NYT: Puerto Rico New Hub for Drug Shipments To U.S.
More drugs making it to the country via island territory
| Albert Merrick |
Seizures of cocaine headed to the United States from South America have more than quadrupled since 2011, according to a New York Times article published Friday.
While noting that most drugs still come to the U.S by way of Mexico, the article notes the influx of traffic through Puerto Rico "is a sign of shifting patterns by traffickers in Colombia and Venezuela who are looking for new ways to import cocaine into the United States."
One of the reasons for the shift is because of the drugs' easy access to the U.S. once they arrive in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory:
“Much of the cocaine being smuggled here now bypasses other surrounding islands and is taken directly from South America to Puerto Rico, a prized transshipment hub because it is on United States land. Once inside, packages that conceal drugs do not need to clear customs. The overwhelming majority of drugs that enter Puerto Rico end up in the United States mainland, passing through airports, seaports or mail parcels, said Vito S. Guarino, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s special agent in charge in San Juan and a veteran of the 1980 Caribbean-Miami drug wars.
Military officials cited in the article say that the seizures represent only a small amount of the drugs that actually make it to the country, most of which ends up in cities along the eastern seaboard like New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Orlando.http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/nyt-puerto-rico-new-hub-drug-shipments-us