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THE WARRIORS: Veterans and insiders of the 30-year war on drugs--DEA, FBI,Customs and senior government officials---speak candidly about the successes and failures of U.S. efforts to fight illegal narcotics.

DEA, FBI, CUSTOMS & U.S/MEXICO POLICE

Bill Alden

He's a retired DEA special agent. He talks about what it was like being an undercover narc in the early 1970s busting hippies with LSD; describes the devastating impact of crack cocaine in the mid-1980s; and takes stock of DEA's successes and failures and why he believes the U.S. should be doing more on treatment and prevention.
Andrew Chambers

For 16 years he was a star undercover informant for the DEA netting 445 dealer arrests and seizing 1.5 tons of cocaine and $6 million in assets. He supplies some gritty details about the distribution chain for street level dope dealing in U.S. inner cities--including how dope travels from Mexico to L.A. and on to the rest of the country, with Mexican smugglers using `trap cars' reworked to hide kilos of cocaine.
Dick Gregorie

Over the past 20 years as Ass't U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida, he's prosecuted many drug cases including the Medellin cartel and Gen. Manuel Noriega. He describes how Miami was the "Wild West," awash in cocaine money in the 1980s; how legitimate businesses play a major role in laundering drug money and the problems this poses for law enforcement. He also explains Manuel Noriega's role in narcotics trafficking.
Edward Heath

For over ten years,he was DEA's agent in charge in Mexico. His primary target was Felix Gallardo--a Mexican trafficker known as Numero Uno. He sketches out the history of the Mexican drug trade--starting with brown heroin flowing into the U.S. in the 1960s--and paints a portrait of Gallardo and what made him the most canny and powerful of Mexico's narco traffickers.
John E. Hensley

A retired U.S. Customs Service special agent, he worked the U.S.-Mexican border on and off for 30 years. He talks about the systemic drug corruption in Mexico, describing the 1991 incident when Mexican army troops, in the pay of drug smugglers, attacked and murdered Mexican federal police trying to intercept a Colombian cocaine shipment. He also details the startling discoveries of "Operation Casablanca"--a 1995 money laundering operation he oversaw which was the biggest in U.S. history.
Chuck LaBella

He is former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California. He talks about how the Mexico-U.S. border region is "a shield and a sword" for traffickers protecting their operations, and why a 1998 U.S.-Mexico agreement severely limits US law enforcement's ability to work in Mexico. He also discusses what it would take to capture the Arellano brothers, leaders of Mexico's most vicious cartel.
Heidi Landgraff and Vince de la Montaigne Landgraff

Landgraff is a group supervisor at the DEA in San Diego, currently investigating the Arellano-Felix cartel. De La Montaigne, retired special agent for the FBI, was stationed in San Diego for seven years and supervised the Arellano-Felix Cartel Task Force. They describe what makes this cartel different from others in its operations, brutality, and strategy, and why it has been able to survive so long.
Mike McDonald

He is a 27-year veteran of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, specializing in international money laundering. He describes the late 1970s flow of cocaine and drug money "beyond any imagination" into south Florida and offers eyewitness accounts about money laundering operations. He also describes the Black Market peso exchange, one the most successful money laundering methods ever devised by narco traffickers, and how this money now has infiltrated large, legitimate U.S. companies.
Greg Passic

He is former DEA chief of financial investigations specializing in money laundering crimes. He explains why drug money profits from the U.S. are hurting Colombia's economy, the threat the 'black market peso' scheme poses for legitimate U.S. companies doing business in Colombia. He also assesses the damage done by asset forfeiture laws, and reflects on 'who won the drug war?'
Robert Stutman

A retired special agent for the DEA, he was Special Agent in Charge for the New York City office. He explains cocaine's take over in the U.S. and the rise and fall of the crack 'plague' and what it did to families. He also discusses the difference between Mexico's and Colombia's wars on drugs, why Mexico is the "worst case," and outlines what he thinks would be the most effective U.S. strategy to fight drugs.
Mike Wald

He is a former FBI agent and a commander at IMPACT, a South Florida police agency which tracks black peso and other money laundering crimes. IMPACT is fully self-funded through money seizures from drug dealers and money launderers. He explains how the black market peso-dollar scheme works for traffickers to launder U.S.drug profit dollars and responds to the criticism that law enforcement agencies are becoming addicted to the drug money they seize.

government policymakers
Myles Ambrose

Appointed by President Nixon in 1972 to coordinate federal and local task forces to fight drugs and crime on the streets, Ambrose came up with the idea of a new superagency--the Drug Enforcement Administration, created in 1973. He outlines what was happening with drug use in the 1950s and 1960s and the tools and tactics his office employed. He also speaks about Nixon's attitudes on fighting drugs, and why his policies were the most "practical" in the 30-year history of the war on drugs.
Peter Bourne

He was President Jimmy Carter's controversial drug czar from 1976-1978. Like many others in U.S. government during the 1970s, he believed cocaine was a relatively harmless drug. He discusses why only hard-core heroin use was considered a problem in the 1970s, and how government's attitude on drugs shifted after Reagan took office--from drugs as a public health problem to drugs as a political, law enforcement, and moral issue.
Mathea Falco

She was Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Matters during the Carter Administration. She explains why she changed from being an "enforcement person" to a "treatment person" and evaluates the flaws in U.S. anti-drug policies involving Panama in the 1980s and Colombia today.
Michael S. Gelacak

Gelacak served on the U.S. Sentencing Commission from 1990-1998 when it recommended that penalties for crack and powder cocaine be equalized because of the unfair disparity. Gelacak criticizes mandatory minimum sentencing, outlines why treatment and education should be emphasized in the drug war, and speaks about the threat of a growing prison population.
Egil Bud Krogh, Jr.

While Deputy for Domestic Affairs 1970-1972 for President Nixon, he was given the task of lowering crime rates in Washington, D.C. This led Krogh to support a program which treated heroin addicts with methadone. He discusses the methodone program, the overall drug problem during the 1970s--including U.S.Vietnam servicemen developing heroin habits.
Jack Lawn

He was administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration from 1985 to 1989. He speaks about the rivalry among government agencies in the war on drugs, Mexico's corruption, and the U.S. extradiction policy in Colombia during the 1980s. He also explains why crack changed his ideas on how to fight drugs and why treatment and education is needed to fight the "perpetual" drug war.
General Barry McCaffrey

He is the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, also known as the Drug Czar. He discusses his support for continuing to strengthen treatment and education programs in the war on drugs, defends the U.S. 'Plan Colombia-'' a $1.3 billion aid package to help Colombia fight its illegal drug trade. He also outlines why he believes "things are moving steadily in the right direction" in the war on drugs.

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