U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

COCAINE TRAIL - NBC (NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY) NEWS WEEKEND

NCJ Number
50024
Author(s)
A POTTER
Date Published
1976
Annotation
THIS FILM, INTENDED FOR USE IN DRUG EDUCATION PROGRAMS, PROVIDES A DESCRIPTION OF HOW COCAINE IS GROWN, MANUFACTURED, AND BROUGHT INTO THE UNITED STATES.
Abstract
COCAINE IS A REFINED PRODUCT OF THE COCA PLANT, GROWN IN THE TENGA MARIA REGION OF THE ANDES MOUNTAINS IN PERU. THE PERUVIAN GOVERNMENT ALLOWS A CERTAIN QUANTITY TO BE GROWN LEGALLY, TO BE USED IN DRUG AND MEDICAL RESEARCH ALL OVER THE WORLD. SINCE THE TENGA MARIA AREA IS SO REMOTE, THERE ARE MANY ILLEGAL COCA FARMS WHICH ARE NEVER FOUND BY THE AUTHORITIES. SOME OFFICIAL ESTIMATES CLAIM THAT THERE IS MUCH MORE COCA GROWN ILLEGALLY THEN LEGALLY. THE NATIVES OF THE COCA GROWING REGION CHEW THE LEAVES OF THE PLANT TO HELP RELIEVE SICKNESS AND HUNGER, AND THEY ALSO SAY THAT IT GIVES THEM ENERGY. THE PROCESSING OR REFINING OF THE COCA LEAVES IS SHOWN, EXPLAINING HOW THE LEAVES ARE CRUSHED, MADE INTO A PASTE, AND THEN DRIED. ILLEGAL SHIPMENTS OF THIS POWDER ARE SENT TO COLUMBIA, WHERE IT IS SOLD TO DEALERS AND SMUGGLED TO ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD. THE FILM PRESENTS TAPES OF ACTUAL SALES OF THE DRUG. IN COLUMBIA, THE LAWS AGAINST THE SALE OF COCAINE ARE VERY STRICT, AND IF A BUYER IS CAUGHT, THE JAIL SENTENCES ARE LONG AND PRISON CONDITIONS TERRIBLE. THE FILM DESCRIBES THE VARIOUS DRUG ROUTES INTO THE UNITED STATES AND SHOWS SEVERAL SMUGGLING OPERATIONS IN ACTION, ALONG WITH THE SEIZURES MADE BY CUSTOMS OFFICIALS. THE MAIN POINTS OF ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES ARE MIAMI, FLORIDA, AND NEW YORK CITY, WHERE CUSTOMS OFFICERS ARE CONSTANTLY ON THE LOOKOUT FOR TRICKS USED BY SMUGGLERS SUCH AS SUITCASES WITH FALSE BOTTOMS. OTHER INCIDENTS IPORTRAYED IN THE FILM INCLUDE SEVERAL SEIZURES OF COCAINE AND AN EXPLANATION OF HOW THE DRUG RINGS ARE BROKEN UP BY THE POLICE. PARTICULAR EMPHASIS IS GIVEN TO THE DIFFICULTY OF STOPPING THE DRUG'S ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES. (BAC)