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NCJ Number
B H Vincent
Date Published
To date, there is no available technology that can perfect drug law enforcement. The international drug problem will not disappear in the foreseeable future, but there are practical steps that can be taken on a national and international law enforcement level.
With the magnitude of goods and persons traveling in and out of the U.S. per year, and the multitude of opportunities open to the enterprising smuggler, the problem of drug interdiction may be characterized as one of hard questions and intelligent choices. Good intelligence is an essential element of drug interdiction. Improved strategic and tactical intelligence capabilities increase the odds of successful interdiction operations by maximizing the use of available resources. Any technology that improves the collection and analysis of intelligence is a force multiplier. While there are two Federal intelligence systems devoted strictly to narcotics information and a number of other agency-specific systems, there is not one all-encompassing shared data network for drug intelligence. Development of such a database has been stalled by bureaucratic infighting. However, the DIA-funded EMERALD system is progressing slowly toward a shared drug database. While technology could help in interdicting money laundering, law enforcement still lacks the access to the international banking system needed to effectively fight the drug problem from this angle. Therefore, detection and interdiction at ports of entry, borders, and internal points within the U.S. remains key. Technology for drug detection and analysis has to be practical, durable, responsive, very reliable, and portable. Any drug detection system must accommodate the method of containment used in the particular transport mode. One way to fund drug detection technology could be through confiscated drug proceeds.