Friday, March 22, 2013


For your (NGO) weekend reading pleasure.


Note: Lowly AZ Locals (LAL) will find the following of particular

"As evidenced by the above described one-year accomplishments, the
Arizona HIDTA Task Forces are having an impact on the Sinaloa
Cartel's operations by making Arizona an undesirable route for their
drug trafficking activities "

Intelligence Driven Drug Enforcement Making Undesirable Routes
By: Elizabeth Kempshall
03/22/2013 ( 1:24pm)

Sponsored by: Read the digital edition of Homeland Security Today.

Through their High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Awareness Program
(HIDTA), the Arizona Region has seized illicit drugs with an
estimated wholesale value of $1.19 billion in the past year.
Elizabeth Kempshall, HIDTA director, talks exclusively on the
challenges associated with facilitating cooperation among law
enforcement agencies, and highlights various successes on the
Southwestern border.

Q: Speak about the challenges associated with facilitating
cooperation among law enforcement agencies across the federal to
tribal spectrum

Each federal, state, local and tribal agency has a unique mission and
this uniqueness can often create challenges when multiple agencies
try to come together to address such a significant problem, like drug
trafficking. It is critical to find the commonality in the goals of
each agency and highlight how each agency can be successful in
achieving their goal by working together. Presenting an accurate
assessment of the drug threat facing the community will identify the
areas of mutual interest to the various agencies. A multi-agency
strategy to address the threat must be developed and presented to the
leadership of each agency. A well-defined strategy and mission will
afford the leaders the opportunity to identify how the needs of their
communities will be met by working collectively to address the drug
trafficking threats in their areas of responsibilities.

What's being done at the ONDCP to enhance law enforcement
intelligence sharing? Talk about the successes of the HIDTA program

Through the HIDTA program, federal, state, local and tribal law
enforcement agencies significantly improve their ability to disrupt
and dismantle drug trafficking organizations when they work together
and share information. Each HIDTA sponsors an Intelligence and
Information Sharing Initiative, known as the Investigative Support
Center (ISC). The ISC is responsible for developing information and
intelligence collection requirements, and for collecting, evaluating,
collating, analyzing, and disseminating law enforcement information
and intelligence for participating agencies. The ISC consist of
commingled participants from Federal, and state, local and tribal

Q: Highlight the various 'wins' you've seen in the past year with
regards to mitigating the flow of drugs across the south west border…
what can you attribute this success to?

Fully understanding the drug-related threat in Arizona and using an
intelligence-driven enforcement strategy, the Arizona HIDTA
Initiatives are having a more significant impact on the DTOs
operating in Arizona and throughout the United States.

During the previous year, Arizona Initiatives disrupted or dismantled
37 DTOs and MLOs operating within Arizona, of which 57 percent were
international or multi-state in scope. Arizona investigations focused
on five Consolidated Priority Organization Targets (CPOTs) and three
Regional Priority Organization Targets (RPOTs). Organized Crime Drug
Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) designated cases totaled six.

The level of sophistication of these cases necessitated the use of
298 separate court-ordered pen registers and 123 Title III orders, a
413 percent increase over the previous year's Title III orders. Local
community impact investigations were extremely successful and
accounted for 43 percent of the DTOs/MLOs disrupted or dismantled
during the period.

The Arizona HIDTA seized illicit drugs with an estimated wholesale
value of $1.19 billion, a 106 percent increase over the previous
year. Marijuana continued to lead as the most seized drug, with
519,954 kilograms seized, an increase of 118 percent over the
previous year. Arizona Initiatives experienced a significant increase
in both methamphetamine and heroin seized, with methamphetamine
seizures increasing 88 percent to 728 kilograms and heroin increasing
1,017 percent to 257 kilograms. The return on investment for every $1
received by the Arizona HIDTA was $112.09, a 100 percent increase
over the previous year.

The Arizona HIDTA Domestic Highway Enforcement (DHE) program
conducted 898 operations and assisted in the coordination of 2,650
Stonegarden Project Operations. The intelligence and investigative
leads developed from those operations were essential to the overall
Arizona strategy. DHE operations seized illicit drugs with an
estimated wholesale value of over $39 million and seized $7.2 million
in cash and assets. Two international DTOs were identified, with one
disrupted and 782 individuals arrested.

The Arizona HIDTA statewide fugitive Task Force arrested 4,228
subjects, an 18 percent increase over the previous year. Drug-related
arrests accounted for 32 percent of the overall arrests, with a
higher percentage of those arrested wanted for crimes related to drug
use or violent crimes associated with drug rip-offs and/or home
invasions. Fugitive apprehensions resulted in seized drugs, currency,
and assets valued at $2 million.

As evidenced by the above described one-year accomplishments, the
Arizona HIDTA Task Forces are having an impact on the Sinaloa
Cartel's operations by making Arizona an undesirable route for their
drug trafficking activities. Even with the accomplishments of the
previous year, there is much more work to be done but using an
intelligence-driven approach, the investigators are able to target
the most significant traffickers operating in and through Arizona.

Q: What do you require to improve 'intelligence driven drug
enforcement?' Speak about the future focus for ONDCP

The Arizona HIDTA Executive Board directed the successful
restructuring and refocusing of the Arizona HIDTA Investigative
Support Center (ISC). Through those efforts, intelligence became an
integral component of the infrastructure of the Arizona HIDTA
Program. The ISC is staffed by representatives of participating
agencies who have direct on-site access to their agencies'
information databases.

The Arizona HIDTA ISC now enhances the sharing of intelligence among
law enforcement agencies, the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information
Center (ACTIC), the Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats (ACTT),
and the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), through the systematic
collection, analysis, and dissemination of secure, accurate, and
timely intelligence. This cooperative model of sharing promotes
interagency communication and coordination of activity regarding
counter-drug efforts; enhances officer safety through deconfliction;
eliminates duplication of effort; and is critical to combating the
increasing threat of narcotics traffickers and criminal
organizations. The continued focus on using intelligence to drive
investigative efforts against the most significant targets operating
in and through Arizona will have the greatest impact, thereby making
Arizona an undesirable route for the Sinaloa Cartel.

This Q&A with Arizona HIDTA Director Elizabeth Kempshall is brought
to you by Homeland Security Today's exclusive content partnership
with the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA)

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