Friday, March 26, 2010
DEA - Florida
Drug Situation: The State of Florida is a primary area for international drug trafficking and money laundering organizations, as well as a principal thoroughfare for cocaine and heroin transiting to the northeastern United States and Canada. Florida’s over 8,000 miles of coastline provides virtually unlimited access and opportunities for drug trafficking organizations to use maritime conveyances to smuggle drugs. The short distance between Florida and the Bahamas also serves as a smuggling corridor along the southeast coastline. Additionally, Florida’s numerous international airports and maritime ports provide traffickers with a means to smuggle drugs through the use of couriers and cargo facilities. South Florida, with its unique mix of nationalities and ties to Central and South America, is a primary domestic command and control center for Colombian narcotics traffickers and money laundering organizations. Recently, Mexican organizations have also made tremendous inroads, and are responsible for the smuggling and distribution of cocaine, methamphetamine (i.e. crystal methamphetamine) and marijuana throughout large portions of the state – from the Panhandle to as far south as Palm Beach County. Smuggling into Florida occurs via various types of maritime conveyances and cargo freighters, as well as via commercial aircraft. Additionally, the shift to ground transportation (e.g. passenger vehicle, bus and rail) as a means of transporting narcotics throughout the state continues to increase.