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Caucus on International
Narcotics Control
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113th Congress

Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Hearing on
Future of U.S. Counternarcotics Efforts in Afghanistan
January 15, 2014

The hearing examined how the United States can sustain and improve counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan as its military presence declines in 2014. The illegal drug trade is a contributing factor to many of the major challenges facing Afghanistan. Drug trafficking funds the Taliban, increases corruption and poses a serious public health challenge.

Watch the hearing here
See pictures here

Senator Feinstein's Statement | Senator Grassley's Statement

Witnesses:

Ambassador William R. Brownfield (Testimony)
Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement

James L. Capra (Testimony)
Chief of Operations, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Erin M. Logan (Testimony)
Principal Director for Counternarcotics and Global Threats, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

John F. Sopko (Testimony)
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR)

__________________

Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control to Hold Hearing on
Dangerous Synthetic Drugs
September 25, 2013

The hearing examined the impact of dangerous synthetic drugs, such as Molly, K2, Spice and so-called “bath salts” and ways in which drug traffickers are circumventing existing law.  Senator Feinstein recently introduced the Protecting Our Youth from Dangerous Synthetic Drugs Act of 2013 to combat synthetic drugs designed to mimic the effects of controlled substances like ecstasy, PCP and LSD, as well as THC, the principal chemical in marijuana. These controlled substance analogues are currently inadequately controlled under existing federal drug laws.

 

Watch the hearing here

Senator Feinstein's Statement | Senator Grassley's Statement

Witnesses:

Michael Botticelli (Testimony)
Deputy Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy

Nora Volkow, M.D. (Testimony)
Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse

Joseph T. Rannazzisi (Testimony)
Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Diversion Control
Drug Enforcement Administration

Timothy Heaphy (Testimony)
U.S. Attorney, Western District of Virginia
U.S. Attorney’s Office

__________________

112th Congress

Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control to Hold Hearing on
Prescription Drug Abuse

July 12, 2012

This hearing examined prescription drug abuse in the United States.  According to a recent survey by Monitoring the Future — a University of Michigan study of U.S. students and young adults funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse — prescription drugs are the second-most abused category of drugs after marijuana.    

Watch the hearing here

Senator Feinstein's Statement | Senator Grassley's Statement

Witnesses:

Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) (Testimony)
co-founder of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse

Gil Kerlikowske (Testimony)
director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

Joseph Rannazzisi (Testimony)
deputy assistant administrator with the Drug Enforcement Administration

John Eadie (Testimony)
director of the Prescription Monitoring Program Center of Excellence at Brandeis University

Avi Israel (Testimony)
a parent advocate in Buffalo, N.Y.

Vernon Porter (Testimony)
a parent advocate in Orange County, Calif.

Joseph Harmison (Testimony)
owner of Harmison Pharmacies in Arlington, Texas

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Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control to Hold Hearing on
Drug Threats in West Africa

May 16, 2012

The hearing examined drug trafficking and U.S. efforts to counter emerging narcotics-related threats in West Africa.
In 2009, wholesale profits to cocaine traffickers in West Africa were estimated at $800 million.  Methamphetamine labs were recently found for the first time on the continent.  Narcotics trafficking contributed to a recent coup in Guinea Bissau and threatens to destabilize other key U.S. allies in West Africa.

West Africa hearing transcript

Senator Feinstein's Statement | Senator Grassley's Statement

Witnesses:

Thomas Harrigan (Testimony)
Deputy Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration

William Brownfield (Testimony)
Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, State Department

Johnnie Carson (Testimony)
Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, State Department

William Wechsler (Testimony)
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats, Department of Defense

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Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Hearing on
U.S.-Caribbean Security Cooperation
February 1, 2012

At this hearing, the Caucus examined drug-related violence in the Caribbean and U.S. security assistance through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.  Senator Feinstein emphasized the importance of focusing on the Caribbean where drug traffickers are bound to return – and in many cases already have – as a result of increased enforcement efforts in Mexico and Central America.

Watch the hearing here

Senator Feinstein's Statement | Senator Grassley's Statement

Witnesses:

Congressman Pierluisi (Statement Submitted for the Record)

Anibal de Castro (Testimony)
Dominican Ambassador to the United States

Audrey Marks (Testimony)
Jamaican Ambassador to the United States

Cornelius Smith (Testimony)
Bahamian Ambassador to the United States

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Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Holds Hearing on
Marijuana Cultivation on U.S. Public Lands

December 7, 2011

At the hearing, Senator Feinstein expressed concern with emerging trends related to illegal marijuana grow sites including; weapons and violence, state medical marijuana laws that have complicated law enforcement efforts, and organized grows in open backyards and farmland. 

Watch the hearing here

Senator Feinstein's Statement | Senator Grassley's Statement

Witnesses:

Representative Michael Thompson (Testimony)

Gil Kerlikowske (Testimony)
Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

David Ferrell (Testimony)
Director of Law Enforcement and Investigations, U.S. Forest Service

Margaret Mims (Testimony)
Sheriff, Fresno County, California

Hank Kashdan (Statement)
Legislative Director, National Association of Forest Service Retirees

Kim Thorsen (Statement)
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Law Enforcement, Security and Emergency Management
Department of the Interior

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Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Hearing on
U.S.-Andean Security Cooperation
October 19, 2011

This hearing focused on opportunities for increased U.S. counternarcotics cooperation with Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela.  Among the topics discussed were drug traffickers’ increased use of semi-submersible and fully-submersible submarines to transport cocaine from the Andean region to the United States.  Members also examined efforts to reduce narco-violence in Colombia over the past decade.

Watch the hearing here
See pictures here

Senator Feinstein's Statement | Senator Grassley's Statement

Witnesses:

William Brownfield (Testimony)
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, U.S. Department of State

Kevin Whitaker (Testimony)
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Rodney Benson (Testimony)
Assistant Administrator and Chief of Intelligence, Drug Enforcement Administration

William Wechsler (Testimony)
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counternarcotics and Global Threats, Department of Defense

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Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Hearing on
U.S. Counternarcotics Efforts in Afghanistan
July 20, 2011

This hearing examined the production, sale and distribution of illicit drugs in Afghanistan which funds the Taliban, corrupts public officials, and undermines political stability and the rule of law.  The hearing also examined future counternarcotics efforts in the country as U.S. troop levels are reduced in the coming years.        

In 2010, the Caucus released a report entitled U.S. Counternarcotics Strategy in Afghanistan, which examines U.S. efforts to combat illegal drug production and distribution in the country.

Watch the hearing here
See pictures here      

Senator Feinstein's Statement | Senator Grassley's Statement

Witnesses:

Thomas Harrigan (Testimony)
Chief of Operations at the Drug Enforcement Administration

William Wechsler (
Testimony)
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and  Global Threats

Brian Nichols (Testimony)
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, State Department

_______________________

Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Hearing on
Illegal Tunnels on the Southwest Border
June 15, 2011

This hearing examined the continued construction of illegal tunnels on the southwest border of the United States and the role these increasingly sophisticated tunnels may play in the transport of drugs, weapons and human beings.

Watch the hearing here
See pictures
here

Senator Feinstein's Statement | Senator Grassley's Statement

Witnesses:

James Dinkens (Testimony)
Executive Associate Director, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Laura Duffy (
Testimony)
United States Attorney, Southern District of California

Tim Durst (
Testimony)
Assistant Special Agent in Charge for ICE’s San Diego office.

  __________________

Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Hearing on
Combating Drug Violence in Central America

May 25, 2011

This hearing focused on U.S. efforts to combat illegal drug trafficking and enhance security throughout Central America.  Because of recent enforcement efforts in Mexico, drug traffickers are increasingly using Central America as a transshipment point for illegal drugs bound for the United States. 

Watch the hearing here
See pictures
here

Senator Feinstein's Statement | Senator Grassley's Statement

Witnesses:

Thomas Harrigan (Testimony)
Chief of Operations, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Roberta Jacobson (
Testimony)
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs and Hemispheric Security Coordinator, U.S. Department of State

Cynthia Arnson (
Testimony)
Director, Latin America Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Kevin Casas-Zamora (
Testimony)
Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute and the former Vice President of Costa Rica

Ray Walser (
Testimony)
Senior Policy Analyst, Heritage Foundation
 

  _______________________________

Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Hearing on
Dangerous Synthetic Drugs

April 6, 2011

This hearing looked at dangerous synthetic drugs, including K2, Spice, and bath salts. More and more people, including men and women serving in the armed forces, are using synthetic substances to get high.

Watch the hearing here
See pictures
here

Senator Feinstein's Statement | Senator Grassley's Statement

Senator Casey's Statement

Witnesses:

Joe Rannazzisi (Testimony)
Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Erica Leary (Testimony)
Program Manager, North Coastal Prevention Coalition, from Vista, California

Mike Rozga (Testimony)
Father of David Rozga, a victim of K2 use. Rozga is an advocate for a nationwide ban of the substance, from Indianola, Iowa.

Anthony J. Scalzo, MD, FAAP, FACMT, FAACT (Afidavit)

American Association of Poison Control Centers’
Fake Marijuana Spurs More than 3,000 Calls to U.S. Poison Centers
March 28, 2011

American Association of Poison Control Centers’
U.S. Poison Centers Raise Alarm about Toxic Substance Marketed as Bath Salts; States Begin Taking Action
March 22, 2011

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Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Hearing on
Money Laundering and Bulk Cash Smuggling Across the
Southwest Border

March 9, 2011

 

The Caucus’s hearing focused on money that illegally crosses from the United States to Mexico and fuels Mexican drug trafficking organizations.

Watch the hearing here
See pictures
here

Senator Feinstein's Statement | Senator Grassley's Statement

Witnesses:

Alan Bersin (Testimony)
Commissioner, Customs and Border Protection

Kumar Kibble (Testimony)
Deputy Director, Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Jamal El-Hindi (Testimony)
Associate Director for Regulatory Policy, Financial Crimes
Enforcement Agency

Rich Stana (Testimony)
Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues, Government Accountability Office

 111th Hearings

Hart Senate Office Building, Room 818-C, Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: 202.228.3081