Drug traffickers are returning to the Caribbean after largely abandoning the region as transportation route for moving cocaine from South America to the United States.
As discussed in a Miami Herald story, the Caribbean is fast becoming a key route for cocaine traffickers. This resurgence is due to the greater attention that the Drug Enforcement Agency(DEA) is paying to the U.S.-Mexico border.Since it has become more difficult to move drugs across Central America, the Caribbean has become more inviting for those involved.
Return of the Cocaine Cowboys?
In the 1980s, the booming cocaine trafficking business turned our area into a glamorous but extremely dangerous city. The cocaine import business turned the bucolic retirement city of Miami into the vibrant and violent city that inspired Scarface and Miami Vice.
The men who trafficked the cocaine from Colombia into the U.S. at the time were called “Cocaine Cowboys” for their dramatic behavior.
As the U.S. government clamped down on the drug trafficking issue in the 1980’s Miami by creating a special anti-drug task force. Starting in 1990, there was a concerted effort on the part of U.S. law enforcement to reduce drug trafficking as well as money laundering, violent crime, and drug abuse in South Florida.
The U.S. focus on the high crime and drug issues of the Colombian Medellin drug cartel drove the cocaine trade out of South Florida and into Central America and Mexico.
However, now, after 20 years, the drug cartels may be refocused on the Caribbean and South Florida, making Miami a larger importation point for drugs again.
South Florida is now a prime target for narcotic smuggling operations, notably from Haiti, according to the federal government. Notably, drug seizures from cruise ships have increased in the ports of Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Miami International Airport (MIA) is the busiest U.S. airport for international traffic, as well as a major destination for drug smuggling.
Drug Crime Beyond Miami?
Interestingly, Miami is now experiencing a reverse in the traditional drug smuggling route. According to federal smuggling experts, Miami is a “high-demand” destination for designer drugs such as Ecstasy from Europe.
Also, rather than following the traditional route where smugglers send drugs from South America to Miami and beyond, Miami is now a transfer point between producers in Europe and distribution organizations in South America.
In order to combat the smuggling in Miami, the U.S. government has put a great deal of resources into South Florida. According to the Miami Herald, smugglers may also be moving south to Puerto Rico.
Once in Puerto Rico, smugglers can transport drugs throughout the U.S. without passing through Customs. Puerto Rico has significant advantages to Miami and the rest of Florida for smugglers today.
Beside the smaller contingency of law enforcement compared to Miami, the close proximity with South America make Puerto Rico a convenient target for smugglers. Using powerful speed boats smugglers can quickly reach Puerto Rico from Colombia, Venezuela, or islands in the lower Caribbean.
For More Information on Drug Crimes Defense
The increased focus on smuggling efforts in Miami and South Florida will undoubtedly result in more residents facing drug trafficking charges.
For more information or guidance about drug-related crimes or should you need help for any alleged involvement in any federal or state drug-related crimes, Call us at Law Offices of Paul J. Donnelly, P.A. in Miami now at 305-757-3331.