Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training
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MCTFT Broadcasts/Videos

Cocaine Cowboys, Smugglers & Drug Runners: Challenge and Response

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Airs: April 25, 2013
Sponsor(s): MCTFT,

Illicit drugs enter this country in numerous ways and it isn't just across the border from Mexico or across the water from South America. Long recognized as a land of beaches and theme parks, Florida is, unfortunately, also referred to as a smuggler's paradise.

From barefoot millionaires transporting marijuana in the 1970s to the cocaine cowboys that invaded Miami in the 80s, law enforcement has always been challenged to stop illicit smugglers. Many communities can relate to Florida's story.

During this program, Cocaine Cowboys, Smugglers & Drug Runners; Challenge and Response, see how law enforce is learning from the past to protect our future.

See how the staff at the Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S) in Key West works together to gather intelligence and help stop drug smugglers from entering our borders. They've kept more than $200 billion dollars' worth of drugs and 2,500 tons of cocaine from entering our country. Also, hear from agents at Homestead Air Reserve Base where they work with an arsenal of aircraft and boats to interdict smugglers 24/7.

Our guest panel will explore past, present and future trends and will talk about possible solutions to controlling the drug trade.

Key Concepts:

  • Hear a historical perspective of drug smuggling in Florida and surrounding waters
  • Learn about new smuggling techniques and how law enforcement is working to stop them
  • Find out how the past can help predict future smuggling trends
  • Learn possible ways to reduce narcotics demand in the U.S.
  • See how the Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S) and other agencies working together make a difference in end-game smuggling interdictions

Content Providers:

Bruce Bagley, PhD, Drug Interdiction Strategist Professor, University of Miami

Bruce Bagley, PhD, is Professor of International Studies and Chair of the Department of International Studies at the University of Miami (UM) in Coral Gables, Florida. Prior to his arrival at UM in 1987, he was an Associate Professor of Comparative and International Politics at The School of Advanced International Politics of John Hopkins University in Washington D.C.

He edited Drug Trafficking Research in the Americas: A Bibliographic Survey, and co-edited Drug Trafficking in The Americas. He has co-authored 12 other academic books and monographs, and more than 100 academic journal articles and book chapters. Professor Bagley's current research focuses on U.S.-Latin American relations with an emphasis on drug trafficking and security issues in Columbia, the Andean region, Mexico, and Central America.

He also serves as expert consultant to the United Nations, U.S. government, and several government in Latin America on issues of drug trafficking, money laundering and public safety.

Bruce Grant, Former Director, Florida Office of Drug Control

Bruce Grant was the Director of the Florida Office of Drug Control from October 2009 until January 2011. Previously he served as the Assistant Secretary for the Florida Department of Corrections in charge of Community Corrections from 2007-2009. From 2001-2005, he served in the Governor's Office of Drug Control and as the Chief of Counterdrug Law Enforcement and then as Chief of Staff.

In December of 2005, he resigned his position in the Governor's Office and volunteered to return to active duty to serve with the U.S. Army in Iraq. Col. Grant served with the 101st Airborne Division as the Deputy Team Leader of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mosul, Iraq. His mission there was to rebuilt the governmental, legal, and economic institutions of the province. He served a 27-year career in the U.S. Army.

Charles Fuss, Jr., Historian, Former NOAA Special Agent

Charles Fuss, Jr. is a retired NOA special agent with 36 years of Federal service. He worked as a fisheries biologist and enforcement agent with duties that included monitoring Soviet and other foreign fishing activities off the southeastern U.S. and in the Caribbean Sea. He served as a consultant to the United Nations.

In 1983, Fuss was detailed to the Office of the Vice President, National Narcotics Border Interdiction System. Based on his extensive prision interviews with convicted smugglers, Fuss was selected to prepare maritime smuggling scenarios for drug interdiction games at the Naval War College. In 1989, he joined the newly established Office of National Drug Control Policy and worked there as a smuggling expert until he retired in 1990. His proposal for a national debriefing program was included in the first National Drug Control Stategy by then President George H.W. Bush. Charles Fuss authored Sea of Grass, the Maritime War; 1970-1990, along with more than fifty published fisheries, maritime and navel articles, booklet and research papers.

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