United States. Congress. House. Committee on the J.

Enforcement of federal drug laws : strategies and policies of the FBI and DEA : hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, March 30, 1995 online

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\r\\ ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL DRUG UWS:
^ STRATEGIES AND POUCIES OF THE FBI AND DEA

Y 4, J 89/1:104/22

Enforcenent of Federal Drugs Laus:...

HEARING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE OX CRIME

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION



MARCH 30, 1995



Serial No. 22




K






Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
21-158 WASHINGTON : 1996

For sale by the U.S. Govemment Printing Office

Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office. Washington, DC 20402

ISBN 0-16-05221 1-0



\ \ ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL DRUG LAWS:
STRATEGIES AND POUCIES OF THE FBI AND DEA

Y 4. J 89/1:104/22

Enforcenent of Federal Drugs Laws:...

HEARING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE OX CRIME

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION



MARCH 30, 1995



Serial No. 22







Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1996



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office

Superintendent of Documents. Congressional Sales Office. Washington. DC 20402

ISBN 0-16-052211-0



COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois, Chairman



CARLOS J. MOORHEAD, California
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr.,

Wisconsin
BILL McCOLLUM, Florida
GEORGE W. GEKAS, Pennsylvania
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
LAMAR S. SMITH, Texas
STEVEN SCHIFF, New Mexico
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
CHARLES T. CANADY, Florida
BOB INGLIS, South Carolina
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
STEPHEN E. BUYER, Indiana
MARTIN R. HOKE, Ohio
SONNY BONO, California
FRED HEINEMAN, North Carolina
ED BRYANT, Tennessee
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
MICHAEL PATRICK FLANAGAN, Illinois
BOB BARR, Georgia

Alan F. Coffey, Jr., General Counsel / Staff Director
Julian Epstein, Minority Staff Director



JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan
PATRICIA SCHROEDER, Colorado
BARNEY FRANK, Massachusetts
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
JOHN BRYANT, Texas
JACK REED, Rhode Island
JERROLD NADLER, New York
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina
XAVIER BECERRA, California
JOSE E. SERRANO, New York
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas



Subcommittee on Crime

BILL McCOLLUM, Florida, Chairman



STEVEN SCHIFF, New Mexico
STEPHEN E. BUYER, Indiana
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
FRED HEINEMAN, North Carolina
ED BRYANT, Tennessee
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
BOB BARR, Georgia



CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carohna



Paul J. McNulty, Chief Counsel

Glenn R. Schmitt, Counsel

Dan Bryant, Assistant Counsel

Tom Dl\z, Minority Counsel



ill)



CONTENTS



HEARING DATE

Page
March 30, 1995 1

OPENING STATEMENT

McCoIIum, Hon. Bill, a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida,

and chairman, Subcommittee on Crime 1

WITNESSES

Constantine, Thomas A., Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration,

Department of Justice 18

Freeh, Louis J., Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of
Justice 8

LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING

Constantine, Thomas A., Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration,
Department of Justice:

Data concerning cell heads 59

Examples of effects resulting from coordinated and targeted drug enforce-
ment efforts 65

Information concerning extradition of a drug figure from Colombia and

Mexico to the United States 47

Prepared statement 24

Freeh, Louis J., Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of
Justice:

Explanation as to why downturns in drug convictions and asset forfeit-
ures 57

Information concerning the bill. Violent Crime Control and Law Enforce-
ment Improvement Act of 1995 50

Prepared statement 12

(III)



ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL DRUG LAWS:
STRATEGIES AND POLICIES OF THE FBI
AND DEA



THURSDAY, MARCH 30, 1995

House of Representatives,

Subcommittee on Crime,
Committee on the Judiciary,

Washington, DC.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:10 a.m., in room
2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Bill McCoUum (chair-
man of the subcommittee) presiding.

Present: Representatives Bill McCollum, Steven Schiff, Stephen
E. Buyer, Howard Coble, Fred Heineman, Ed Bryant of Tennessee,
Steve Chabot, Bob Barr, Charles E. Schumer, Robert C. Scott, Zoe
Lofgren, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Melvin L. Watt.

Also present: Paul J. McNulty, chief counsel; Glenn R. Schmitt,
counsel; Dan Bryant, assistant counsel; Aerin D. Dunkle, research
assistant; Audray Clement, secretary; and Tom Diaz, minority
counsel.

OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN McCOLLUM

Mr. McCollum. This hearing of the Subcommittee on Crime will
come to order.

Today we begin the first in a series of oversight hearings con-
cerning the war on drugs. The struggle against drug abuse has
dominated the attention of policymakers for more than a decade.
Billions of dollars have been spent by Federal, State, and local gov-
ernments to combat both the demand for illegal drugs and the dis-
tribution of controlled substances. Most importantly, many dedi-
cated law enforcement professionals have paid the ultimate price to
enforce the drug laws of this land.

We must never forget that it was exactly 10 years ago this spring
when DEA Agent Kiki Camerena was kidnaped, brutally tortured,
and killed by Mexican drug traffickers. That despicable act, like
the cocaine overdose of college basketball star Len Bias, contrib-
uted to a climate of moral outrage throughout America toward drug
abuse.

In response to this outrage and behind the strong leadership of
President and Mrs. Reagan, Congress devoted countless hours from
1985 to 1988 in the development of powerful legislative tools for
Federal law enforcement to use against drug trafficking operations.
And, by all accounts, Federal agents and prosecutors have made
extensive use of these tools.

(1)



Moreover, we must remember the energy with which the first
drug czar, Bill Bennett, traveled the country from 1989 to 1990
campaigning against drug use. He defined the issue in unmistak-
able terms: Drug abuse is the enemy of freedom and opportunity;
tolerance is simply not an option. Well, a lot has changed in 5
years. Instead of steadily declining drug use statistics, we see drug
use on the rise. Instead of moral indignation about the presence of
drugs in our schools, homes, and workplaces, we see attitudes of
indifference and ambivalence. Instead of building international
strategies to destroy narco empires and eradicate illicit drug pro-
duction, we hear virtually nothing about these issues in the context
of foreign relations.

And the perception that many of us have about the lack of re-
solve and commitment against the scourge of drugs in our Nation
is supported by the facts. In nearly every category of antidrug ac-
tivity there has been substantial erosion over the past 2 years.
There's been a marked decline to the number of drug traffickers
prosecuted. Fewer assets have been seized and forfeited. Drug
interdiction has dropped, and resources for fighting drug traffickers
have been cut for overseas drug trafficking. About the only increase
we see is in the area of drug use, where for the first time in over
a decade drug use by high school students is on the rise.

Now, as I said last week when this subcommittee examined ac-
tivities of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, I do not
think that statistics tell the whole story, but one thing is clear:
This trend must be reversed. We must regain the energy we had
a few years ago if we're going to avoid a drug crisis of unprece-
dented proportions. We must be aware of what we're going to be
doing. We must have a strategy that really works. Some think it's
time to throw in the towel, give up the war against drugs, but the
American people know how foolish that would be. They have sent
us here to strengthen law enforcement, not to pull it away from
those who terrorize neighborhoods and tempt children to destroy
their futures.

The positive news in all of this is with us today. The men and
women of the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, ably
led by Director Freeh and Administrator Constantine, have not lost
their will to enforce our Nation's drug laws. These agents continue
to fight every day, often risking their lives in the process. America
is privileged to have such public servants. On behalf of the sub-
committee, I want to say that we look forward to working with
both of you to regain our momentum in the battle of the war
against drugs. Again, we could not ask for two people who are bet-
ter prepared for this task than you. Judge Freeh, and you, Mr.
Constantine.

There are many issues that I'm looking forward to discussing
with you. Some of them that I'd like to know about are, if we are
developing a realistic and achievable strategy for identifying and
removing the major wholesale drug distributors operating in our
country, if our focus on drug-related street crime conflicts with the
mission of dismantling the major drug trafficking cells. What, if
anything, is being done by this administration to come to grips
with the power and influence of international drug cartels? If we
are committed to developing a useful system of strategic Intel-



ligence for drug law enforcement, if we are making adequate use
of money-laundering laws — that is, are we giving appropriate at-
tention to the goal of taking the profit out of drug trafficking?
These are just a few of the questions that I'm sure will be asked
not only by me, but other members of this panel, and in the weeks
ahead we're going to hear from experts who are also involved in
this issue.

But today we're going to begin with two people who have the best
expertise, two in whom I have personally a great deal of confidence,
and I look forward to your testimony.

Now today we don't have our good ranking minority member
here, Mr. Schumer, for an opening statement present with us, but
Mr. Watt is here. Would you care to make an opening statement,
Mr. Watt?

Mr. Watt. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I did not expect to be the
only member on the Democratic side to be present. So I have not
prepared an opening statement. I do, however, want to welcome the
two witnesses here and express my desire to hear their testimony
and listen intently to what they have to say.

I would express one small reservation, and maybe it's larger than
I'm making it out to be, but the tone of the memorandum that
came out to the subcommittee in preparation for this hearing leads
me to express some concern that we might be politicizing the issue
of drug use, and to start with the statement that somehow the
Clinton administration is responsible in some way for a great in-
crease in drug use in this country seems to me ignores the reality
that there is a connection between hope and aspirations and what's
going on in our communities and the increase in drug use. I simply
don't think that's a political issue. And I would hope that in the
process of these hearings we will not attempt to politicize that be-
cause, if we do, I think we divert attention from serious issues that
exist in our communities. And I would tell you that if we try to
make the case of blame for either Republicans or Democrats, I
think my colleagues on the Republican side will bear the burden
of that blame much, much more than we on this side, by virtue of
the policies that they are pursuing, both in terms of cuts to the
Federal budget and providing opportunities for people to live up to
their potential. I will leave that alone and just express my hope
that we are not about to politicize this issue in this hearing or any
subsequent hearings, that we try to get to a constructive discussion
of the issues and the causes of the problem of drugs in this country
and not play the political game of blaming others for it.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. McCOLLUM. Well, you're quite welcome. I can assure the
gentleman from North Carolina that we are not about to politicize
the war against drugs. It has had a very bipartisan effort over all
the years that I have served, and I certainly intend to continue to
do that.

I think what the gentleman was referring to in the product of the
subcommittee was the quote that sort of set the tone in terms of
the problem we have. The quote is by John Walters, who's the
president of the New Citizen Project and former Deputy Director
of Supply Control in the Office of the National Drug Control Policy.
And we did use his quote not making a statement for us, but rath-



er simply to set the tone that he said there, to bring up some level
of alarm that does seem to exist in the statistics we have, which
is why we're having the hearing in part today. And he said, "if cur-
rent" — and this was his quote — "if current trends continue, by 1996
the Clinton administration will have presided over the greatest in-
crease of drug use in modern American history." Now I don't know
the merit of that. It is not my intent to politicize that, nor my in-
tent to talk about the drug problem in terms of any one Presidency
versus another. That is not the objective here. I think the rest of
the report is pretty objective.

Anyone else wish to make an opening statement?

Mr. Buyer. Yes.

Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Buyer.

Mr. Buyer. Yes, thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I concur with your remarks, and was rather surprised by the re-
marks of my colleague from the other side. I mean, there are many
reasons for Democrats to be very defensive of this President right
now, and I don't want to get into all that today.

Let me just extend a welcome to both of you to this committee.
And to the Director of the FBI, I appreciate your coming by the
other day, and I think we had a very good conversation. The sincer-
ity of my comments, then, in private are no different than in pub-
lic. I have great respect for you and what you do.

In a little bit I'm going to have to leave and go to the National
Security Committee, and I sit there and I look at guys that have
stars on their shoulders, and when I look at those guys that have
stars on their shoulders and wear the uniform, it's no different
than those of you who are on the front lines here in America,
whether it's getting — from gangs corruption to narcotics to Mafia,
to provide safer homes and communities in this country, and there
is no politics in that. Nobody asked you if you were a Republican
or Democrat when you're on the front line getting shot at on the
streets, did they? I don't think so. So there's no intent here to po-
liticize anything. You're not setting policy; you're carrying out pol-
icy. And it's up to us with regard to our oversight responsibilities
to take a look at policy, and let's not get into the politics.

Mr. McCOLLUM. Does anyone else desire an opening statement?
Mr. Coble.

Mr. Coble. Well, I had not planned to, but I will weigh in very
briefly as well. I think the gentleman from North Carolina hit me
from the blind side. I didn't think this was to be politicized at all,
and I didn't think the chairman was guilty of any wrongdoing
there. So I'll weigh into that end.

And, as an aside, I say to my friend from Indiana, when you re-
ferred, sir, to the men with stars on their collar, don't forget the
guys and women with stripes on their sleeves as well, because of-
tentimes I think we overlook the enlisted ranks, and they, too, play
a very significant role, as do you all.

Mr. Chairman, I enjoyed a very meaningful meeting earlier this
week with the FBI Director and his staff concerning this very prob-
lem at hand today. And, as you pointed out, Mr. Chairman, this —
I'm going to say it perhaps less eloquently than you did, but this
drug business, in my opinion, Mr. Director, as I said to you the
other day, I think the abuse of drugs in this country has the capac-



ity and the potential of causing us to collapse as a nation. This rat
poison, which is how I refer to unlawful drugs, I think has the ca-
pacity to bring us down.

And I'm looking forward to the detailed hearing today, Mr.
Chairman, and I thank you for having called this hearing.

Mr. McCOLLUM. Thank you, Mr. Coble.

Mr. Heineman, do you wish to make an opening remark? Or, Mr.
Barr?

Mr. Heineman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I could have resorted to a prepared statement and I had not
planned on making a prepared statement. And as far as the politi-
cal aspect of this committee, hopefully — hopefully, as I see it — it
will be, as it has been in the past two meetings we had, apolitical.
And I don't criticize my friend from North Carolina across the
aisle. Knowing him, he's speaking from the gut, and I intend to
speak from the gut as well. I've been in the law enforcement busi-
ness too long not to do that, and I'm extra sensitive as far as nar-
cotics is concerned because I believe it's the driving force between
us and the criminals.

I've seen the city that I policed for 15 years be turned into a
sleepy town in North Carolina, although it was the capital of North
Carolina, into a semiwar zone, and I saw that happening because
of drugs. I saw it happening because Raleigh, NC, was discovered;
it was discovered by Bronx dope dealers. Durham, NC, was discov-
ered by Brooklyn dope dealers. And enter the assassinations on the
streets, the killings and the drive-bys, which never existed before.
I saw a city transformed, and I saw a State transformed, if I want
to bring in the Charlotte and Winston-Salem, and Greensboro expe-
rience. This is apolitical. It has to be apolitical for professionals.

I'm not — 3 months ago, I was sitting out there in the audience;
today I'm a Congressman. I'm not going to be here long enough to
transform my mentality into political statements, but this is real.

We had hearings last week where the Attorney General's rep-
resentatives were here, and we asked them some questions about
drugs, about the direction of drugs in this country, about the less-
ening of prosecutions at the Federal level, about the lessening of
prosecutions to the point where I was disturbed, and we did ask
questions that I expect to get answers from the Attorney General's
Office.

Now, again, I know you folks work for an administration, and it's
not the President that I'm looking for. It may not be planned, but
to resort to figures, figures that we have gotten from the adminis-
tration, we see a diminution of prosecutions at the Federal level for
drugs. I hear myself from people, not a lot of people, but from peo-
ple in the know, that they believe there's a diminution of drug
prosecution as far as priorities are concerned in the Federal Gov-
ernment. I'm concerned about that. We're concerned about that.
And, hopefully, we'll get answers to our questions of last week from
the AG's Office, and we would like to know from you exactly how
you see things.

And I realize there are some restrictions, some things that you
may not be able to say to us here without embarrassment, and I
understand that, and I think the mentality of my colleagues under-
stand that as well, but I feel fortunate and privileged that both of



you, whose backgrounds I'm very familiar with, are in the positions
that you're in. I feel that the President, the administration of this
country, has done very wisely at least in your two selections as to
head agencies. I'm comfortable in that.

And I'm delighted to have you here today, and I'm anxious to
hear what you have to say.

Thank you.

Mr. McCOLLUM. Thank you, Mr. Heineman.

Mr. Barr.

Mr. Barr. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And I'd like to tell both the Directors here today that it's an
honor to appear with them. As a former U.S. attorney, I have a
very keen interest in the subject matter that brings us here today.
I look forward to us beginning, but certainly just beginning, to look
at some of the issues here, and there will be an awful lot more
work that all of us in this room today will have to do.

I, of course, have followed, as have both Directors, and as the
chairman, sort of the ebb and the flow of our success in the war
against mind-altering diaigs, and I notice, of course, over the years
it doesn't really have too much to do with which party is in control
of any of the political mechanisms in our country. So I don't think
it's really a partisan issue at all.

And, as a matter of fact, some of the statistics that we see that
have raised at least some red flags in my mind are not simply
those over the last couple of years, but go back a couple of years
before that. And I would like to, as we have the hearing today and
then in the future, receive information from both of these Directors
as to their thoughts on why there may be some problems, some
dropoffs in asset forfeitures, some dropoffs in budgets, some
dropoffs in prosecutions, because I know the reasons for these
things are very complex, but I would certainly presume that they
share our concern, if there are, in fact, dropoffs in prosecutions,
dropoffs in the resolve to fight against mind-altering drugs. And
I'm certain, also, that if we do see that, that these agencies that
are represented here today will work very closely with us in our
respective areas of constitutional authority to make sure that we
can improve where improvements need to be made because I, for
one, never want to be a party to any activity that would result in
a dropoff, a serious dropoff, in our will and our resolve to fight
against mind-altering drugs.

With that, I look forward to this hearing and future hearings and
working with these two distinguished gentlemen and their agents
and personnel, and thank the chairman for allowing me to make
a statement.

Mr. McCOLLUM. You're welcome. I'm not attempting to solicit
more statements, but Mr. Bryant and Mr. Chabot have just ar-
rived, and if either of the gentlemen would like to make an opening
comment or address the witnesses and welcome them, you are cer-
tainly privileged to do so. Mr. Bryant, would you?

Mr. Bryant of Tennessee. No, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chabot, do you have anything?

Mr. Chabot. Just I had an opportunity to meet with Mr. Freeh
within the past week or so. It was a very interesting and inform-



ative meeting, and I look forward to hearing both his testimony
here this morning and Mr. Constantine's. So thank you very much.

Mr. McCOLLUM. Thank you very much, Mr. Chabot.

Well, this morning the subcommittee is really pleased to have
two distinguished gentlemen here today as witnesses, and I want
to introduce both of you. I'd like to have this conducted as a panel,
and I'm going to introduce you, I guess, in the order of seniority
of appointment.

Our first witness is Louis Freeh, Director of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation. Prior to his nomination in 1993 by President Clin-
ton, Judge Freeh was a U.S. district court judge in the Southern
District of New York, where he had been appointed by former
President George Bush in 1991. Director Freeh spent the first 6
years of his career serving as an FBI agent. In 1981, he became
a Federal prosecutor in New York City. He eventually became asso-
ciate U.S. attorney, where he distinguished himself as the lead
prosecutor in the pizza connection case involving extensive drug
trafficking operations in the United States by Sicilian organized
crime members.

Director Freeh has been recognized on several occasions for his
exemplary accomplishments, which include investigations and pros-
ecutions related to racketeering, drugs, organized crime, fraud, and
terrorism. And I could go on. This is really a synopsis, a very short
one, compared to what I've seen about your background, and we're
very glad you're here.

Our second distinguished witness this morning is Thomas Con-
stantine. Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Mr. Constantine began his law enforcement career in 1960 as a
deputy with the Erie County Sheriffs Department. In 1962, he en-
tered New York State Police as a trooper and later served as a nar-
cotics and major crime investigator, sergeant, lieutenant, captain,
major, troop commander, assistant deputy superintendent, and
eventually superintendent of the New York State Police. Mr. Con-
stantine was the first superintendent to rise through the ranks,
being appointed the 10th superintendent by former Gov. Mario
Cuomo in December 1986. In addition to receiving numerous
awards for his contributions to his profession, Mr. Constantine
holds the position of fourth vice president of the International As-


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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JEnforcement of federal drug laws : strategies and policies of the FBI and DEA : hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, March 30, 1995 → online text (page 1 of 10)