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

Heroin trafficking : hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, September 29, 1994 online

. (page 6 of 8)
Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JHeroin trafficking : hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, September 29, 1994 → online text (page 6 of 8)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

heroin trade will undermine the very type of development and
progress they are trying to achieve. It fosters corruption,
erodes public health, contributes to HIV/AIDS transmission,
increases local crime, and erodes public trust in government
and the rule of law.

We are committed to making maximum use of multilateral
organizations to combat the trade. They can not only increase
international attention on the problem, but also coordinate and
carry out global, regional and country-specific efforts to
reduce the production and distribution of heroin. In some
instances, UN organizations and other multilateral groups are
channels for access to important heroin-producing and transit
areas such as Afghanistan, Burma, Iran and Lebanon to which the
United States has limited direct access. Multilateral groups
play an important role in developing guidelines to control the
trade in chemicals used to refine heroin and produce other
drugs. Such groups are also focal points for international
coordination to combat money laundering.

In a related area, we are for the first time engaging
international financial institutions and multilateral
development banks in serious counternarcotics initiatives. A
largely untapped resource, these organizations can play a
valuable role in supporting sustainable development programs
that are crucial to developing income and employment
alternatives to narcotics production. The World Bank and other
lending institutions are ready to support these types of

85-909 0-95-3


- 4 -

projects, and we will be working to encourage key
opium-producing countries to submit proposals for using such
assistance .

While we are pressing for an expanded international
commitment to heroin control, and seeking to focus more of
these efforts on areas where our access is limited, the
backbone of our efforts continues to be regional and bilateral
programs .

Our programs are designed to strengthen counternarcotics
institutions in key heroin source and transit countries that
demonstrate a commitment to narcotics control. They will
enhance the ability of judicial systems to step up operations
against the leading trafficking organizations. Today, too many
countries lack the conspiracy, asset forfeiture, or other
legislation that is necessary for conducting effective
investigations and prosecutions. And many countries that have
the laws lack the expertise to use them aggressively. Bringing
such key countries as Pakistan, Thailand, and others
technically up to speed is feasible; getting them to respond
aggressively is a matter of political will.

We are strongly committed to using whatever means we can to
boost the political will in key countries to intensify heroin
control efforts. Increasing awareness of the threat is one
way. But if awareness fails to deliver results, we will make
aggressive use of the narcotics certification process. To put
it simply, if the President determines that a country has not
fully cooperated with the United States, or taken adequate
steps on its own, to control narcotics trafficking, we will cut
our non-humanitarian assistance and vote against requests for
loans from international financial institutions. This is not
an idle threat. Earlier this year the President issued the
sternest certification decision ever; he delivered tougher
decisions against two key heroin trafficking countries:
Nigeria (which was denied certification) and Laos (which was
granted a national interest certification because our vital
national interest required it).

Crop control remains basic to our overall strategy.
Although rapidly increasing cultivation in areas outside our
influence is driving up worldwide production, our programs,
when implemented, have been effective. In fact, the long-term
trend in opium production is down in nearly every country where
we have (or had) crop control programs: Mexico, Guatemala,
Pakistan, Thailand, and Laos. Our Colombia program is only
three years old. It has held the problem in check although
there have been recent sightings of new cultivation in
northeast Colombia. Meanwhile, a surge eradication operation
in Venezuela seems, for now, to have stopped cold an incipient
poppy production effort. These operations show that
eradication can work, but they also highlight the conditions


that are required for long-term success currently lacking in
too many of the remote and inaccessible producing areas:
government acci ss to the region, commitment to crop control,
and the availability of economic alternatives for growers.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Committee, let us be honest.
Our future heroin control initiatives will be largely shaped by
the availability of resources and other policy considerations.
We need to develop an effective counternarcotics strategy for
Burma while also advancing a policy that enhances human rights
and democracy. Let me stress that these goals are not in
conflict. Indeed, effective and sustained progress in
counternarcotics in Burma will depend on increased political
accountability in that country. Effective counternarcotics
work in Burma calls for considerable effort, planning, and
resources. We hope to work with other concerned countries to
maximize pressure on Rangoon to step up its counternarcotics
efforts, particularly in attacking the war lord Khun Sa and his
Shan United Army, who boast of their ability to poison American
citizens with their heroin production.

China is another heroin problem area receiving increased
attention from us. Indeed, Assistant Secretary Gelbard's first
narcotics-related trip abroad after being sworn in last
November was to China where he pressed for stronger cooperation
on counternarcotics. We have provided demand reduction and
interdiction training; we are watching to see how vigorously
Beijing moves to stem heroin smuggling through China and to
press Burma to conduct tougher antidrug operations.

We must also be prepared to respond to potentially serious
narcotics trafficking problems emanating from Central Asia.
Many accounts indicate that the problem there is large but not
yet a direct trafficking threat to the United States. It
originates with opium production in Afghanistan — the world's
second leading source — and is compounded by opium production in
the central Asian states of the former Soviet Union. The end
of the civil war in Afghanistan, the collapse of the Soviet
Union, and the consequent social and governmental upheavals
have contributed to a burst of narcotics production and
trafficking in the region. So far, it appears that this trade
is serving local and European markets, but the continued growth
and maturation of Russian organized crime syndicates sends a
dangerous signal about increased global exports of central
Asian heroin. Even if the region's heroin does not reach the
United States, the trade enriches the local crime syndicates
and undermines our efforts to establish democracy and free
market economies.

Africa and Latin America are troubling areas for expanded
heroin trafficking. Our decertification of Nigeria this year
and our rapid response to quash opium production in Venezuela
should send strong signals to governments and traffickers alike


- 6 -

that we intend to fight further expansion of the trade on these
continents. We are in close contact with the new South African
government, which is itself apprehensive about becoming another
victim of the international drug trade. We share that concern,
knowing how international trafficking organizations often seek
to expand their markets and transshipment operations into
states in transition. Accordingly, we are developing public
awareness and demand reduction and law enforcement training
programs with South Africa to stay ahead of the traffickers.

Mr. Chairman, I believe it is fair to say that we cannot
rely on our international efforts alone to thwart our growing
domestic heroin problem. We need solid, sufficiently funded,
and well-coordinated domestic and international programs. Our
international narcotics control programs are playing a key role
in trying to keep the trade in check, but we need more from the
international community. On Monday, at the United Nations
General Assembly, President Clinton spoke to the need for
enhanced international cooperation against organized crime. He
announced plans for opening a law enforcement training academy
in Europe to attack drug and other organized crime activity.
The heroin problem will be a target of this effort. In fact,
this is exactly what we have called for to combat heroin for
the past 18 months — increased international commitment and

We are ready to do our part. I thank the Committee for
your support in the past, and hope we can continue to count on
it in the future.


Mr. SCHUMER. I want to thank both of you for your comprehen-
sive and well-put-together testimony,

Mr. Constantine, my first question is this: In the late 1970's her-
oin was the drug of choice. Crack or cocaine took over in the 1980's.
What factors changed — caused that change and what factors are at
work now that might again show that crack use might decline and
heroin use might increase? I mean, I am sure there are some on
the supply side, some on the demand side, but just give us a
thumbnail sketch.

Mr. CoNSTANTESfE. I think you hit in it your opening statement.
What happened was heroin and drug addiction was looked upon as
a serious problem, usually was the poorer people who were facing
this. Then, all of a sudden, cocaine came along in the middle to late
1970's and it became a drug that was glamorized and made roman-
tic in the movies and television shows.

The wealthy elite of usually the east coast and west coast all said
this was a substance that could be used by everybody, and it would
not be addictive, wouldn't be a problem. And everybody jumped
into it. We wound up with phenomenal numbers of people using co-
caine across the whole social strata.

Then somebody invented this devil's brew — crack cocaine. That
was two things. One, it was cheap enough in price that poorer peo-
ple now could afford to get into the use of cocaine. And extremely
addictive. The wealthy or the elite that had been involved in the
so-called casual use of powder cocaine were able to have a lot of
resources and got out of it. They left behind hardcore users who
didn't have all of those resources and were a very vulnerable group.
And that hasn't changed, and I don't see any indication of it chang-

Mr. ScHUMER. You don't see crack declining?

Mr. Constantine. No, I don't.

Mr. ScHUMER. There have been a current spate of articles that
even in the poor communities the damage that crack has brought
are finally creating consciousness among young people that this is
something to avoid.

Mr. Constantine. We have not seen an indication of that yet,
Congressman. What we have seen is the amount of usage, the peo-
ple — the usage of crack in the quantity rather than the individuals
has stayed about the same. There are less people who are willing
to try it, but those people who have been using it are using more,
and the problem for people in law enforcement.

I am sure the New York City police officers really face this every
day like I used to in my other job, is the amount of drive-by
shootings, that this gangland wild West syndrome that became
part of the crack cocaine thing ha« not abated.

Mr. ScHUMER. What factors are at work that might increase her-
oin — or are you worried that heroin will become a drug of choice
again on its own, not in conjunction with cocaine?

Mr. Constantine. My biggest fear is it will be another level of
drug usage to supplement. It won't supplant; it is going to supple-
ment. You are going to have other people using heroin who maybe
would not have used crack cocaine before.

I think the factors are on the board. One, the price is very low;
second of all, the purity level is high for a lot of addiction; and the

85-909 0-95-4


third is it is being romanticized just as cocaine was in the late
1970's. You have all the rock stars and Hollywood set and the East
Side of Manhattan. Everybody is saying, gee, here is a drug now
that can be inhaled and snorted, and it is not that messy drug that
makes me violent.

Mr. ScHUMER. So you would recommend an intensive education
campaign about how bad heroin is before — so we can nip things in
the bud, so to speak.

Mr. CONSTANTINE. I don't think that society should have to go
through what we have been going through since 1985.

Mr. ScHUMER. A good point. We are going to follow up on that.

Ambassador, we are going to have a vote, and I don't want to
keep you gentlemen waiting.

The Burma problem perplexes me. I understand you can't just
focus on one country. Nonetheless, Burma is the largest.

It was interesting to hear Dr. Brown's testimony. Evidently, Eu-
rope uses more heroin than the United States does which I don't
think occurred in the late 1970's. Am I right about that?

Mr. Arcos. I am not familiar with the figures in the late 1970's
in terms of Europe. But clearly, right now, Europe is the largest
market for heroin.

Mr. Schumer. That is interesting. But, in terms of Burma, it
seems to me we are sort of in a difficult position — and I guess Mr.
Constantine could comment on this, too, but, really, the Ambas-
sador is the one I am directing the question at.

Here we are. We have a country that has an abominable human
rights record. So, generally, the inclination not of this administra-
tion but of the policy of the country in the last decade has said,
OK, you are bad on human rights. We are going to isolate you and
cut you off in a variety of different ways.

And yet to deal with even these semi autonomous groups — as you
point out they are semiautonomous and, as Mr. Constantine points
out, they have some heavy weapons — you are going to need the co-
operation of that Government. How do we resolve this dilemma?

Mr. Arcos. Let me say, Mr. Chairman, that I accompanied Dr.
Brown on our trip to the Far East and Southeast Asia last June,
and we met with the neighboring countries, particularly Laos and
Thailand and Malaysia and Singapore. And all of them told us that
to deal with the heroin problem globally you had to deal with
Burma, and we certainly understand that, and we appreciate that
in the State Department.

We do have, as you mentioned and I mentioned also, as has been
mentioned this morning, the problem of how do we square that
with our concerns and not sacrifice or serve up human rights con-
cerns as well democracy concerns. And that is a real challenge, Mr.

And what we have done right now in the State Department to
move along — as a result of my report and particularly Dr. Brown's
report to the President and to the Secretary of State on the trip —
it has now been agreed that we are moving toward a deputy's com-
mittee within the National Security Council and dealing with
how — exploring how to deal with Burma and approach this problem
in a constructive way.


In the meantime, we are now in the process — in the next 4 weeks
we are sending out sort of a midlevel delegation out to Burma that
will deal with the issue of democracy and human rights but, more
importantly, the issue of narcotics and heroin. So we will engage
them, but we have to engage them in such a way that we do not
serve up the other interests that we have a concern about.

Mr. SCHUMER. It is a difficult tightrope to walk. I would just —
and I am going to have to vote so maybe we will correspond in
writing, all of us, on this. But I think if you ask the majority of
American people are they more concerned about keeping the drugs
off their streets or human rights in Burma, and they are probably
concerned about both, but the former would take precedence over
the latter.

Mr. Arcos. I understand.

Mr. ScHUMER. I thank you, and we are going to take another lit-
tle break while we vote. We will resume shortly with the third


Mr. ScHUMER. The hearing will come to order.

Let me apologize to the witnesses and everybody else. The voting
schedule is a little rocky today, and we had two votes there so it
took a little longer than I had thought.

But let me introduce our third panel. Our third panel will dis-
cuss the problems of heroin from the point of view of local enforce-
ment and of heroin addicts.

To discuss local law enforcement, we are proud to have Inspector
James Raber, who has been a member of the New York City Police
Department since 1968. He is currently commanding officer of the
drug enforcement task force. Prior to this assignment, he served as
executive officer of the narcotics division. He nas also commanded
precincts in Queens and Central Harlem.

Deputy Inspector James Ward is accompanying Mr. Raber, and
Mr. Ward currently serves the New York City Police Department
as commanding officer for the Narcotics Borough Manhattan South.

To discuss heroin addiction, we are honored to have Mr. Chester
Jones. He is a recovering heroin addict and a certified addictions
counselor with the Marshall Heights Community Development As-
sociation in Washington, DC.

We will ask Inspector Raber to begin and then move on through
our panel.

And your entire statements will be put into the record, and you
may speak as you wish. We are going to try to stick to the 5-
minute rule so we don't hold people up any further.


Mr. Raber. Yes, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, first of all, thank you very much for inviting us
to this session. We would like to commend you for your leadership
in the House concerning drug issues and recently the crime bill.


People in our city are already experiencing an uplift knowing that
the Federal Government is taking a strong stand on crime.

Is heroin back? Recent media accounts have included stories on
heroin use by celebrities, fashion industry people and the rise in
availability of high purity heroin. Do these accounts tell us that
heroin is, in fact, back? Simply stated: It never left. Recent narcot-
ics division statistics for heroin arrests and seizures as well as
incidences of treatment admissions in emergency room cases indi-
cate that heroin use is apparently on the rise in New York City

There are several theories for this substantial increase. In es-
sence, it is competition between the producers and the traffickers.
Also, there are new ingestion methods — snorting and smoking —
and we believe that this removes the taboos associated with needle
injection and that may move new users to the drug.

The street distribution. New York City street level heroin dis-
tribution is predominantly controlled by Hispanic groups. The use
of brand names usually stamped on glassine envelopes allows po-
tential customers to easily identify and purchase heroin that is as-
sumed to be high quality.

Brand names such as Death Wish, DOA, Final Notice, Suicide,
Kiss of Death, imply that heroin is so powerful that it could kill
the user. Other brands such as High Voltage, High Class and Big
Shot point to the alleged effects of the heroin high.

In New York, glassine envelopes are usually sold for $10. Heroin
distribution occurs in the five boroughs, with Manhattan the most
significant. Traditionally, the heroin user was older, less well off fi-
nancially and residing in the inner city.

There appears to be a younger, more affluent user emerging.
Also recent surveys support an indication in the change of inges-
tion from needle to inhalation.

In August 1994, the medical examiner's office confirmed the
death of an individual from injecting high purity heroin. This death
was tied to the brand name China Cat. Within 4 days, 13 other
deaths, all in Manhattan, were believed to be the result of heroin —
this type.

Final toxicology tests, however, showed these 13 deaths were not
attributed to China Cat heroin. Two died of natural causes, four
died from ingestion of cocaine alone, and the remaining seven died
from a mixture of heroin and cocaine. These seven deaths support
the position that many cocaine users are also using heroin.

The law enforcement community in New York City has seen and
witnessed problems associated with drug consumption. The New
York City Police Department attacks the drug problem.

Commissioner William Bratton has implemented five strategies
to improve the quality of life in New York. Strategy number three
is entitled "Driving Drug Dealers Out of New York." It is the cor-
nerstone of our drug policy.

We empower our beat officers and the community members to
identify target locations. We then put emphasis on transit facilities,
schools and places of business. There are over 12,000 identified
drug locations throughout the city.

We in New York law enforcement are using every legal means
in our arsenal, and that goes from the loitering arrests, civil forfeit-


ure initiatives, buy-and-bust initiatives and so on. In the 1980's,
our society was caught short when crack exploded in the United
States. We do not want this to happen again.

While law enforcement indicators and other limited factors show
increase in heroin abuse, it is still unclear whether this foretells an
impending heroin crisis. What might be examined in more detailed
fashion are incidences of crossover use and new user population.
Medical practitioners, drug treatment specialists in New York area
have indicated many crack abusers are using heroin to offset the
effects of crack. This could be a contributing factor, and it is a
major concern within our city.

Mr. Chairman, we are concerned with a problem with the inges-
tion method of snorting. This high-purity level — and it was men-
tioned previously that this may increase the tolerance, and once
the tolerance level is reached they may revert back to injecting
with the needle thereby exacerbating AIDS problems and so on.

In conclusion, we would like to say it is forums like this that can
act as a catalyst to generate future action. I was happy to hear pre-
viously you mentioned we were going to get out and do more edu-
cation because I truly believe that we have to show people, turn
this around, saying that the snorting — it is addictive, and it will
ruin their life.

On behalf of the New York City Police Department, we thank
you for inviting us to testify.

Mr. SCHUMER. Thank you. Inspector.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Raber follows:]







SEPTEMBER 29, 1994















Mr Ch Airman, members of tho subcoiimmtee. I am Inspector James Raber
Department With me today U Depur^ Inspector James Ward. Thank you
opportunity to speak with you this morning. CoUactivtly, our law enforc«roeit
more than fifty years and we have witnessed the blight created in New York C
consumption. We are pleued to share with you our thoughts on HEROIN
efforts to address the number one threat facing our City and nation, ILLEGAL

for {affording ui the
experience spans
ity by illegal daig
in New York and

Mr Chairman, wc would like to commend you for your leadership in the Houjc concerning drug
issues and most recently the CRIME BILL . People la our City are already ex|)eTiendng an
emotional uplift knowing the Federal Govcmraenr is taking a firm stand on th«| issue of crime



of the

Recent media accounts have included stories on heroin u5c by celebrities, fashibn
and the rise in availability of high purity heroin. Do these accounts till ua that
back? Simply stttad heroin never left. In 1981, heroin accounted for 24%
New Yotlc City Police Department's Narcotics Division (See Chan A) With t
crack in the mid IQSCTs, the percentage of beroin anvsts dropped to TV* in 1981$

1 2 3 4 6 8

Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JHeroin trafficking : hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, September 29, 1994 → online text (page 6 of 8)