Report Advises DHS Improve Efforts to Fight Drug Smuggling

3 years 4 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, May 04 2017 May 4, 2017 May 04, 2017 8:59 PM May 04, 2017 in News

WESLACO – A new government watchdog group said more needs to be done in the fight against drug smuggling.

The Government Accountability Office’s latest report shows smugglers are using tunnels, planes and boats to cross drugs into the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said they work to stop the smuggling. However, the GAO said the agency needs to step up in how they handle the discoveries and investigations into these cases.

From 2011 to 2017, DHS discovered 67 cross-border tunnels, 534 small planes known as ultralights and 309 boats were being used to smuggle drugs.

Rebecca Gambler with the GAO said these types of smuggling efforts are actually trending down.

“DHS and its components have undertaken a number of different steps and actions to try to address smuggling via tunnel, by small aircraft and by maritime vessels. But, overall, they could do a better job of assessing the effectiveness of those efforts,” she said.

Gambler said DHS is working on developing technology to better assess the threat of smuggling. She said the agency is also combing over large amounts of data as they look for the best ways to combat these crimes.

The GAO made six different recommendations for DHS to come up with procedures for addressing these smuggling strategies. They also want the agency to come up with some new performance measures and targets.

DHS agreed with four of the six recommendations. 

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