Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Ecstasy, pot heading south
U.S. drug report asks for Canada's help
The acting U.S. drug czar is calling for increased co-operation with Canada to prevent ecstasy and marijuana from flowing south across the border -- and to stop guns, cocaine and methamphetamine from heading north.
Earlier this week, the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy published an updated National Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy that calls for increased Canada-U.S. intelligence-sharing and drug interdiction along the 8,891-kilometre border between the two nations.
The 54-page report identifies the booming North Dakota oilpatch as a destination for Canadian drugs -- and the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, located just south of the Manitoba border, as a potential smuggling hot spot.
"This influx of highly paid oilfield workers into an area with limited opportunities for spending their income has created a market for drugs and has led to an overall increase in crime," states the report, unveiled Tuesday in Minot, N.D., by Michael Botticelli, acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Violent crimes across the U.S. portion of the oil-producing Bakken region -- primarily western North Dakota and eastern Montana -- have doubled from 2005 to 2011, overwhelming local, state and tribal law-enforcement agencies, the report states. A July U.S. national drug strategy also called for more resources to fight organized crime in the Bakken region.
The crime is associated with the cross-border movement of drugs, money and guns. Canada is chiefly exporting ecstasy and marijuana into the U.S., while firearms, methamphetamine and cocaine are heading north, the report states.
The authors state Canada is the primary producer of ecstasy for all of North America, while most of the cocaine that winds up north of the border comes directly from the United States.
International criminal organizations based in Canada are exploiting "the vast rugged terrain and expansive bodies of water" that comprise the international border, the report states. Ecstasy is particularly profitable because it retails for $5 to $20 a tablet in Canada but sells for as much as US$70 per tablet south of the border.
Cocaine is attractive to ship north because it retails for US$25,000 to US$28,000 per kilogram in the United States but sells for $35,000 to $47,000 per kilogram in Canada.
To combat the cross-border flow of drugs, guns and money, the Obama administration wants U.S. authorities to increase intelligence-gathering and information-sharing with their Canadian counterparts and seize more drugs and money at border crossings, airports and lake and ocean ports.
The Americans also want to intensify counter-narcotics co-operation with border-region reserves such as Turtle Mountain, which sits within a few of the North Dakota counties that suffer from high unemployment.
The U.S. also wants to partner with Canada to investigate and prosecute criminal organizations, including outlaw motorcycle gangs and organized Chinese-Canadian, Indo-Canadian, Vietnamese-Canadian, Irish-Canadian and Italian-Canadian gangs, the report states.
The Canada Border Services Agency declined to comment on the report, but pledged to continue working with the U.S. to combat the two-way flow of drugs, guns and the proceeds of crime.
"Canada and the United States share a long history of co-operation along our shared borders in both combating threats and ensuring the legitimate flow of people and goods," CBSA spokeswoman Esme Bailey said in a statement.
"Strengthened co-operation on law enforcement, border management and intelligence is the most effective tool in addressing cross-border crime."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 21, 2014 A5
Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
(1 of 20 articles for today)3:00 AM 0
Photo Store Gallery
- 8-year sentence sought for Winnipeg man who set up bathroom spy-cams
- Parole officials impressed with progress made by Winnipeg killer
- Wanted: info on trains blocking traffic
- Toews' lobbying to be probed
- Teen fighting back against alleged bullying with lawsuit
- Firms shortlisted for $590 million transitway and Pembina underpass project
- MTS inadvertently filters internet customers' traffic
- Peguis First Nation elects a new chief, Cindy Spence, who replaces Glenn Hudson
- RCMP quiet on large police presence at Canadadrugs.com offices
- Man arrested after indecent act Tuesday
- Significant snowfall likely for southern Manitoba
- Developer giving up on 110-year-old Sargent Avenue building after battle with city
- Boy, 11, injured after falling about 4.5 metres from ski lift at Asessippi
- Man facing impaired driving charge after fatal ATV crash says he had alcohol after the crash
- MTS inadvertently filters internet customers' traffic
- Mom wants ski trips reviewed
- Brothers headed to prison after attacking their mother's dealer
- Semi-trailer falls into Assiniboine River
- Saskatchewan teen killed in crash in Manitoba
- Poor conditions slow drive into Winnipeg; some vehicles off road
- Family shattered by loss of four young sons
- Pilot Mound teen dies after skiing accident
- Two in hospital after car crashes into restaurant
- Forgiving the unthinkable
- Selinger wins on second ballot at NDP leadership convention
- Property tax increase capped, but frontage levies, garbage fees to increase
- Before meeting with mayor, Chipman wants written response
- Judge doesn't buy tale of biker's bounty
- Boy who gave up Jets stick gets surprise gift
- Protected witness wonders if big payday was worth hassle
Ads by Google