U.S. CUSTOMS COCAINE SEIZURES SOAR ON SOUTHWEST BORDER
The U.S. Customs Service reported a 76-percent increase in cocaine seizures for fiscal 2002, ended Sept. 30, on the Southwest border of the United States.
During fiscal 2002, Customs made 725 cocaine seizures, accounting for 28,590 pounds of cocaine seized from cars, commercial trucks and pedestrians. This compares to 525 seizures and 16,230 pounds of drugs in fiscal 2001.
“These cocaine seizure numbers demonstrate that we have not wavered in our commitment to safeguard our nation’s borders from drug smuggling as well as from terrorism,” said Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner.
While intelligence and non-intrusive inspection equipment helped to increase seizures, the agency attributed most of the increase to “cold hits” by its officers on the U.S./Mexican border. Cold hits occur when an officer relies on training, canine alerts and roving.