South Florida Intelligence

The South Florida Region is unique in the challenges that it faces with maritime drug trafficking. The bulk of the Florida Counterdrug Program’s South Florida Intelligence Functional Area is centered in Southeast Florida. Below are some accomplishments from 2009 thattypify CD support to LEA’s in the South Florida Area.

DEA Weston, Fla.

DEA Weston provides analytical and linguist support to the DEA Weston Miami Field Division (MFD) in order to bring to justice those members of organizations involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances destined for illicit traffic in the United States.

During fiscal year 2009, Florida Counterdrug analysts supported 76 cases. This resulted in more than 1,100 work hours conducting intelligence analysis, linguist support, and debriefings on a case by case basis. These analysts assisted in the writing of 45 DEA-6, Reports of Investigation during the fiscal year. Through support and effort by Florida Counterdrug analysts, DEA Weston MFD conducted 267 arrests, seized over $245 million in cocaine, $3.9 million in marijuana, $7 million in currency, and $2.4 million in properties. During fiscal year 2009, Florida Counterdrug Program Analysts played a significant role in the seizures of more than $262 million. As a result, the DEA Weston MFD Mission submitted three asset sharing reports totaling approximately $554,000 which will be shared with our program in support of future operations.

ATF-STOP Plantation, Fla.

Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ (ATF) Broward Street Terror Offender Program (STOP), headquartered in Plantation, Fla., is a South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force focused on reducing violent crime associated with the illicit armed drug trade by targeting select individuals/ organizations, police impersonators and home invasion groups for enforcement action.

In Fiscal Year 2009, the Task Force conducted over 140 investigations resulting in the dismantling of one international and three local drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), as well as three home invasion groups. Significant seizures include approximately 334 kilograms of cocaine, 237 kilograms of marijuana, 500 marijuana plants, 17,000 Oxycodone pills, 4,400 Ecstasy pills, currency valued at $1 million, 42 vehicles, 4 vessels, 3 properties, and 230 firearms. The dismantling of the international DTO was an Organized Crime Enforcement and Drug Task Force (OCEDTF) funded case, which lasted over a year and involved half a dozen LEA’s. Ultimately, 13 subjects were arrested and 9 kilograms of cocaine, thousands of MDMA pills, 5 vehicles, and 1 property were seized. Based on the intelligence collected from this case, several spinoff investigations were initiated and are currently ongoing.

Earlier in the fiscal year, a home invasion group investigation led to the discovery of a Caribbean drug smuggling operation. So far, one subject has been arrested and 312 kilograms of cocaine, currency valued over $182,000 in US dollars, four vessels, 3 vehicles, and two properties have been seized. The investigation is ongoing. Since February 2009, the Task Force has been conducting a static long term undercover operation, also funded through OCEDTF.  Originally planned to be operational for six months, due to its initial success, the ATF Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Miami Field Division (MFD) has recently given approval to extend the operation another six months. To date, approximately 40 subjects have been identified for future arrest warrants and over 2700 MDMA pills, over 1,100 various prescription pills, and 157 firearms have been seized.

Also as a result, a Caribbean firearm smuggling operation and an identity theft operation have been identified.  Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) in other states have forced CPD abusers to Florida to purchase their drugs. The Florida PDMP was signed in June of 2009 with the purpose of developing a PDMP in Florida.

SFHIC Miramar, Fla.

The South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Intelligence Center (SFHIC) is a multi-agency investigative support center that provides analytical assistance through specialized intelligence for law enforcement agencies in South Florida. The mission of the SFHIC is to facilitate the timely exchange of information from federal, state, local, HIDTA and commercial databases with HIDTA Initiatives and participating agencies. The Florida Counterdrug Program provides analytical support to three groups at the SFHIC, these groups operate at the Tactical, Operational and Strategic levels.

Tactical Group

A brief synopsis of cases supported by the tactical group reveals that in Fiscal Year 2009 a total of 1,563 cases, composed of 2,648 subjects were processed. These cases are primarily drug and money laundering cases. The tactical group conducted criminal history and intelligence database checks, asset identification, and photo lineups in support of case development and prosecution. Furthermore the tactical group processed 1,973 deconfliction events, commonly referred to as NINJAS (National Intranet Narcotic Joint Agency System). The primary purpose of NINJAS is to ensure officer safety when conducting undercover transactions. The tactical group also conducts database testing for updates to the HIDTA Intranet Based Information System (HIBIS), where Florida Counterdrug Analysts validate modifications to the database prior to HIDTA wide implementation.

Operations Group

The Florida Counterdrug Program Analyst assigned to operations is currently providing support in money laundering investigations and to the Violent Gang Task Force-ICE. During Fiscal Year 2009 the analyst provided support to this agency in a sizeable money laundering case, while also providing assistance to Operation Southeast Watch, which is an operation comprised of Department of Homeland Security Elements such as U.S. Coast Guard and the Border Patrol.

Strategic Group

During Fiscal Year 2009 the Florida Counterdrug Analysts drafted and published articles related to the dismantling of drug trafficking organizations. They also contributed to the cocaine and gang sections of the South Florida Threat Assessment 2009. These analysts also managed the Secure Intranet Portal Network which provides access up to Secret level to Law Enforcement Agents and Analysts who posses a minimum of a Secret Clearance issued by their respective agency. The access to classified materials would not be possible without the presence of Florida Counterdrug Analysts in this group.