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Exploring Drug Gangs’ Ever-Evolving Tactics to Penetrate the Border and the Federal Government’s Ability to Stop Them


Location: Dirksen Senate Office Building, SD-342

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Member Statements


This hearing examined new tactics being employed by Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) to penetrate the southwest border of the United States, and efforts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other law enforcement agencies to stop them. In recent months, reports have surfaced of DTOs outfitting vehicles to make them indistinguishable from those used by both Mexican law enforcement and U.S. border agents. In some cases DTOs have carried out assassinations in Mexico disguised as Mexican military personnel. Still in other cases, DTO’s have used catapults to fire contraband over the border between Mexico and Arizona. All of these tactics are part of a bold effort to smuggle greater quantities of drugs and people through our border. The hearing highlighed these startling developments and will call on U.S. officials to discuss what is being done to counter them.


Panel 1

  • The Honorable  Donna Bucella
    Assistant Commissioner, Office of Intelligence and Operations
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    Download Testimony (35k)
  • James Dinkins
    Executive Director
    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    Download Testimony (151k)
  • Thomas Harrigan
    Assistant Administrator and Chief of Operations
    Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Department of Justice
    Download Testimony (84k)

Panel 2