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Contraband
06/18/2009

ICE and DEA strengthen partnership to fight drug trafficking

WASHINGTON- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) today entered into a new interagency agreement to increase the number of agents targeting international drug traffickers, improve and enhance information and intelligence sharing, and promote effective coordination between the agencies.

DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart and ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton today signed the agreement describing the new measures both agencies will implement.

Pursuant to the Agreement, the Assistant Secretary of ICE will select an unlimited number of ICE agents for cross-designation to investigate violations of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. §§ 801, et seq., ("Title 21") with a clearly articulable nexus to the United States border in coordination with DEA. These ICE agents will target smugglers who bring drugs into the country and transport them into our communities. In addition, ICE now will be able to investigate these violations overseas while coordinating with DEA.

ICE and DEA will fully share information electronically through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Fusion Center. This will allow DEA, ICE, FBI, and other participating agencies to access each other's case information and more effectively target criminals. This sharing also promotes officer safety and avoids duplication of efforts.

"This agreement marks a new era of cooperation between ICE and DEA to combat drug smuggling," said Assistant Secretary Morton. "Together, ICE agents and DEA agents will target those who profit from bringing drugs across our borders and into our communities."

"As drug traffickers become more aggressive and violent, they must be countered by greater coordination, cooperation and information sharing by federal agencies. Forging a stronger partnership between DEA and ICE is another powerful tool for meeting this increasingly global drug trafficking threat," stated DEA Acting Administrator Michele Leonhart. "As the lead agency for drug law enforcement in the U.S. and abroad, DEA welcomes the expanded resources, cooperation and information sharing that this agreement will bring to our drug enforcement efforts."

The agreement goes into effect today and will be reviewed after one year. Following that review, the agreement will be reviewed every two years.