the Bureau of Land Management.

Quayle said he has heard mixed reviews from state law-enforcement
officials about interagency cooperation.

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