Customs Service: Drug Interdiction Efforts (Briefing Report, 09/26/96,
GAO/GGD-96-189BR).

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the
Customs Service's drug interdiction efforts, focusing on: (1) the key
elements in Customs' drug interdiction program; (2) enhancements to
Operation Hard Line; and (3) how Customs measures the effectiveness of
its interdiction efforts.

GAO found that: (1) the Offices of Field Operations and Investigations
are the key organizational elements in Customs' drug interdiction
program; (2) these offices employ about 11,000 inspectors, special
agents, and other staff to conduct inspections and investigations at and
between ports using canines and various types of equipment; (3) Customs'
Operation Hard Line emphasizes reducing border violence and drug
smuggling by intensifying inspections, improving facilities, and using
the latest technology; (4) the Operation has been expanded to encompass
the southern tier of the United States; (5) between 1990 and 1997,
Customs' drug interdiction budget has averaged about $500 million per
year; (6) in 1995, Customs' drug interdiction budget comprised about 38
percent of the federal drug control budget; (7) most of these funds were
spent on employees' salaries and related benefits and new detection
equipment; (8) Customs uses both traditional and nontraditional methods
to measure the effectiveness of its interdiction efforts; (9) although
Customs has developed eight nontraditional measures to track the impact
of drug interdiction efforts, only one has been fully implemented; (10)
Customs is designing a program that will measure compliance with all
laws it is responsible for enforcing; and (11) Customs plans to
implement the program at major air and land ports and use the program as
a baseline for measuring how effective inspectors target smugglers
entering these ports.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  GGD-96-189BR
     TITLE:  Customs Service: Drug Interdiction Efforts
      DATE:  09/26/96
   SUBJECT:  Contraband
             Law enforcement
             Customs administration
             Human resources utilization
             Drug trafficking
             Budget outlays
             Evaluation methods
             Cost effectiveness analysis
             Inspection
             Search and seizure
IDENTIFIER:  Customs Service Operation Hard Line
             Treasury Enforcement Communications System
             Customs Service Compliance Examination Program
             Miami (FL)
             Customs Service South Florida Narcotic Strategy
             San Ysidro (CA)
             Otay Mesa (CA)
             San Diego (CA)
             
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Cover
================================================================ COVER


Briefing Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Trade, Committee on
Ways and Means, House of Representatives

September 1996

CUSTOMS SERVICE - DRUG
INTERDICTION EFFORTS

GAO/GGD-96-189BR

Customs' Drug Interdiction Efforts

(264433)


Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV

  COMPEX - Compliance Examination Program
  ONDCP - Office of National Drug Control Policy
  SAC - Special Agent-in-Charge

Letter
=============================================================== LETTER


B-271363

September 26, 1996

The Honorable Philip M.  Crane
Chairman, Subcommittee on Trade
Committee on Ways and Means
House of Representatives

Dear Mr.  Chairman: 

This briefing report responds to your May 7, 1995, request for
information on the U.S.  Customs Service.  This report, the last in a
series,\1 provides information on the drug interdiction efforts of
the Customs Service.  As one of the more than 50 federal agencies
involved in the War on Drugs, Customs is responsible for stopping the
flow of illegal drugs across the nation's borders.  In addition to
routine inspections to search for illegal drugs, Customs' drug
interdiction program includes national initiatives, investigations,
and other activities unique to specific ports. 

As discussed with the Subcommittee, our objectives were to identify
and describe the key elements, personnel and equipment resources,
budget and operational costs, Operation Hard Line enhancements, and
measures of effectiveness of Customs' national drug interdiction
program, as well as at its Special Agent-in-Charge (SAC) offices and
selected ports in the Miami and San Diego areas. 

On July 31 and September 19, 1996, we briefed the Subcommittee on the
results of our work. 


--------------------
\1 We have issued the following products in connection with the
Subcommittee's request:  Customs Service:  Status of the
Implementation of Blue Ribbon Panel Recommendations (GAO/GGD-96-163,
Sept.  3, 1996) and Customs' Reorganization (GAO/GGD-96-81R, Feb. 
23, 1996). 


   BACKGROUND
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :1

Created in 1789, the U.S.  Customs Service is one of the federal
government's oldest agencies.  Although its original mission was to
collect revenue, Customs' mission has expanded to include ensuring
that all goods and persons entering and exiting the United States do
so in accordance with all U.S.  laws and regulations.  Moreover, a
major goal of Customs is to prevent the smuggling of drugs into the
country by creating an effective drug interdiction, intelligence, and
investigation capability that disrupts and dismantles smuggling
organizations. 

Customs performs its mission with more than 19,000 employees at its
headquarters, 20 management centers, 20 SAC offices, and 301 ports of
entry around the country.  Customs collects revenues in excess of $23
billion annually while processing the estimated 14 million import
entries and 450 million people who enter the country each year. 


   RESULTS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :2

The key organizational elements in Customs' drug interdiction program
are the Offices of Field Operations and Investigations.  These
offices employ about 11,000 inspectors, special agents, and other
staff to conduct inspections at the ports and investigations at and
between the ports.  In addition, they use canines and various types
of equipment, including X-ray systems, boats, and airplanes, to carry
out their duties. 

Operation Hard Line is Customs' current effort to address border
violence and drug smuggling.  First implemented on the Southwest
border, Hard Line emphasizes intensified inspections, improved
facilities, and the use of technology.  It has now been expanded
beyond the Southwest border to the southern tier of the United
States. 

Customs' drug interdiction budget has averaged about $500 million a
year for fiscal years 1990 to 1997.\2 In fiscal year 1995, its drug
interdiction budget was about 38 percent and its drug investigation
budget was about 3 percent of the federal drug control budget.  Most
of these funds were spent on salaries and related benefits.  Customs
has also invested in technologies, such as X-ray units for trucks and
containerized cargo, to help detect smuggled drugs. 

Customs has developed two types of effectiveness measures:  (1)
traditional measures that track output and (2) nontraditional
measures to track the impact of Customs' drug interdiction efforts. 
Traditional measures include the number and amount of seizures of
drugs and the number of arrests, indictments, and convictions.  In
fiscal year 1995, Customs seized over 50 percent of all drugs seized
by federal agencies and participated in the seizure of an additional
13 percent of the total drugs seized.  Customs also developed eight
nontraditional measures but has, to date, implemented only one, a
measure of the reduction in the number of port runners--drug
smugglers who attempt to race a drug-laden vehicle through a port. 

Customs is also testing a program designed to measure compliance with
all laws it is responsible for enforcing.  For drug interdiction, the
program is designed to estimate the number of drug smugglers entering
the ports, thus providing Customs with a baseline from which to
measure how effective its inspectors are at targeting drug smugglers
at the ports.  The program is being implemented at major air and land
ports. 


--------------------
\2 Fiscal year 1997 amounts were those requested in the President's
fiscal year 1997 budget. 


   ELEMENTS OF CUSTOMS' DRUG
   INTERDICTION PROGRAM
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

The Offices of Field Operations and Investigations are the key
organizational elements in Customs' drug interdiction program.  Among
their other responsibilities, they interdict drugs and dismantle
smuggling operations by conducting inspections at the ports of entry
and investigations at and between the ports. 

The Office of Field Operations performs primary--initial--inspection
of persons, cargo, and conveyances\3 at air, land, and sea ports
around the country.  Persons, cargo, and conveyances may also be
subject to a more thorough, intensive inspection known as secondary
inspection.  Nationwide, Field Operations has over 6,600 inspectors
and 527 canine enforcement officers to perform inspections. 
Inspectors use an array of technology in their search for drugs, such
as an X-ray system for trucks, X-ray machines for containerized
cargo, and fiber-optic scopes to examine gas tanks and other enclosed
spaces.  Inspectors also target persons, cargo, and conveyances for
examination using manifest reviews and databases such as the Treasury
Enforcement Communications System, which contains information on
suspected smugglers. 

The Office of Investigations has about 2,500 special agents (of which
up to 1,246 are authorized to work on drug investigations) and about
1,100 more personnel in its aviation, marine, and intelligence units. 
Office of Investigations' special agents react to and investigate
drug seizures at the ports and also develop cases that implicate
smuggling organizations.  The aviation unit supports foreign
interdiction operations, interdict and apprehend air smugglers, and
support other Customs and federal, state, and local law enforcement
efforts.  Marine units interdict, investigate, and apprehend
violators that smuggle drugs into the United States via commercial
and pleasure vessels.  To assist in performing these missions, the
air and marine units have 78 vessels, 77 airplanes, and 39
helicopters.  The intelligence unit supports Customs' management and
all field elements; this involves developing assessments of drug
smuggling threats for various parts of the country.  For example,
threat assessments of the Southwest border led in part to the Customs
Commissioner's support for creating a major national initiative,
Operation Hard Line, for the Southwest border. 


--------------------
\3 Conveyances include cars, buses, trucks, aircraft, and vessels. 


   OPERATION HARD LINE
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

Operation Hard Line was initiated to address border violence and drug
smuggling through intensified inspections, improved facilities, and
the use of technology at Southwest border ports such as the Otay Mesa
Commercial Facility in the San Diego area.  Otay Mesa's Operation
Hard Line activities have included enhanced canine team cargo
screening, an increased number of "block blitz"\4 inspections, and
the formation of special teams of inspectors that focus on drug
enforcement examinations.  As of September 16, 1996, the House had
agreed to the administration's request for $65 million for Operation
Hard Line for fiscal year 1997; the Senate had not taken final action
on the request.  The funds, which are intended to enhance security
along the Southwest border, are designated to provide an additional
657 inspectors, canine officers, agents, and support personnel as
well as equipment. 

Operation Hard Line has been expanded beyond the Southwest border to
the southern tier of the United States, including the Caribbean and
Puerto Rico, with enhanced air and marine enforcement.\5 For example,
Miami International Airport's Operation Hard Line enhancements
include increased inspectional coverage as well as the realignment of
inspector work hours to better cover high-risk flights. 


--------------------
\4 Inspectors select a group of vehicles for additional inspection
using canines and other inspection tools. 

\5 An additional $28 million appropriation for fiscal year 1997 has
been approved by the House to reduce air and marine smuggling
throughout the Caribbean.  If enacted, the appropriation is to be
used for additional positions and aircraft, vessels, and facilities
in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. 


   CUSTOMS' DRUG INTERDICTION AND
   INVESTIGATION BUDGETS AND
   ESTIMATED COSTS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Customs'
combined budget for its drug interdiction and investigation programs
averaged $574 million for fiscal years 1990 to 1996.\6

Customs' budget for drug interdiction alone has averaged about $500
million a year for these fiscal years; in fiscal year 1995, its drug
interdiction budget was about 38 percent and its drug investigation
budget was about 3 percent of the federal drug control budget. 

Customs does not track its drug interdiction expenditures, although
headquarters officials told us that they intend to move in that
direction over the next few years.  At the ports we visited, Customs
officials used different methodologies to estimate their drug
interdiction costs.  We estimated the costs for the SAC offices we
visited by multiplying the percentage of time agents worked on drug
cases by the total budget for each SAC office. 


--------------------
\6 The National Drug Control Strategy, 1996:  Program, Resources, and
Evaluation, The White House, 1996. 


   MEASURES OF EFFECTIVENESS OF
   CUSTOMS' DRUG INTERDICTION
   PROGRAM
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :6

Customs has traditionally measured the output from its drug
interdiction efforts by the resulting number of seizures, arrests,
indictments, and convictions.  For example, in fiscal year 1995,
Customs reported about 2,200 cocaine seizures, about 900 heroin
seizures, and about 10,000 marijuana seizures--over 50 percent of all
drugs seized by federal agencies--and participation in the seizure of
an additional 13 percent of the total drugs seized.  Customs also
reported that it made 8,065 drug arrests and obtained 4,304 drug
indictments and 4,262 drug convictions. 

These traditional measures, however, track activity, not outcome or
effectiveness.  Several Customs officials, for example, made this
point by noting that it is unclear whether an increase in seizures
indicates that Customs has become more effective or that the amount
of smuggling has increased significantly.  We have previously noted
that traditional measures, such as the number of seizures, pose
problems for measuring the performance of drug interdiction
programs.\7 We also recognize that developing sound, results-oriented
performance measures and accompanying data is a difficult and
time-consuming task.\8

In addition to the traditional measures, in 1995 Customs identified
eight nontraditional measures for use assessing the effectiveness of
its drug strategy initiative.  The measures include a reduction in
the number of port runners and the ratio of seizures to examinations
conducted for cargo and passengers.  For example, there was a
38-percent decline in port runners from fiscal year 1994 to 1995 at
the San Ysidro border crossing.  This reduction was attributed, in
part, to an Operation Hard Line enhancement--the installation of
permanent concrete barriers to impede high-speed vehicle traffic and
lane switching through the port.  Officials said they anticipate
refinement of Customs' nontraditional measures as they gain more
experience in capturing and analyzing the data. 

In addition to these measures, Customs is estimating the number of
persons violating U.S.  laws, including smuggling drugs, at major air
and land ports.  For example, during a recent 6-month period, Customs
tested a program called Compliance Examination (COMPEX) at Miami
International Airport.  During this period, 4.4 million international
passengers passed through the airport.  During the test, Customs
detected

  -- 555 drug smugglers through normal targeted examinations and

  -- 3 additional drug smugglers from a random sample of 7,543
     passengers who did not receive a targeted examination. 

On the basis of these results, Customs estimated that

  -- approximately 1,600 drug smugglers passed through the port
     undetected and

  -- approximately 25 percent of the drug smugglers entering the port
     were apprehended. 

Customs also estimated that only a small number of the 4.4 million
passengers--1 in 1,968--were smuggling drugs.  Customs anticipates
that COMPEX data will allow it to establish a baseline from which to
measure its effectiveness in detecting drug smugglers over time. 


--------------------
\7 Drug Interdiction:  Funding Continues to Increase but Program
Effectiveness Is Unknown (GAO/GGD-91-10, Dec.  11, 1990). 

\8 Executive Guide:  Effectively Implementing the Government
Performance and Results Act (GAO/GGD-96-118, June 1996). 


   CUSTOMS FACES CHALLENGES
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :7

In trying to stop the flow of drugs across the nation's borders,
Customs faces challenges on two levels.  Its major challenge is to
effectively carry out its drug interdiction and trade enforcement
missions while facilitating the flow of persons and cargo across the
borders.  Customs has to perform these missions despite the
continuous and extensive threat from drug smugglers along the
borders. 

Customs faces specific challenges in evaluating its drug interdiction
mission.  First, because its financial information systems are not
designed to account for costs by mission component, Customs estimates
what it is spending for drug interdiction overall.  This affects
Customs' ability to determine whether allocation of additional
resources at specific ports or in a specific region has produced
commensurate benefits.  Customs officials told us they are developing
mission- and performance-based budgets, in accordance with Department
of the Treasury directives, that will enable them to determine with
greater reliability the costs of drug interdiction activities
throughout Customs. 

Second, Customs--like other law enforcement agencies engaged in the
fight against drug smuggling--has attempted to develop performance
measures.  Traditional output measures do not allow officials to
gauge the effectiveness of drug interdiction activities.  Even the
new nontraditional measures being developed may not allow Customs to
assess, over time, whether increased efforts are producing better
outcomes. 

Finally, special agents investigating drug smuggling activities,
especially in the San Diego area, said they are limited in their
efforts to identify sources and destinations of drugs smuggled across
the Southwest border because so much of their time is spent on
thousands of marijuana cases, most of which involved less than 100
pounds of marijuana each.  Agents told us that, given their
resources, the time they devote to these "port cases" keeps them from
investigating other promising leads. 

Because our fieldwork was limited to Customs' offices in Miami and
San Diego, we cannot say with certainty that the challenges existing
in those two offices also exist throughout Customs' field offices. 
However, because Miami and San Diego represent two areas with a high
volume of passenger and cargo traffic and a high risk for drug
smuggling, we believe that the challenges Customs faces at these
locations are important factors for both Congress and the Customs
Service to consider when assessing the effectiveness of Customs' drug
interdiction activities. 


   OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND
   METHODOLOGY
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :8

Our objectives were to provide information on the following aspects
of the Customs Service's drug interdiction activities nationally and
in the Miami and San Diego field areas: 

  -- key elements,

  -- personnel and equipment resources,

  -- budget or operational costs,

  -- Operation Hard Line, and

  -- measures of effectiveness. 

In the Miami field area, we conducted our work at the Miami
International Airport, Miami Seaport, Miami SAC Office, and Miami
Aviation Branch.  In the San Diego field area, we conducted our work
at the San Ysidro passenger port, Otay Mesa Commercial Facility, San
Diego SAC Office, and San Diego Aviation Branch. 

To obtain an overview of Customs' drug interdiction program, we
interviewed key officials and reviewed budget and program documents
at headquarters.  In the two field areas, we interviewed key
officials, observed their drug interdiction operations, and obtained
and reviewed data on budget, workload, and performance.  We also
reviewed the drug interdiction operations of the SACs, marine groups,
and aviation branches.  We chose the two field areas because they
contained ports with (1) high volumes of passenger and cargo traffic
and a corresponding high risk for drug smuggling, (2) SAC offices
with marine groups and large numbers of drug cases, and (3) aviation
branches. 

We had several limitations in doing this work.  First, because
Customs does not track drug interdiction and investigation costs,
costs were estimated by Customs; in some cases, we also estimated the
costs.  Second, because of time constraints, we did not verify
operational enhancements attributed to Operation Hard Line.  Finally,
the sampled ports' elements, resources, costs, and measures of
effectiveness were unique to each port, were not intended to be
comparable, and, therefore, cannot be generalized to other ports. 

We did our work between March and September 1996 in accordance with
generally accepted government auditing standards. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :9

At a meeting on September 12, 1996, Customs' Director, Office of
Planning and Evaluation, and other officials provided comments on a
draft of this report.  They generally agreed with the overall
contents of the report but provided technical clarifications, which
we incorporated where appropriate. 


---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :9.1

We are sending copies of this report to your Committee's Ranking
Minority Member and to the Chairmen and Ranking Minority Members of
other congressional committees that have responsibilities related to
these issues, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Commissioner of
Customs, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.  We
will also make copies available to others on request. 

The major contributors to this report are listed in appendix I.  If
you need any additional information or have further questions, please
contact me on (202) 512-8777. 

Sincerely yours,

Norman J.  Rabkin
Director, Administration
 of Justice Issues


BRIEFING SECTION I CUSTOMS'
NATIONAL DRUG INTERDICTION PROGRAM
============================================================== Letter 


   KEY ELEMENTS OF CUSTOMS'
   NATIONAL DRUG INTERDICTION
   PROGRAM
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :10



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      KEY ELEMENTS OF CUSTOMS'
      NATIONAL DRUG INTERDICTION
      PROGRAM
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :10.1

Drugs can enter the United States at or between the 301 ports of
entry by air, land, and sea.  They can be transported by or in
people, cargo, and conveyances, including cars, trucks, aircraft, and
vessels. 

Customs seeks to prevent the smuggling of drugs into the United
States by attempting to create an effective drug interdiction,
intelligence, and investigation capability that disrupts and
dismantles smuggling organizations. 

The key organizational elements in Customs' drug interdiction program
are the Offices of Field Operations and Investigations.  Customs'
Field Operations Division consists of inspectors, canine enforcement
officers, and other personnel such as operational analysis
specialists.  Customs' Office of Investigation consists of special
agents and personnel in its aviation, marine, and intelligence units. 


   FIELD OPERATIONS KEY ELEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :11



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Although inspectors have the option to conduct a thorough examination
of all persons, cargo, and conveyances entering the country, they
selectively choose or "target" for a thorough inspection those that
they consider high risk for drug smuggling.  Targeting is generally
done through the use of databases available to Customs.  These
databases provide information on passengers, cargo manifests, and
criminal histories that inspectors review to help identify
individuals, cargo, or conveyances that pose a threat.  One database
system Customs uses is the Treasury Enforcement Communications
System, which contains information to assist inspectors in
identifying potential violators. 

Primary inspection is the initial screening by Customs inspectors of
individuals, cargo, and conveyances that enter U.S.  ports.  These
inspections may include a document review and additional checks, such
as license plate or driver identification checks.  Inspectors also
rely on their training to detect behavior that alerts them to
potential drug violators.  They may refer any suspect person or
conveyance for the more thorough, intensive "secondary" inspection. 

Secondary inspection may include searching a person, a conveyance, or
selected cargo.  For automobiles, this may include a detailed
seven-point examination, using a canine and other detection tools, to
discover hidden drugs.  For cargo it may include off-loading and
searching individual containers until the inspectors are satisfied
that they contain no drugs. 

Customs inspectors have a variety of other detection methods
available to help them detect illegal drugs.  For example, specially
trained drug-detector canines work with canine enforcement officers
at air, sea, and land border ports.  In preprimary inspection (the
type of inspection carried out before primary), "rovers" target
passengers for intensive inspections.  Rovers are teams of inspectors
who, along with canine enforcement officers, attempt to identify
potential smugglers through behavioral analysis, prior intelligence,
or canine alert.  Other detection methods include special enforcement
examinations, such as "block blitzes," in which inspectors select a
group of vehicles for complete inspection using canines and other
inspection tools. 


   FIELD OPERATIONS RESOURCES AS
   OF MAY 1996
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :12



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      FIELD OPERATIONS RESOURCES
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :12.1

As of May 1996, Customs had 6,689 inspectors and 527 canine
enforcement officers nationwide who used a variety of equipment and
technology to assist the inspection process. 

Equipment and technology Customs uses for screening and drug
interdiction activities include databases; portable contraband
detectors ("busters"); sonic and laser range finders; fiber-optic
scopes; and baggage, pallet, and mobile X-ray systems.  Busters
detect hidden contraband; range finders locate false walls and hidden
compartments; fiber-optic scopes permit the visual examination of gas
tanks and other enclosed spaces.  Inspectors use hand tools such as
hammers, drills, and pry bars.  They also use steel probes to detect
drugs in flowers and bulk materials.  Canines are used in every stage
of inspection. 


   OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS KEY
   ELEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :13



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS KEY
      ELEMENTS
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :13.1

Special agents assigned to 20 Special Agent-in-Charge (SAC) offices
located throughout the United States conduct a variety of
investigations.  The special agents investigate drug cases resulting
from seizures inspectors make at the ports.  These investigations may
include interrogating drug smugglers and conducting "controlled
deliveries," which occur when agents follow smugglers (with their
consent) to their destination and attempt to apprehend additional
smugglers and/or additional drugs. 

These agents also independently develop drug investigations and
intelligence on suspected drug smuggling operations and work with
other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.  Twelve SAC
offices have marine units whose mission is to interdict drugs
smuggled into the United States via commercial vessels, fishing
vessels, and pleasure craft. 

Seventeen aviation branches and units, located primarily along the
southern border, (1) support foreign interdiction operations by
providing aircraft and air crews to identify and track suspected drug
smuggling aircraft operating in or departing from South American
source countries and (2) maintain an air interdiction response
capability within the United States to deter the use of general
aviation aircraft for smuggling drugs into the United States. 

The Domestic Air Interdiction Command Center requires aviation
branches to have aircraft on standby to intercept suspect drug
smugglers within 8 minutes of an alert.  The Center conducts 24-hour
radar surveillance of the entire U.S.  southern border and provides
communications and radar tracking information to Customs' aircraft
and ground units nationwide. 

Headquarters and SAC office intelligence units produce strategic
threat analyses for Customs' management and tactical intelligence on
potential drug smugglers at the field level.  For example, threat
assessments on the Southwest border led, in part, to the
Commissioner's support for initiating Operation Hard Line.\1



--------------------
\1 Operation Hard Line is Customs' effort to address border violence
and drug smuggling through intensified inspections, improved
facilities, and technology. 


   OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS
   RESOURCES AS OF AUGUST 1996
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :14



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS
      RESOURCES
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :14.1

As of August 1996, Customs' Office of Investigations personnel
included 2,523 special agents (of which 1,246 were authorized to
conduct drug investigations), 64 marine enforcement officers, 770 air
program personnel (including about 300 pilots), and about 300
intelligence analysts. 

Customs' marine units have a fleet of 78 vessels, including 3 classes
of marine vessels:  (1) utility boats used for various activities,
including patrolling waterways for suspect smuggling boats; (2)
interceptors, vessels capable of and used exclusively for high-speed
chases or interception of speed boats suspected of retrieving illegal
contraband from the water; and (3) Blue Water vessels, ocean-going
vessels that are large pleasure craft routinely used for covert or
undercover operations. 

The aviation branches have a total of 116 aircraft available for
deployment:  77 airplanes, such as the Cessna Citation, and 39
helicopters, such as the customized Black Hawk. 


   CUSTOMS' DRUG INTERDICTION AND
   INVESTIGATION BUDGETS, FYS
   1990--1997
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :15



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Note:  Fiscal Year 1997 amounts
   are requested.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  ONDCP.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      CUSTOMS' DRUG INTERDICTION
      AND INVESTIGATION BUDGETS,
      FISCAL YEARS 1990--1997
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :15.1

According to data from the Office of National Drug Control Policy
(ONDCP), Customs' combined budgets for its drug interdiction and
investigation programs averaged $574 million for fiscal years 1990 to
1996.\2 Fiscal year 1997 amounts were those requested in the
President's fiscal year 1997 budget. 

Customs' budget for drug interdiction alone averaged about $500
million a year for fiscal years 1990 to 1997; it decreased from 38
percent of the federal drug interdiction budget in fiscal year 1995
to 35 percent in the fiscal year 1997 request. 

Customs' drug investigations budget averaged $72 million for fiscal
years 1990 to 1996.  Customs' drug investigations budget accounted
for 3.4 percent of the total federal drug investigations budget in
fiscal year 1995 and rose to 4.2 percent in the fiscal year 1997
request. 


--------------------
\2 The National Drug Control Strategy, 1996:  Program, Resources, and
Evaluation, The White House, 1996. 


   OPERATION HARD LINE--A NATIONAL
   INITIATIVE
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :16



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

According to Customs officials, drug smugglers have used a variety of
methods to smuggle drugs into the United States, including an
approach called "port running"--racing a drug-laden car or van
through a Customs inspection point.  That smuggling method, which
sometimes resulted in gun battles and high-speed chases, not only
brought tons of drugs into the United States but posed tremendous
danger to law enforcement officials and civilians. 

Operation Hard Line was initiated in February 1995 to address the
problems of violence and drug smuggling along the Southwest border. 
Hard Line focuses on strengthening and tightening security at ports
by intensifying inspectional processes, improving port facilities,
and increasing the use of technology in drug interdiction efforts. 

Hard Line emphasizes enhanced preprimary inspections, performing more
secondary inspections, conducting more intensive cargo searches,
installing concrete barriers to manage traffic flow, and providing an
increase in investigative support.  Hard Line promotes "strategic
problem solving" by relying on internal experts at each port to
develop and test creative new ways to prevent drug smuggling. 

To fund Hard Line activities in fiscal year 1995, Customs relied, in
part, on additional overtime funding and reprogrammed funds as well
as $13 million from fiscal year 1995 rescission funds.  In fiscal
year 1996, Customs received $26 million in appropriated funds for
Operation Hard Line activities. 

As of September 16, 1996, the House had agreed to the
administration's request for $65 million for Operation Hard Line for
fiscal year 1997; the Senate had not taken final action on the
request.  The funds, which are intended to enhance security along the
Southwest border, are designated to provide an additional 657
inspectors, canine officers, agents, and support personnel as well as
equipment. 

The second phase of Operation Hard Line, begun in March 1996, focuses
on the high-risk areas of the southern tier, which include Florida
and the Gulf of Mexico area.  In the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, also
part of the southern tier, the second phase funds enhanced air and
marine enforcement.\3 According to the Director, Anti-Smuggling
Division, a major part of the plan is to temporarily detail
inspectors, agents, intelligence officers, and pilots to locations
along the southern tier to increase the drug enforcement interdiction
efforts there. 


--------------------
\3 An additional $28 million appropriation for fiscal year 1997 has
been approved by the House to reduce air and marine smuggling
throughout the Caribbean.  If enacted, the appropriation is to be
used for additional positions and aircraft, vessels, and facilities
in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. 


   MEASURES OF EFFECTIVENESS OF
   CUSTOMS' DRUG INTERDICTION
   PROGRAM
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :17



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MEASURES OF EFFECTIVENESS OF
      CUSTOMS' DRUG INTERDICTION
      PROGRAM
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :17.1

Customs, like many law enforcement agencies, has traditionally
measured the output from its drug interdiction efforts by the number
of drug seizures and arrests made as well as by the number of
indictments and convictions obtained. 

These traditional measures, however, track activity only.  They do
not measure the impact or the effectiveness of Customs' drug
interdiction efforts because they do not provide the necessary
evidence of success or failure.  During the course of our review, for
example, several Customs officials made this point by noting that it
is unclear whether an increase in seizures indicates that Customs is
more effective or that the amount of smuggling has increased
significantly. 

In addition to traditional measures, Customs has developed eight
nontraditional measures it will use in assessing the effectiveness of
its drug strategy initiatives in its Fiscal Year 1996 Annual Plan. 
These measures include a reduction in the number of port runners and
the ratio of seizures to examinations conducted for cargo and
passengers.  By applying these additional nontraditional measures,
Customs is attempting to capture data that will provide an indication
of the impact its interdiction efforts are having on drug smuggling. 


   CUSTOMS' TRADITIONAL MEASURES
   OF EFFECTIVENESS, FISCAL YEAR
   1995
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :18



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   N/A:  Not applicable.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      CUSTOMS' TRADITIONAL
      MEASURES OF EFFECTIVENESS,
      FISCAL YEAR 1995
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :18.1

Customs continues to measure the results of its drug interdiction
efforts by traditional measures--that is, by the number of seizures,
arrests, indictments, and convictions. 

For fiscal year 1995, Customs reported a total of 13,363 cocaine,
heroin, and marijuana seizures.  These seizures included 158,314
pounds of cocaine, 2,235 pounds of heroin, and 642,013 pounds of
marijuana.  In fiscal year 1995, Customs also reported a total of
8,065 arrests, 4,304 indictments, and 4,262 convictions related to
drug violations. 

According to Office of Investigations officials, Customs measures the
effectiveness of its air program using an "Air Threat Index." The
index includes data on the number of detected air intrusions across
U.S.  borders and aircraft seizures.  Customs reported that the index
shows an estimated 80-percent reduction in general aviation drug
smuggling across U.S.  borders from 1982 to 1995. 


   STATUS OF CUSTOMS'
   NONTRADITIONAL MEASURES AS OF
   JULY 1996
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :19



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      STATUS OF CUSTOMS'
      NONTRADITIONAL MEASURES AS
      OF JULY 1996
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :19.1

Customs' Fiscal Year 1996 Annual Plan stated that it would begin to
track the eight nontraditional measures in October 1995.  Customs
officials told us that port-runner data had been collected, and that
they were using the data to measure their effectiveness in decreasing
port running incidents. 

As of July 1996, Customs had begun to develop baseline data for two
additional measures--the ratio of seizures to cargo and passenger
examinations.  However, we found that no action had been taken to
capture information on the five remaining measures listed in their
annual plan.  Customs officials told us that they anticipate
refinement of these nontraditional measures as they gain experience
in capturing and analyzing the data. 


   COMPEX TO PROVIDE DATA ON DRUG
   VIOLATORS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :20



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      COMPLIANCE EXAMINATION
      (COMPEX) TO PROVIDE DATA ON
      DRUG VIOLATORS
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :20.1

Customs has developed a program intended to measure passenger
compliance with all the laws it is responsible for enforcing,
including drug laws.  The program, Compliance Examination (COMPEX),
requires a port to randomly examine a sample of passengers drawn from
those who were not targeted for examination in routine passenger
processing.  These data are used to estimate the number of violations
that pass through the port undetected.  COMPEX data are then combined
with the number of violations detected by routine, targeted
examinations to create an estimate of the number of violations that
occurred among the overall passenger population.  COMPEX is designed
to allow Customs to measure the effectiveness of targeting by
comparing the results of targeted exams with the estimated rate of
violations in the overall population of passengers. 

As of June 1996, COMPEX had been implemented at major air and land
border ports for use with passenger processing only.  Customs has
attempted to implement COMPEX at a cargo port.  However, to date, it
has not been successful.  Customs officials told us that they lacked
the necessary number of inspectors to perform the labor-intensive
searches of cargo based on random selection without substantially
reducing the number of examinations of high-risk cargo. 


BRIEFING SECTION II MIAMI AREA
DRUG INTERDICTION ACTIVITIES
============================================================== Letter 


   MIAMI AREA LOCATIONS VISITED
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :21



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI AREA LOCATIONS VISITED
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :21.1

In the Miami area, we observed drug interdiction programs and
activities at the Miami International Airport and Miami Seaport cargo
facility.  We also reviewed the drug interdiction operations of the
Miami SAC Office (including the marine unit) and aviation branch. 


   MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :22



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  Metro Dade Aviation
   Department.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :22.1

Miami International Airport is the second busiest international
airport in the nation:  in fiscal year 1995, about 7.9 million
international passengers arrived at the airport.  It is open 7 days
per week, 24 hours per day.  Customs officials told us that about 120
of the 200 international flights arriving daily are considered high
risk because they originate in countries such as Columbia, Peru, and
Jamaica, which are known source or transit countries for drugs. 

At Miami airport the major drug threats were smuggling by air
passengers and "internal conspiracies" by airport and airline
employees.  For example, air passengers who smuggle drugs can conceal
them internally, on their person, and in their luggage.  Internal
conspiracies occur when airline, airport, or warehouse employees
off-load drugs from airplane compartments, cargo, baggage, and cargo
warehouses. 


   MIAMI AIRPORT PASSENGER AND
   CARGO KEY ELEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :23



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  GAO.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Drug interdiction activities at Miami International Airport passenger
and cargo involve various key units and personnel that focus on the
prevention of drug smuggling through the airport.  (The photographs
on the left illustrate some of these detection activities.) The
Passenger Analytical Unit reviews and analyzes advance flight and
passenger information and automated systems to target potential drug
smugglers.  The Manifest Review Unit performs the same type of
activity for cargo arriving at the airport.  The unit reviews and
analyzes cargo manifests and flight information to target aircraft
and cargo for examination prior to its arrival. 

Inspectors, using behavioral analysis and the results of prearrival
reviews, determine whether to refer passengers to secondary for a
more thorough examination.  The examination may have included
detailed questioning, searching of baggage, and searching of the
passenger.  Inspectors refer drug couriers and "swallowers" to agents
from the Office of Investigation for further investigation. 

Other drug detection activities include canine and rover teams who
meet flights at the arrival gate and inspect and observe passengers
in primary, in baggage claim, and at exit gates.  On the basis of
their analysis, inspectors could refer suspected drug smugglers to
secondary.  The teams also monitor the transfer of luggage to and
from the aircraft to deter internal conspiracy activities. 

Anti-Smuggling unit inspectors and canine enforcement teams assigned
to air cargo perform drug interdiction activities at various airport
locations.  This includes inspecting aircraft and cargo as it is
unloaded at airport and warehouse locations.  Inspectors also review
advance information to identify high-risk flights and cargo. 

The Anti-Smuggling Unit also focuses its efforts on preventing
internal conspiracies.  For example, Anti-Smuggling and canine
enforcement teams meet and board planes on arrival to inspect and
monitor the unloading of cargo.  They also conduct unannounced
inspections ("sweeps") of warehouses where cargo is stored. 


   MIAMI AIRPORT PASSENGER AND
   CARGO DRUG INTERDICTION
   RESOURCES AS OF MAY 1996
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :24



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI AIRPORT PASSENGER AND
      CARGO DRUG INTERDICTION
      RESOURCES
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :24.1

As of May 1996, 47 inspectors (rovers and Passenger Analytical Unit)
and 14 canine enforcement officers were dedicated to drug
interdiction in the passenger processing area at Miami International
Airport. 

In cargo operations, the Anti-Smuggling Unit had 35 inspectors and 15
canine enforcement officers who were dedicated to drug interdiction. 
Florida National Guard assistance increases the number and intensity
of inspections Customs conducts. 

In addition, Customs had additional inspectors who were responsible
for routine passenger and cargo processing. 

Inspectors at passenger and cargo use a variety of tools and
technologies in drug interdiction efforts.  These include database
systems and probes (some designed by inspectors) to detect drugs in
flowers and bulk material and mobile X-ray machines to examine
luggage and cargo on-site.  Canines are used extensively at both the
passenger facility and cargo sites. 


   MIAMI AIRPORT PASSENGER AND
   CARGO DRUG INTERDICTION COSTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :25



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI AIRPORT PASSENGER AND
      CARGO DRUG INTERDICTION
      COSTS
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :25.1

On the basis of data provided by Customs' Miami Airport officials, we
estimated that the annual cost for the Passenger Analytical Unit and
rover team activities at Miami Airport in fiscal year 1995 was about
$2 million.\4 According to Customs officials, these two units devoted
100 percent of their time to drug interdiction activities during
fiscal year 1995.  Of the inspectors assigned to passenger processing
at the airport, only the Passenger Analytical Unit and rover teams
were devoted exclusively to drug interdiction activities. 

Using data provided by Customs Miami Airport officials, we projected
the annual cost of the Anti-Smuggling Unit activities for fiscal year
1996 to be about $2.2 million.\5 This annual figure was calculated
using estimated Anti-Smuggling Unit costs covering the first 8 months
of fiscal year 1996.  Customs was unable to estimate fiscal year 1995
costs; prior to fiscal year 1996, the airport's Anti-Smuggling Unit
budget was combined with the budgets of Anti-Smuggling Units at other
Miami area ports and could not be separated. 


--------------------
\4 This estimate includes base salary, benefits, overtime, night
differential, and equipment costs related to Passenger Analytical
Unit and rover operations.  It does not include cost estimates
related to facility use or to other passenger drug interdiction
activities, such as primary or secondary inspections. 

\5 This projection includes costs for salaries, benefits, overtime,
night differential pay, services, supplies, and equipment.  It does
not include canine enforcement costs or facility costs. 


   MIAMI AIRPORT PASSENGER AND
   CARGO OPERATION HARD LINE
   ENHANCEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :26



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI AIRPORT PASSENGER AND
      CARGO OPERATION HARD LINE
      ENHANCEMENTS
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :26.1

According to the Customs Port Director for Miami Airport, in fiscal
year 1996 Miami Airport received $563,000 in Operation Hard Line
funds for new and enhanced passenger and cargo enforcement
activities, $545,000 of which was designated for overtime enforcement
use. 

As part of their Hard Line operations, Customs officials at Miami
Airport reported that they had increased the number of inspectors
assigned to rover teams.  This increase was accomplished by
reassigning some inspectors from passenger processing and by hiring
additional inspectors.\6 Port officials told us that they were able
to reassign inspectors from passenger processing following the
airport's 1995 reconfiguration of the passenger processing area; this
streamlining allowed Customs to process passengers more efficiently
with fewer inspectors. 

Port officials also told us that they realigned the hours rover teams
work to better correspond with the arrival of high-risk flights. 
They said that the inspectional coverage of passenger operations in
general was also increased through the use of Hard Line overtime
funds. 

In cargo operations, port officials said that they used Hard Line
money to fund Anti-Smuggling Unit overtime activities to better
target high-risk cargos.  They said other Hard Line applications
targeted the threat of internal conspiracies by airport and airline
personnel.  For example, port officials planned to install
closed-circuit television to monitor airport and airline personnel. 


--------------------
\6 These additional inspector positions were funded with passenger
user fees. 


   MIAMI AIRPORT PASSENGER AND
   CARGO FY 1995 DRUG INTERDICTION
   MEASURES
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :27



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   N/A:  Not applicable; "other"
   seizures were not reported in
   pounds.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI AIRPORT PASSENGER AND
      CARGO FY 1995 DRUG
      INTERDICTION MEASURES
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :27.1

During fiscal year 1995, Customs reported 843 drug seizures related
to passenger operations.  These included 212 heroin seizures (636
lbs.), 282 cocaine seizures (2,934 lbs.), 264 marijuana seizures
(5,630 lbs.) and 73 hashish seizures (164 lbs.). 

In cargo operations, Customs reported 124 drug seizures during fiscal
year 1995.  These included five heroin seizures (22 lbs.), 95 cocaine
seizures (11,753 lbs.), 21 marijuana seizures (6,615 lbs.), and one
hashish seizure (40 lbs.). 

In addition, there were 14 other drug seizures in passenger (12) and
cargo (2).  These included seizures of steroids and Rohypnol, which
were not reported in pounds. 


   COMPEX FOR MIAMI INTERNATIONAL
   AIRPORT PASSENGERS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :28



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      COMPEX FOR MIAMI
      INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
      PASSENGERS
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :28.1

Miami International Airport has been using COMPEX to assess passenger
compliance since November 1995.  For the period November 8, 1995,
through May 31, 1996, Customs inspectors detected through normal
targeted examinations 555 passengers smuggling drugs out of the 4.4
million people that passed through the airport during this period. 
Customs conducted an additional 7,543 random examinations of
nontargeted passengers, as part of COMPEX, and detected 3 more drug
smugglers. 

On the basis of COMPEX results, Customs estimated that an additional
1,689 drug smugglers passed through the port undetected.  Customs
further estimated that they apprehended about 25 percent (555 of
2,244) of the drug smugglers during that 6-month period.  Customs
also estimated that only a small number of the 4.4 million
passengers, 1 in 1,968 (2,244 out of 4.4 million), were probably
smuggling drugs.  Customs officials anticipated that this type of
COMPEX data would allow them to establish a baseline from which to
measure Customs' effectiveness in detecting drug smugglers over time. 


   MIAMI SEAPORT
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :29



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  GAO.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI SEAPORT
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :29.1

The Miami Seaport is the largest seaport in the South Florida area
and the eighth largest in the United States.  In fiscal year 1995,
11,448 commercial vessels and 331,219 cargo and container shipments
passed through the Miami Seaport, of which approximately 3 million
tons was incoming cargo.  Seaport hours of operation are 8 a.m.  to 4
p.m.  Monday through Friday. 

Almost 80 percent of the cargo arriving in Miami, either at Dodge
Island (the headquarters for Seaport operations) or along the Miami
River, originates in narcotics source countries or transit points for
drugs.  Customs' seaport operations include a special enforcement
team on the Miami River and its containerized cargo inspection
facility on Dodge Island.  The Dodge Island facility is a prototype
and the national training facility for Customs inspectors who will be
inspecting containerized cargo at seaports around the country. 


   MIAMI SEAPORT CARGO KEY
   ELEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :30



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  GAO.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI SEAPORT CARGO KEY
      ELEMENTS
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :30.1

Inspectors at the Miami Seaport target containerized cargo for
examinations based on a variety of criteria, including the country of
origin and information on the cargo that Customs receives prior to
its arrival.  The Cargo Analysis Research Investigative Team is
responsible for analyzing cargo manifests, reviewing automated
databases, and conducting investigations on the importer or the
destination address in advance of a vessel's arrival. 

The seaport's Anti-Smuggling Unit is also responsible for developing
intelligence on suspect shipments as well as conducting all secondary
inspections--intensive examinations--of containerized cargo. 
According to a supervisory inspector at the seaport, these intensive
examinations are conducted by Customs inspectors, assisted by the
Florida National Guard, because of concerns that shipping company
employees, service employees, or vessel crews may be involved in
internal conspiracies to smuggle drugs. 

The Miami River Enforcement Team, working with the Coast Guard,
targets, monitors, and conducts secondary inspections of selected
commercial vessels along the Miami River, where a number of cocaine
seizures from Haitian freighters have occurred.  Canine enforcement
officers and their dogs also assist inspectors at the seaport with
cargo examinations in search of illegal drugs. 


   MIAMI SEAPORT CARGO DRUG
   INTERDICTION RESOURCES AS OF
   JULY 1996
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :31



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI SEAPORT CARGO DRUG
      INTERDICTION RESOURCES AS OF
      JULY 1996
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :31.1

As of July 1996, a total of 95 Customs inspectors were assigned to
the Miami Seaport for cargo inspections.  Thirty-one inspectors were
assigned to Anti-Smuggling Unit operations; 11 were assigned to the
Miami River Enforcement Team; and 53 inspectors were assigned to
other cargo inspection operations not directly related to drug
enforcement activities.  In addition, four canine enforcement
officers also supported seaport inspection activities. 

Inspectors at the seaport use a variety of tools and technologies to
assist them in drug interdiction efforts.  These include X-ray
equipment that allows them to examine cargo by nonintrusive methods
and an array of tools, such as busters and probes.  For example, at
the seaport inspectors were testing an ultrasonic transducer--a tool
that can detect contraband inside a container of liquid. 


   MIAMI SEAPORT CARGO FY 1995
   DRUG INTERDICTION COST
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :32



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI SEAPORT CARGO FY 1995
      DRUG INTERDICTION COST
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :32.1

Customs Seaport officials estimated that the annual cost for
Anti-Smuggling Unit and Canine Enforcement Officer activities at the
Miami Seaport in fiscal year 1995 was approximately $1.7 million. 

This estimate includes salary, benefits, overtime, supplies,
equipment, and service costs related to canine enforcement officers
and the Anti-Smuggling Unit.  It does not include cost estimates
related to facility use or to other cargo drug interdiction
activities at the seaport. 

Among Customs' personnel involved in cargo processing at the seaport,
only the Anti-Smuggling Unit and the canine enforcement officers were
devoted exclusively to drug interdiction. 


   MIAMI SEAPORT CARGO OPERATION
   HARD LINE ENHANCEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :33



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI SEAPORT CARGO
      OPERATION HARD LINE
      ENHANCEMENTS
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :33.1

According to the acting Port Director, enhancements attributable to
Operation Hard Line include the following: 

  -- The Anti-Smuggling Unit has been expanded.  An additional eight
     inspectors and four canine enforcement officers have been added
     to conduct inspections of both commercial vessels and cargo
     entering Miami Seaport. 

  -- Seaport personnel were conducting ongoing strategic
     problem-solving sessions aimed at disrupting and dismantling
     drug smugglers at the Port of Miami.  As of July 1996, there had
     been several sessions dealing with the problem of internal
     conspiracies, but there were no results available to report. 

  -- Additional funds for seaport operations have been received under
     Operation Hard Line.  As of July 1996, $300,000 had been
     received for overtime, and an additional $80,000 had been
     received for the purchase of video surveillance equipment that
     is to be used to detect internal conspiracies. 


   MIAMI SEAPORT CARGO FY 1995
   DRUG INTERDICTION MEASURES
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :34



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI SEAPORT CARGO FY 1995
      DRUG INTERDICTION MEASURES
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :34.1

In fiscal year 1995, Customs reported a total of 54 cocaine and
marijuana cargo and container seizures by the Anti-Smuggling Unit
(including the Miami River Enforcement Team) at the Miami Seaport. 
The 29 cocaine seizures totaled 12,596 pounds; and the 25 marijuana
seizures totaled 75,608 pounds. 


   MIAMI SAC OFFICE KEY ELEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :35



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI SAC OFFICE KEY
      ELEMENTS
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :35.1

The Miami SAC's area of responsibility covers the southeast coast of
Florida from Fort Pierce in the north to Key West in the south.  It
includes the Miami Seaport, Miami International Airport, and other
ports in the area, as well as between the ports.  According to
Customs' South Florida Narcotic Strategy for 1995-1996, South Florida
has a target-rich environment for drug enforcement.  Customs ranked
sea cargo and containers, air cargo, and commercial aircraft among
the highest threats for drug smuggling facing South Florida. 

Miami SAC agents support area drug interdiction efforts by developing
intelligence through informants and conducting criminal
investigations of potential drug smugglers.  Agents also investigate
drug seizures made at the ports.  They may also follow the smugglers
to their destination in an attempt to apprehend more people or more
drugs.  Supervisory special agents in the Miami SAC office told us
that their agents spend so much time on port cases that they have
little time to initiate their own criminal investigations. 

Miami SAC agents also conduct maritime investigations.  According to
Miami SAC officials, they have responsibility for a large expanse of
waterways, including the Florida Keys, Everglades, and parts of the
Caribbean.  Marine enforcement officers assigned to the SAC office
worked with special agents on maritime investigations.  A recent
Customs threat analysis included the following activities among the
major maritime threats in South Florida:  (1) drug smuggling on
private vessels, (2) transfers from large boats (motherships) to
smaller vessels off the Florida coast, and (3) floating bales of
cocaine to be retrieved by speed boats. 


   MIAMI SAC OFFICE DRUG
   INTERDICTION RESOURCES AS OF
   JUNE 1996
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :36



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI SAC OFFICE DRUG
      INTERDICTION RESOURCES AS OF
      JUNE 1996
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :36.1

As of June 1996, 225 special agents were assigned to the Miami SAC
office, of which 132 were authorized to conduct drug investigations. 

Forty-one marine enforcement officers were assigned to various
enforcement groups that also included special agents. 

As of June 1996, the Miami SAC had a total of 27 vessels in its fleet
for marine operations.  These included three types of vessels:  (1)
utility--used for patrolling the waterways; (2) interceptors--used to
intercept high-speed smuggling boats; and (3) Blue Water--ocean-going
large pleasure craft used for covert or undercover operations,
including surveillance missions. 


   MIAMI SAC OFFICE FY 1995 DRUG
   INTERDICTION BUDGET
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :37



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI SAC OFFICE FY 1995
      DRUG INTERDICTION BUDGET
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :37.1

According to Customs' Office of Investigations, the Miami SAC
Office's estimated budget for fiscal year 1995 was $31 million. 

Using data provided by Customs regarding the percentage of SAC time
spent on drug investigations in fiscal year 1995, we estimated that
$17.6 million of the SAC Office's total budget was for drug
interdiction.  We included only those investigative hours directly
attributable to Customs' drug smuggling investigations; we did not
include investigative hours attributed to drug-related cases such as
money laundering. 

Our estimate assumes that all indirect and overhead costs for SAC
Office operations can be evenly distributed to all investigative
hours worked.  Customs officials agreed with our methodology. 


   MIAMI SAC OFFICE FY 1995 DRUG
   INTERDICTION MEASURES
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :38



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI SAC OFFICE FY 1995
      DRUG INTERDICTION MEASURES
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :38.1

During fiscal year 1995, the Miami SAC Office conducted a total of
1,994 investigations; 841 (42 percent)of these were drug cases.  Of
these 841 cases, 433 (52 percent) of the cases resulted from drug
seizures made by inspectors at the air and sea ports.  The remainder
of cases were developed by the SAC office. 

Miami SAC agents made 608 arrests related to drug investigations
during fiscal year 1995. 


   MIAMI AVIATION BRANCH KEY
   ELEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :39



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI AVIATION BRANCH KEY
      ELEMENTS
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :39.1

The Miami Aviation Branch's primary objectives were: 

  -- Foreign interdiction--to intercept and track suspect aircraft in
     Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America for
     enforcement action by foreign host countries and provide
     tactical training on drug interdiction to foreign officers. 

  -- Domestic interdiction--to maintain airborne intercept, tracking,
     and apprehension response capability to deter the use of
     aircraft for the smuggling of drugs into the United States.  The
     Miami branch is responsible for interdicting smugglers crossing
     the South Florida border and for patrolling areas outside the
     United States that include the air space north of Cuba, the
     Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. 

  -- Other domestic support--to provide air support to the Miami SAC,
     other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.  This
     included aerial surveillance, photo reconnaissance, and air
     security support. 


   MIAMI AVIATION BRANCH DRUG
   INTERDICTION RESOURCES AS OF
   JUNE 1996
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :40



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI AVIATION BRANCH DRUG
      INTERDICTION RESOURCES AS OF
      JUNE 1996
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :40.1

As of June 1996, the Miami Aviation Branch employed 74 personnel,
including 41 pilots, 18 air interdiction officers, and 15 management
and support staff.  SAC officials told us that Customs' pilots and
air interdiction officers divide their time between developing
intelligence on airborne smuggling and flying domestic and foreign
interdiction missions.  The Branch also is responsible for supporting
and coordinating its activities with the Miami SAC office. 

The Miami Aviation Branch has a total of 12 aircraft available for
missions, including 4 Cessna Citation II interceptors and 2 Sikorsky
UH-60 Black Hawk apprehension helicopters.  One Citation and one
Black Hawk are kept on 24-hour standby to respond to the Domestic Air
Interdiction Command Center alerts. 


   MIAMI AVIATION BRANCH FY 1995
   DRUG INTERDICTION COST
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :41



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI AVIATION BRANCH FY
      1995 DRUG INTERDICTION COST
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :41.1

According to the Customs Air Interdiction Division, the estimated
total expenditures of Miami Aviation Branch operations for fiscal
year 1995 were $8.3 million. 

For Office of National Drug Control Policy reporting purposes,
Customs' Budget Office estimated that 95 percent of Air Interdiction
Division expenditures were related to counterdrug activities during
fiscal year 1995.  Using this percentage, we estimated fiscal year
1995 drug interdiction costs for the Miami Aviation Branch to be $7.9
million. 

Both total and drug interdiction cost estimates include funding
amounts from several appropriation accounts, including the salaries
and expenses and operations and maintenance accounts. 


   MIAMI AVIATION BRANCH FY 1995
   DRUG INTERDICTION MEASURES
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :42



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      MIAMI AVIATION BRANCH FY
      1995 DRUG INTERDICTION
      MEASURES
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :42.1

In fiscal year 1995, the Miami Aviation Branch logged a total of
2,763 mission flight hours.  Mission hours included those hours in
which personnel were actually engaged in either foreign or domestic
interdiction or support.  Of the 2,763 mission flight hours recorded
by Miami Aviation Branch personnel, 7 percent were spent on foreign
interdiction support, 38 percent on domestic interdiction activities,
and 55 percent on other domestic support activities, such as
supporting SAC operations. 

During fiscal year 1995, Branch personnel conducted 89 domestic
interdiction launches in response to Domestic Air Interdiction
Command Center alerts. 

Excluding seizures resulting from foreign interdiction activities,\7

the Miami Aviation Branch reported seizing 595 pounds of marijuana. 
It also assisted other law enforcement agencies in seizures of 5,097
pounds of cocaine and 1,644 pounds of marijuana. 

BRIEFING SECTION III

--------------------
\7 Foreign interdiction activities are supported nationally by
aircraft and air crews from varying aviation branches.  Therefore,
the Air Program data collection and reporting system does not
attribute foreign seizures to specific domestic aviation branches. 


SAN DIEGO AREA DRUG INTERDICTION
ACTIVITIES
============================================================== Letter 


   SAN DIEGO LOCATIONS VISITED
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :43



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      CUSTOMS' SAN DIEGO AREA
      LOCATIONS VISITED
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :43.1

In the San Diego area, we observed drug interdiction programs and
activities at the San Ysidro border crossing (passenger processing)
and the Otay Mesa Commercial Inspection Facility (cargo processing). 
We also reviewed the drug interdiction operations of the SAC office
(including the marine unit) and the aviation branch. 


   SAN YSIDRO BORDER CROSSING
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :44



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  GAO.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      SAN YSIDRO BORDER CROSSING
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :44.1

San Ysidro is the largest and busiest land border port in the world. 
In fiscal year 1995, almost 52 million people passed through the
24-hour port of entry; they arrived in vehicles (14.8 million) and
buses (74,000) or as pedestrians (8.2 million). 

The port's proximity, visibility, and accessibility to Mexico provide
opportunities for drugs to be smuggled into the United States.  The
smuggling threat includes drugs concealed in the trunks or hidden
compartments of vehicles and drugs carried by pedestrians crossing
the border. 


   SAN YSIDRO PREPRIMARY AND
   PRIMARY KEY ELEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :45



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      SAN YSIDRO PREPRIMARY AND
      PRIMARY KEY ELEMENTS
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :45.1

Targeting suspected drug smugglers among the millions of border
crossers is difficult.  Unlike airport passenger and cargo
processing, where Customs may have advance information, Customs
generally does not know who will be crossing the land border. 

Preprimary activities include canine roving and inspectional roving,
where officers walk through pedestrian and vehicle traffic targeting
persons who they believe are potential drug couriers or fit current
smuggling patterns.  Canine roving consists of a Canine Enforcement
Officer, supported by other canine enforcement officers and
inspectors, working the canine to detect drugs in vehicles entering
the United States before they reach primary.  Inspectional roving
consists of inspectors whose purpose is to target profile vehicles
and occupants for secondary inspection, respond to preprimary alerts,
target vehicles smuggling undocumented persons, and detect potential
port runners. 

Entry into the United States is granted by either Customs or
Immigration and Naturalization Service inspectors, who share primary
inspection responsibilities at the port.  To attempt to interdict
drug smuggling, inspectors at both the vehicle and the pedestrian
facilities employ various techniques such as interviewing, behavioral
analysis, document inspection, Treasury Enforcement Communications
System queries, and when appropriate, X-rays of hand-carried items. 
Inspectors at vehicle primary also identify unusual vehicle
characteristics that may caused them to refer the driver, any
passengers, and the vehicle to secondary inspection. 


   SAN YSIDRO SECONDARY AND OTHER
   KEY ELEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :46



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  (left) U.S.  Customs
   Service.  (right, top and
   bottom) GAO.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      SAN YSIDRO SECONDARY AND
      OTHER KEY ELEMENTS
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :46.1

Pedestrians selected for secondary inspection are escorted to a
secure area where they are questioned and possibly searched.  Vehicle
secondary include an inspection for drugs of both the vehicle and its
occupants.  Vehicles are searched by a canine enforcement officer and
a canine; an inspector performs a seven-point inspection using
various equipment, such as a buster. 

Other drug detection activities include "exit checks." Using
observational skills, behavioral analysis, and experience, inspectors
examine passengers and vehicles as they pass through the K-rails\8
and exit the inspection facility.  This activity provides the
inspectors with a final opportunity to prevent drugs from being
smuggled into the United States. 


--------------------
\8 Concrete barriers placed in a zig-zag pattern in lanes after
primary to deter potential drug runners. 


   SAN YSIDRO DRUG INTERDICTION
   RESOURCES AS OF MAY 1996
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :47



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      SAN YSIDRO DRUG INTERDICTION
      RESOURCES AS OF MAY 1996
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :47.1

As of May 1996, San Ysidro had 149 inspectors and 25 canine
enforcement officers responsible for inspecting people and vehicles
entering the United States at the port.  California National Guard
personnel assist them in drug interdiction activities. 

They used a variety of drug interdiction equipment and technology
including databases, hand tools to dismantle vehicles, fiber-optic
scopes, portable contraband detectors to locate hidden contraband in
vehicles, hand-held radios, and "stop sticks" (a spiked rod that
deflates the tires of an oncoming vehicle).  A mobile X-ray van is
used at secondary inspections for examining large or heavy items. 
Canines are used in all aspects of drug interdiction at the port. 


   SAN YSIDRO FY 1995 DRUG
   INTERDICTION COST
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :48



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      SAN YSIDRO FY 1995 DRUG
      INTERDICTION COST
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :48.1

Port officials estimated that the annual operating cost for drug
interdiction activities at San Ysidro in fiscal year 1995 was $12.5
million.  This estimate includes salary, benefits, and total overtime
costs for passenger inspectors, canine enforcement officers, and
support staff.  It also includes estimated facility expenditures
related to rent, communications, equipment, utilities, and overhead. 

Customs' estimate assumed that most of San Ysidro's operational costs
were directly related to the drug interdiction mission.  Port
officials applied the following percentages to each category of
costs:  inspectors, 95 percent; canine enforcement officers, 100
percent; support staff, 75 percent; and Operation Hard Line overtime,
100 percent.  Canine enforcement costs include operations and support
costs related to Otay Mesa canine operations and kennel,
veterinarian, and vehicle costs related to ports serviced by San
Ysidro. 


   SAN YSIDRO OPERATION HARD LINE
   ENHANCEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :49



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      SAN YSIDRO OPERATION HARD
      LINE ENHANCEMENTS
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :49.1

According to San Ysidro's Operations Chief, enhancements attributable
to Operation Hard Line included the following: 

  -- Used "strategic problem solving," a method by which Customs and
     other border agencies cooperatively developed new approaches to
     address border violence, port running, and drug interdiction. 
     For example, as a result of strategic problem solving, Customs
     installed permanent bollards and K-rails to manage traffic flow
     and deter port running. 

  -- Increased the number of enforcement activities conducted, such
     as canine and inspectional roving and block blitzes. 

  -- Established special enforcement teams that, through seizure
     analysis and review of intelligence information, developed
     information on drug smuggling activities and trends.  This
     information was used to target potential smugglers. 


   SAN YSIDRO FY 1995 DRUG
   INTERDICTION MEASURES
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :50



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      SAN YSIDRO FY 1995 DRUG
      INTERDICTION MEASURES
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :50.1

During fiscal year 1995, Customs reported making 1,614 drug seizures
at San Ysidro.  These included 34 heroin seizures (33 lbs.), 31
cocaine seizures (252 lbs.), and 1,516 marijuana seizures (108,154
lbs.). 

As a result of Hard Line efforts, San Ysidro reported a 38-percent
reduction in the number of port runners in fiscal year 1995 over
fiscal year 1994.  Using port runner data for the first 8 months of
fiscal year 1996, we projected that the number of port runners could
decline by approximately 76 percent from fiscal year 1995 to the end
of fiscal year 1996. 


   OTAY MESA COMMERCIAL FACILITY
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :51



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      OTAY MESA COMMERCIAL
      FACILITY
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :51.1

Otay Mesa is a commercial inspection facility where about 463,000
trucks (215,000 laden and 248,000 empty) entered in fiscal year 1995. 
Otay Mesa is open from 6:00 a.m.  to 10:00 p.m.  Monday through
Friday, and from 9:00 a.m.  to 5:00 p.m.  on weekends for empty
vehicles.  The general entry of goods and merchandise occurs from
8:00 a.m.  to 5:00 p.m.  Monday through Friday and 11:00 a.m.  to
3:00 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday.  The facility has dock spaces for
enforcement examinations and inspections of fruits and vegetables; it
has the only truck X-ray facility in the nation. 

The facility's proximity to Mexico, its visibility, and its
accessibility provide opportunities for drugs to be smuggled into the
United States.  Smugglers can quickly move drugs in cargo or empty
conveyances to the facility if a perceived opportunity exists, such
as when the truck X-ray machine is not working. 


   OTAY MESA COMMERCIAL PRIMARY
   AND SECONDARY KEY ELEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :52



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  (bottom left) U.S. 
   Customs Service.  (upper right)
   GAO.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

There may be little, if any, lead time between the receipt of an
itemized cargo list and the arrival of the cargo at the facility;
whenever possible, advance cargo information is analyzed prior to its
arrival.  The Document Analysis Unit and Cargo Analysis Research
Investigative Team use the advance cargo information, along with
other data, to target specific cargo for secondary inspection. 

Cargo enters the port under different entry programs.  In one, cargo
information is prefiled with Customs before it arrives at the port. 
The prefiling of information allows Customs to analyze and target
cargo for secondary inspection before its arrival.  A second way
cargo enters the port is through the Line Release program.  Line
Release was designed to expedite the release and tracking of
low-risk, high-volume shipments.  Under this program, Customs
prescreens the manufacturer, importer, broker, and shipper in an
attempt to ensure that they are low risk for drug smuggling; the port
also requires participants to pass five intensive examinations and
meet a minimum requirement of 50 shipments per year. 

Inspectors at primary use computer-generated information and
intelligence, behavioral analysis, a cursory document review, and
visual inspection of the conveyance to determine drug smuggling risk. 
Unless referred to secondary for an intensive drug examination or
caught in other drug detection activities, laden or empty
conveyances, regardless of the type of entry, proceed for further
processing or to the exit gate. 

Inspectors perform various levels of drug enforcement examinations on
conveyances caught in block blitzes or those referred to secondary. 
For conveyances that have been identified through intelligence alerts
as a high risk for drug smuggling, a "100 percent" examination is
performed.  Inspectors conduct less intensive examinations when they
have no prior intelligence information.  For enforcement
examinations, inspectors use a variety of tools and technology such
as busters, fiber-optic scopes, and a pallet and truck X-ray. 


   OTAY MESA COMMERCIAL OTHER KEY
   ELEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :53



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      OTAY MESA COMMERCIAL OTHER
      KEY ELEMENTS
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :53.1

Other detection activities include pre- and postprimary examinations. 
They include block blitzes, canine enforcement operations, rover dock
sweeps, and targeted and random referrals to the truck X-ray system. 


   OTAY MESA COMMERCIAL DRUG
   INTERDICTION RESOURCES AS OF
   MAY 1996
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :54



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      OTAY MESA COMMERCIAL DRUG
      INTERDICTION RESOURCES AS OF
      MAY 1996
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :54.1

As of May 1996, the Otay Mesa Commercial Facility had 96 inspectors
and 13 canine enforcement officers responsible for inspecting
persons, conveyances, and cargo that enter the United States through
the port.  California National Guard personnel assist them in drug
interdiction activities. 

Equipment and technologies that were available for drug interdiction
activities included database systems, hand-held radios, busters,
fiber-optic scopes to examine gas tanks and tanker trucks, range
finders, and pallet and mobile X-ray systems.  The Otay Mesa facility
has the only truck X-ray system in the nation.  Canines are used for
all types of drug interdiction activities including dock sweeps and
block blitzes.  In addition, inspectors use a "cherry picker," a
mobile crane that allows an inspector to examine the tops of trucks. 
Customs also uses a truck scale in an attempt to detect drugs
smuggled in empty tankers by identifying discrepancies between the
tanker's actual weight and the known standard weight. 


   OTAY MESA COMMERCIAL FY 1995
   DRUG INTERDICTION COST
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :55



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      OTAY MESA COMMERCIAL FISCAL
      YEAR 1995 DRUG INTERDICTION
      COST
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :55.1

Port officials estimated that the annual operating cost for drug
interdiction activities at Otay Mesa in fiscal year 1995 was $9.5
million.  This estimate includes salary, benefits, and total overtime
costs for cargo inspectors; Fines, Penalties and Forfeiture staff;
Tariff and Trade staff; and support staff.  It also includes
estimated facility expenditures related to rent, communications,
equipment, utilities, and various overhead expenses. 

Customs' estimate assumed that most of Otay Mesa's operational costs
were directly related to the drug interdiction mission.  Port
officials applied the following percentages to each category of
costs:  inspectors, 95 percent; support staff, 75 percent; Fines,
Penalties and Forfeiture, 99 percent; Tariff and Trade, 50 percent;
and Operation Hard Line overtime, 100 percent.  Costs associated with
canine enforcement activities at Otay Mesa were included in costs for
San Ysidro, where the program is administered. 


   OTAY MESA COMMERCIAL OPERATION
   HARD LINE ENHANCEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :56



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      OTAY MESA COMMERCIAL
      OPERATION HARD LINE
      ENHANCEMENTS
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :56.1

Port officials increased and intensified the number of enforcement
activities, particularly during busy peak traffic periods.  For
example, they told us they performed more block blitzes,
drug-intensive examinations, exit gate documentation reviews, and
inspector dock roving to identify conveyances for drug examinations
and referrals to the truck X-ray system. 

An Enforcement Rotation team was established to enhance Customs'
ability to interdict drugs.  The team, a self-directed, voluntary
team, operates on a 4-week rotation.  It consists of a canine team
and inspectors from Otay Commercial, Tecate, and San Diego
Airport/Seaport.  The team targets various commodities, drivers,
carriers, and conveyances involved in importing and exporting
commercial shipments and looks for potential drug smuggling
activities. 

According to Customs, the Land Border Carrier Initiative strengthened
the Line Release program by requiring participants to use
Customs-approved trucking firms and drivers.  The approval process
requires trucking firms to provide Customs with information on the
company and its employees and to create antismuggling safeguards at
their warehouses and lots.  Customs conducts site surveys at
manufacturers' and importers' premises to review and approve their
antismuggling safeguards. 


   OTAY MESA:  VEHICLES INVOLVED
   IN SPECIAL ENFORCEMENT
   OPERATIONS, 3/11--6/11/96
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :57



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Over the past 2 years, Customs' Line Release program has received
considerable media attention, most of it focused on the program's
potential vulnerability to drug smuggling.  Critics have alleged that
the Line Release program allows vehicles to enter the United States
from Mexico without inspection.  Line Release was designed to
expedite the release and tracking of high-volume, low-risk shipments
by prescreening shippers, manufacturers, brokers, and importers. 

We found that Line Release vehicles were subject to the same special
enforcement operations as non-Line Release vehicles, and were, in
fact, inspected more frequently through these operations than were
non-Line Release vehicles.  Special enforcement operations include
preprimary, postprimary block blitzes, and secondary express.\9 To
determine the degree to which Line Release and non-Line Release
vehicles were subject to special enforcement operations at Otay Mesa,
we asked port officials to track the number of vehicles--laden Line
Release, laden non-Line Release, and empty--that passed through
primary each day over a 3-month period.  We also asked that they
track the number of vehicles subject to special enforcement
operations over the same period. 

According to Otay Mesa officials, from March 11, 1996, through June
11, 1996, a total of 135,270 vehicles passed through primary; of
these, 24,251 (17.9 percent) were laden Line Release Vehicles; 43,775
(32.4 percent) were laden non-Line Release vehicles; and the
remaining 67,244 (49.7 percent) were empty vehicles.  Of the 135,270
vehicles that passed through primary, 30,635 (22.7 percent) were
inspected in special enforcement operations.  Of the 24,251 laden
Line Release vehicles that passed through primary, 4,374 (18 percent)
were involved in special enforcement operations compared to 4,876
laden non-Line Release vehicles (11.1 percent). 

Of the 67,244 empty vehicles that passed through primary, 21,385
(31.8 percent) were subject to special enforcement operations. 
Customs allowed laden vehicles to enter Otay Mesa only between 8:00
a.m.  and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 11:00 a.m.  to 3:00
p.m.  on weekends; empty vehicles were allowed to enter the port
during all hours of operation.  This explains why a higher percentage
of empty vehicles compared to laden vehicles were subject to special
enforcement operations during the 3-month period.\10

--------------------
\9 Secondary express operations are a form of block blitz in which
the vehicle continues to move forward at a very slow rate of speed
while inspectors and canine enforcement officers perform an
inspection.  Port officials told us they perform very few secondary
express operations at Otay Mesa because of safety concerns. 

\10 We did not verify the data provided by port officials, although
we did perform limited spot checks on their collection procedures and
found them to be accurate.  The Port Director reported that the
3-month period covered by the data was typical for that time of year. 


   OTAY MESA COMMERCIAL FY 1995
   DRUG INTERDICTION MEASURES
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :58



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      OTAY MESA COMMERCIAL FY 1995
      DRUG INTERDICTION MEASURES
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :58.1

During fiscal year 1995, Customs reported making 9 drug seizures, 1
cocaine seizure (28.5 lbs.) and 8 marijuana seizures (5,447 lbs.). 


   SAN DIEGO SAC OFFICE KEY
   ELEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :59



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

The San Diego SAC office is responsible for the territory along the
U.S.-Mexico border, from the Pacific ocean to the Arizona border, and
into Riverside, Imperial, and San Diego counties.  Because of their
direct proximity to the border, San Diego and Imperial counties are
the first domestic stops for illegal drugs entering the United States
via the Southwest border. 

San Diego SAC agents said they support area drug interdiction efforts
by developing intelligence, including the use of informants, and
conducting criminal investigations of potential drug smugglers. 
Agents also respond to drug seizures made at the ports.  They may
also follow the smugglers to their destination in an attempt to
apprehend additional suspects or to seize additional drugs.  The San
Diego SAC told us that agents spend as much as 90 percent of their
time on port cases.  He said that port cases average about 12 per day
and were running as high as 20 new cases per day at San Ysidro alone. 
As a result, agents do not have as much time as they need to initiate
or develop criminal investigations of drug smugglers. 

San Diego's marine unit provides assistance to SAC offices along the
West Coast, including the Los Angeles SAC.  The marine unit routinely
develops intelligence, targets suspect smuggling boats, and patrols
the waters off San Diego.  Customs SAC officials told us that they
occasionally use radar to attempt to track boats coming up from
Mexico.  Small, inflatable rubber rafts called "Zodiacs" have been
frequently used by smugglers because they cannot be detected by
radar. 


   SAN DIEGO SAC OFFICE RESOURCES
   AS OF JUNE 1996
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :60



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      SAN DIEGO SAC OFFICE
      RESOURCES AS OF JUNE 1996
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :60.1

As of June 1996, the San Diego SAC office had 120 special agents, of
which 108 were authorized to conduct drug investigations. 

Operation Hard Line provided funding for the temporary assignment of
eight marine enforcement officers and one intelligence analyst to San
Diego for 90-day tours of duty. 

As of June 1996, the marine program had four vessels available for
interdiction activities:  one Blue Water vessel, one interceptor, and
two utility vessels. 


   SAN DIEGO SAC OFFICE FY 1995
   DRUG INTERDICTION BUDGET
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :61



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      SAN DIEGO SAC OFFICE FY 1995
      DRUG INTERDICTION BUDGET
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :61.1

According to Customs' Office of Investigations, the San Diego SAC
Office's estimated total budget for fiscal year 1995 was $10.4
million. 

Using data provided by Customs on the percentage of SAC time spent on
drug investigations in fiscal year 1995, we estimated that $7.9
million of the SAC office's total budget was for drug interdiction. 
We included only those investigative hours directly attributable to
Customs' drug smuggling investigations; we did not include
investigative hours attributed to drug-related cases such as money
laundering. 

Our estimate assumed that all indirect and overhead costs for SAC
office operations could be evenly distributed to all investigative
hours worked.  Customs agreed with our methodology. 


   SAN DIEGO SAC OFFICE FY 1995
   DRUG INTERDICTION MEASURES
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :62



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      SAN DIEGO SAC OFFICE FY 1995
      DRUG INTERDICTION MEASURES
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :62.1

According to fiscal year 1995 data, the San Diego SAC Office
conducted a total of 2,488 drug investigations.  Of these
investigations, 2,217 were cases referred by the ports.  Of the total
number of port-referred cases, 2,102 (95 percent) involved marijuana
seizures, of which 1,657 (79 percent) were in amounts under 100
pounds. 

The San Diego marine unit reported a total of 6 drug seizures.  These
seizures included 2 cocaine seizures totaling 26,875 pounds and 4
marijuana seizures totaling 5,721 pounds.  In one case, over 12 tons
of cocaine were seized from a vessel. 

San Diego SAC agents made a total of 2,555 drug arrests. 


   SAN DIEGO AVIATION BRANCH KEY
   ELEMENTS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :63



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      SAN DIEGO AVIATION BRANCH
      KEY ELEMENTS
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :63.1

The San Diego Aviation Branch (including the Riverside Aviation Unit
at Riverside, California) had three primary responsibilities: 

  -- Foreign interdiction--intercept and track suspect aircraft in
     Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America for
     enforcement action by foreign host countries and provide
     tactical training on drug interdiction to foreign officers. 

San Diego Aviation Branch personnel support foreign operations by
flying missions in Latin America on rotating 30-day assignments. 
These missions included flights to monitor and detect smuggling
activities around Latin America and the Caribbean. 

  -- Domestic interdiction--maintain airborne intercept, tracking,
     and apprehension response capability to deter the use of
     aircraft for the smuggling of drugs into the United States. 

  -- Other domestic support--provide air support to West Coast SAC
     offices; other federal agencies (particularly the Bureau of
     Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms); and state and local law
     enforcement agencies.  The Aviation Branch Chief determines
     which agencies will receive support based on priority and the
     time of the request. 


   SAN DIEGO AVIATION BRANCH DRUG
   INTERDICTION RESOURCES AS OF
   MAY 1996
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :64



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      SAN DIEGO AVIATION BRANCH
      DRUG INTERDICTION RESOURCES
      AS OF JUNE 1996
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :64.1

As of June 1996, 55 personnel were assigned to the San Diego Aviation
Branch (including the Riverside Aviation Unit).  This included 29
pilots, 12 air interdiction officers, and 14 support personnel. 

The San Diego Aviation Branch and the Riverside Aviation Unit had a
total of 12 aircraft, including 6 helicopters and 3 Cessna Citation
II interceptors.  As of June 1996, the Branch had one Citation II and
one UH-60 Black Hawk available 7 days a week to respond to the
Domestic Air Interdiction Command Center. 


   SAN DIEGO AVIATION BRANCH FY
   1995 DRUG INTERDICTION COST
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :65



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      SAN DIEGO AVIATION BRANCH FY
      1995 DRUG INTERDICTION COST
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :65.1

According to the Customs Air Interdiction Division, the estimated
total expenditures of San Diego Aviation Branch operations for fiscal
year 1995 were $6 million. 

For ONDCP reporting purposes, Customs' Budget Office estimated that
95 percent of Aviation Branch expenditures were related to
counterdrug activities.  Using this percentage, we estimated the
total fiscal year 1995 drug interdiction cost for the San Diego
Aviation Branch to be $5.7 million. 

Both total and drug interdiction cost estimates include funding
amounts from several different appropriation accounts, including the
salaries and expenses and operations and maintenance accounts. 


   SAN DIEGO AVIATION BRANCH FY
   1995 DRUG INTERDICTION MEASURES
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :66



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  U.S.  Customs Service.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      SAN DIEGO AVIATION BRANCH FY
      1995 DRUG INTERDICTION
      MEASURES
--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :66.1

In fiscal year 1995, the San Diego Aviation Branch logged a total of
2,412 mission flight hours.  Of the 2,412 flight hours recorded, 11
percent were spent on foreign interdiction, 22 percent on domestic
interdiction, and 67 percent on other domestic support activities. 

During fiscal year 1995, Branch personnel conducted 30 domestic
interdiction launches in response to Domestic Air Interdiction
Command Center alerts. 

Excluding seizures resulting from foreign interdiction activities,
the San Diego Aviation Branch reported seizing 6,145 pounds of
cocaine and 3,368 pounds of marijuana, and assisting other law
enforcement agencies in seizures of about 28,000 pounds of cocaine
and about 6,000 pounds of marijuana. 


BRIEFING SECTION IV CUSTOMS FACES
CHALLENGES
============================================================== Letter 


   CUSTOMS' DRUG INTERDICTION
   MISSION CHALLENGES
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :67



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Customs' financial information systems are not designed to account
for drug interdiction costs.  This affects Customs' ability to
determine whether allocation of additional resources at a specific
port or in a specific region has produced commensurate benefits. 
Customs officials told us they are developing mission- and
performance-based budgets, in accordance with Department of the
Treasury directives, that are meant to enable them to determine with
greater reliability the costs of drug interdiction activities
throughout Customs. 

Like all other law enforcement agencies engaged in the fight against
drug smuggling, Customs has labored to develop performance measures. 
Traditional output measures do not allow officials to gauge whether
drug interdiction activities are producing positive results.  Even
the new nontraditional measures being developed may not allow Customs
to assess over time whether increased efforts are producing better
outcomes.  Customs has implemented the COMPEX program in Miami and at
other major passenger ports as a potential approach intended to
measure the effectiveness of drug interdiction efforts in passenger
processing. 

Special agents investigating drug smuggling activities, especially in
the San Diego area, told us that they were limited in their efforts
to identify sources and destinations of drugs smuggled across the
Southwest border because so much of their time had to be spent on
thousands of marijuana cases, most of which involved less than 100
pounds of marijuana each.  Agents told us that given their resources,
the time they had to devote to these "port cases" keeps them from
following up on promising leads. 

Because our fieldwork was limited to Customs' offices in Miami and
San Diego, we cannot say with certainty that the challenges that
exist in these two offices also exist throughout Customs' field
offices.  However, because Miami and San Diego represent two of the
areas with the greatest volume of passenger and cargo traffic and
highest risk of drug smuggling, we believe that the challenges
Customs faces there are important factors for both Congress and the
Customs Service to consider when assessing the effectiveness of
Customs' drug interdiction activities. 


MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS
BRIEFING REPORT
=========================================================== Appendix I

GENERAL GOVERNMENT DIVISION,
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Darryl W.  Dutton, Assistant Director
Pamela V.  Williams, Communications Analyst
Katherine M.  Wheeler, Publishing Advisor
Barry J.  Seltser, Assistant Director, Design, Methodology, and
 Technical Assistance
Hazel J.  Bailey, Writer-Editor

OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL,
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Ann H.  Finley, Senior Attorney

LOS ANGELES FIELD OFFICE

Walter L.  Raheb, Project Manager
Kathleen H.  Ebert, Senior Evaluator
Barbara A.  Guffy, Evaluator
M.  Shannon Kessler, Evaluator


*** End of document. ***