Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Bonus content

February 24, 2014

Seafaring drug smugglers challenging Coast Guard

(Continued)

As much as 20 percent of the cocaine moving through South America ends up in the United States. Large amounts also travel across the ocean into Africa, providing funding for insurgents and drug traffickers, and then on up into Europe.

"We've had to cut back in hours and funding, and cut back on resources on the water," said Cmdr. Chris German, deputy chief of law enforcement for the 11th District, which stretches from Oregon to Peru. "The Coast Guard's aircraft and ships have cut back on fuel, so every hour we're not in the air or on the water, it does leave a gap."

Even so, sea smuggling has not grabbed the attention of lawmakers like the flow of illegal goods across the land border, where billions have been spent on beefing up security. Part of the reason is the challenge to patrolling the ocean.

With more than 42,000 active-duty members, the Coast Guard is assisted in the drug war by other U.S. agencies.

It works closely with other nations, but that help only goes so far. Bilateral treaties sometimes limit waters it can patrol, and some of the foreign navies are small and underequipped.

U.S. officials, for instance, cannot venture into Mexican waters without prior permission and will stop a chase and alert Mexican authorities if suspected boats cross into that territory. Treaties with nations such as Colombia allow U.S. authorities more latitude.

"The land border is a much simpler border to defend. You can put up fences. You can put people out there. But it's a finite area. You know where your land starts and where it ends," Papp said. "When you go out into the maritime, it's huge."

The Coast Guard oversees 95,000 miles of coastline and 4.5 million square miles of maritime territory where the United States has rights: "We don't have that many ships, and we don't have that many aircraft, so there are many different places and routes that the bad guys can take to try and get around us."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Bonus content
  • Ruling on antibiotics in livestock reversed NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration isn't required to hold public hearings to evaluate the health risks of widespread use of antibiotics in animal feed, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. The decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Co

    July 25, 2014

  • Silenced by Violence [Duplicate] Anti-violence youth gunned down, but not silenced FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Dressed in jeans, a low-neck T-shirt and white sneakers, 19-year-old Ravon Jordan strode confidently to the podium to address the city council. He had just three minutes, so he got right to the point: Eleven days earlier, on

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona Execution Drugs [Duplicate] Execution offers evidence against lethal injection ST. LOUIS (AP) — The nation's third botched execution in six months offers more evidence for the courts that lethal injection carries too many risks and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, death-row lawyers and other opponents said Thursday. De

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Teen Pilot-Crash [Duplicate] Family: Indiana teen pilot who crashed in ocean knew risks PLAINFIELD (AP) — Haris Suleman knew that flying around the world carried risks. But like adventurers before him, the 17-year-old pilot from Indiana also believed dreams aren't achieved without taking chances. "Why does any explorer undertake the nec

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jamie Kennedy live in Kokomo this weekend Actor and stand-up comedian Jamie Kennedy said he's excited for his first-ever trip to the City of Firsts — a place he has heard only one thing about. He laughed Wednesday night, saying the only thing he's heard about Kokomo is that it's home to a pl

    July 24, 2014

  • Social Security Computer Woes [Duplicate] Social Security's $300M IT project doesn't work WASHINGTON (AP) — After spending nearly $300 million on a new computer system to handle disability claims, the Social Security Administration still can't get it to work. And officials can't say when it will. Six years ago, Social Security embarked on

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Awarded a Pell Grant? Better double-check WASHINGTON (AP) — Potentially tens of thousands of students awarded a Pell Grant or other need-based federal aid for the coming school year could find it taken away because of a mistake in filling out the form. The mistake primarily stems from an onl

    July 24, 2014

  • Film Review Lucy [Duplicate] Review: 'Lucy' won't stretch your brain capacity So let's start with the enticing premise of Luc Besson's "Lucy," starring Scarlett Johansson: Human beings only use 10 percent of their brain capacity. Imagine what it would be like if we could access all of it? Well, wow. It would be sort of like ..

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona inmate dies 2 hours after execution began PHOENIX (AP) — A condemned Arizona inmate gasped for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's o

    July 24, 2014

  • Obama [Duplicate] Obama wants limits on US company mergers abroad LOS ANGELES (AP) — President Barack Obama is tapping into growing misgivings about tax-driven overseas mergers by U.S. corporations, issuing a new call to end the practice quickly and questioning the patriotism and citizenship of those companies. The

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller