The Structure of Drug Trafficking Organizations and Money Laundering Practices: A Risk Appetite Hypothesis


José Treviño bought the properties after agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted a raid in his home in Texas. In particular, contracts for half a million dollars were likely to attract attention, considering headline acts in Las Vegas make less money per concert than what the groups used by the DTO charged per performance. When the spectacle of La dinastía de Tuzantla makes more money per concert than Britney Spears, it is likely to attract the attention of law enforcement despite the DTOs attempt to pay taxes and appear as a legitimate business venture.

drug trafficking in the united states facts

Mexico is experiencing a heightened wave of assault against women, with the worst global records for domestic violence. Two thirds of female homicides take place in the home and, more often than not, the perpetrator is the current or ex-partner. Maria’s fears about what she might be faced with should she return to Mexico were well-founded. Maria and her partner had been childhood sweethearts, but when he was recruited by a cartel everything changed. Her partner became drawn into the perceived perks of life in the cartel, including access to narcotics, weapons and power. Maria was repeatedly assaulted, both physically and emotionally, by her partner.

Health Lab

Sentences should not necessarily escalate from one community order range to the next on each sentencing occasion. The decision as to the appropriate range of community order should be based upon the seriousness of the new offence . The court must ensure that the restriction on the offender’s liberty is commensurate with the seriousness of the offence and that the requirements imposed are the most suitable for the offender.

  • Help from the public is crucial to identify potential signs of human trafficking within the community and reporting any concerns to the police.
  • Critically, I argue that by conceptualizing DTOs with different structural types, we can discern behavior specific to each type and thus explain why some DTOs follow risk-averse money laundering practices while others choose risk-tolerant methods.
  • Gallardo’s control ceased around 1993, and the creation of new cartels emerged.
  • Accordingly offenders should normally be sentenced by straightforward application of the guidelines without aggravation for the fact that their activity contributed to a harmful social effect upon a neighbourhood or community.

There are resource implications for such a participatory approach to strategy and policy development, but the return on investment is sure to be significant. In this regard the WACD should advocate for the conduct of citizen perception surveys on drug trafficking and its related security and governance impacts in a sample of countries/ locations across the region. Potential funders/ partners for such an initiative could include entities working with big data and participatory data gathering. Finally, there is the need for sustained support for the efforts of specialized agencies such as UNODC aimed at strengthening regional capacity to capture, analyze and regularly monitor baseline data and trends on drug consumption and drug trafficking.

Other studies, for example, documented increased cannabis consumption by cannabis users , local shortages of heroin supply, or an increase in alcohol consumption . It is important to note that some results were heterogeneous and variable between places, drug types, and types of users investigated. The least risk-averse link in the chain of the currency exchange scheme was returning the dollars to the United States in the name of the currency exchange houses in Mexico and using US bank accounts. This is because eco sober house complaints unlike Mexico that lacked anti-money laundering regulations, the US had in place the Bank Secrecy Act which regulates banks, national and foreign, operating in the US to safeguard the financial institutions against money laundering. However, despite being discovered, the scheme remained risk-averse, both because the currency exchange houses continued to operate in Mexico, and because Ivonne Soto-Vega, the alleged brain of this money laundering scheme, was freed less than four years after her arrest.

In addition, the deepening links between drug trafficking and extremism, especially in the Sahel region, have resulted in the placement of foreign national security interests at the center of many responses. The latter trends tend to leave limited room for developing multi-dimensional citizen-centered approaches to drug trafficking and related challenges and securing ownership of the problems at hand. In this regard, the WACD should advocate to ensure that efforts to respond to drug trafficking are based on an understanding of multiple processes. These include, but are not limited to a comprehension of the dynamics of the formal and informal political economy in West Africa, and how different groups involved in drug trafficking benefit from it.

The Death Penalty for Drug Offences 2020: Country by Country

If you’re worried about sexual exploitation, we have information and advice to protect and help children and young people. Traffickers may ask families for money for providing documents or transport and they’ll make a profit from money a child “earns” through exploitation, forced labour or crime. They’ll often be told this money is to pay off a debt they or their family “owe” to the traffickers. On June 8, 2022, the Mayor’s Office announced the expansion of NADP to offer the program to 42% more individuals by expanding NADP eligibility to include more types and higher weights of drugs. Combined, these issues pose a significant human security threat to the region. Learn more about the industry-leading platform supporting intelligence and security professionals across the globe to better protect their people, assets and reputations.

drug trafficking in the united states facts

Evidence from indictments suggests that even family members experience contract renegotiations, acquiring more responsibilities as they contribute to the success of the operation or, in contrast, reducing their participation given unsatisfactory performance. Agents who have become managers in hierarchical structures represent a significant investment of time and resources of the organization. Part of the investment lies in the training and tradecraft taught to the manager, but an equally important part lies in determining the agent’s type. Given the high costs, both to the individual who wants to move up the ranks and the organization that spends time and resources in grooming managers, DTOs with hierarchical structures will tend to follow risk-averse money laundering practices.

Some of England and Wales’s favourite seaside resort areas are now among the towns with the highest rates of deaths from the misuse of heroin and morphine. An experimental “deep dive” study investigating deaths related to drug misuse in 2014 and 2015 using available coroners’ records. Annual report and data tables from the UK Focal Point on Drugs on the national prevalence, impact, prevention and treatment of drug use. Number of deaths involving new psychoactive substances should be treated with caution because these types of drugs are constantly evolving, and it may not always be possible to identify new substances during post-mortem investigations. More than half of all drug poisoning deaths involve more than one drug and/or alcohol, and it is not possible in those cases to tell which substance was primarily responsible for the death. Statistics are based on the year of death registration – because of death registration delays, around half of these deaths will have occurred in the previous year .

Organised drug trafficking by cartels in Mexico has been present since at least 1980 when the Guadalajara Cartel was formed by Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo. It is through this cartel that a substantial number of trafficking routes into the United States were opened. During the next decade, there were no significant groups challenging the Guadalajara Cartel for control of the drug routes, besides a group run by Juan Garcia Abrego, who controlled eco sober house rating the Matamoros-Tamaulipas corridor on the border with Texas, which later became the Gulf Cartel. In 1989, control of the routes that Gallardo had opened up was divided among bosses under the oversight of Gallardo, who was now in prison. Gallardo’s control ceased around 1993, and the creation of new cartels emerged. Violence played a significant role in how these cartels retained control over their territory and drug routes.

Where no offence specific guideline is available to determine seriousness, the harm caused by the offence, the culpability of the offender and any previous convictions will be relevant to the assessment. The seriousness of the offence should be the initial factor in determining which requirements to include in a community order. Offence specific guidelines refer to three sentencing levels within the community order band based on offence seriousness .

Category of harm

“It’s one area in which the work I’ve already done could contribute to having a positive impact on someone’s life, it seemed to me that that was the right thing to do,” Peter says. Over the course of three days in Dakar, Senegal, some 45 regional and international experts held discussions to examine and assess the impact of Organised Crime and Drug Trafficking on Security, Governance and Development in West Africa. Deaths related to volatile substances and helium in England, Wales and Scotland from 2001 to 2016, by region, sex, age, substances involved and cause of death.

  • This is because unlike Mexico that lacked anti-money laundering regulations, the US had in place the Bank Secrecy Act which regulates banks, national and foreign, operating in the US to safeguard the financial institutions against money laundering.
  • During the past decade in England, rates of drug poisoning death by deprivation tended to be statistically significantly higher for the most deprived than the least deprived local areas .
  • Improper levels of staffing allow drug trafficking attempts to fall through the cracks and become successful.
  • While Zulema and Alexandra (Zulema and José’s daughter) pled guilty to money laundering and received probation, José refused to take a plea bargain and is currently serving his sentence in the United States.

The majority of recorded attempts have been made using vehicles, while other attempts were made on foot at pedestrian crossings at the same Ports of Entry. The age and gender of suspects has been mixed, but oftentimes, those who are caught with drugs strapped to their body are female. The ages of those caught smuggling drugs are just as varied, with some instances where adults have used their own children as young as 12 to attempt to smuggle drugs. CNN reported that on March 17th, Customs and Border Protection had 19,346 agents on duty, thousands short of their 21,370 positions that are congressionally mandated, and approximately 100 less than what Customs and Border Patrol reported in Fiscal Year 2017. Improper levels of staffing allow drug trafficking attempts to fall through the cracks and become successful. On the United States side, a response to the problem has been to deploy the National Guard to help patrol the border.

Taking illegal drugs

2020 was an unprecedented year for the death penalty for drug offences, with a record low number of confirmed executions and some of the most resolute executioners either refraining from implementing death sentences or declaring a moratorium. The questionnaire included questions regarding basic sociodemographic variables , and presented a list of 15 legal or illegal psychotropic substances for which subjects should indicate the number of consumption days during the previous 30 days. The drugs presented were those identified as those used most frequently by drug users, in a comprehensive survey carried out recently . Soon after the first lockdown measures had been introduced in most European countries, several studies were conducted on their impact on legal and illegal drug use. This included wastewater analyses in several large cities, which for example found decreased use of MDMA, amphetamines, and cocaine .

When calculating the average delay between occurrence and registration, the median is used rather than the mean, as the median is not affected by rare cases where it takes many years for the death to be registered. For drug poisonings, the median registration delay for England was 185 days in and 189 days for Wales . The latest registration delay for England is the highest since the data time series began in 1993.

Local laws and customs

Vietnam alone accounted for over a third of all confirmed death sentences for drug offences in 2020. There are at least 3,000 people currently on death row for drug offences worldwide. Shift to other substances and initiation of a formal drug treatment because of problems with availability of the main drug during the COVID-19 pandemic. Incidents recorded by Intelligence Fusion on the border with the United States are related to trafficking attempts by both citizens of Mexico and the United States before making their way to hubs within the United States and onwards towards other cities for sale. Through analyzing the data, we see that drug trafficking attempts from Mexico to the United States are primarily made through Ports of Entry, especially Laredo, Texas and Nogales, Arizona.

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