If you are under the impression that illegal drugs arrive in the United States only under the auspices of Mexican or Colombian drug cartels, you are misinformed, as a recent criminal case reveals.
Yes, there is considerable narcotic trafficking activity involving our neighbors south of the border. That’s not all of it, however. There are also large and dangerous drug organizations in Europe and Asia whose disgusting products find their way to big cities and small towns across the United States.
Authorities just took down one such operation. It involved a network that reached from Italy to New York City and brought into this country enough cocaine to powder the noses of a small army.
Hidden in vegetable crates
The cocaine entered the country hidden in vegetable shipments originating in Costa Rica. The destinations were front businesses in New York such as a pizza restaurant and a produce importing company that were used by the smugglers as cover for their illicit activities.
A number of firearms and a considerable amount of cash were seized in the New York bust.
Part of the cocaine was earmarked for transshipment to Italy once it reached the U.S.
Among the arrested individuals are several members of a New York family, including a husband and wife and their son. They were also charged by Italian authorities. Among the more than a dozen people arrested in Italy is a cousin of the New Yorkers.
Seeking extradition from Italy
U.S. authorities are seeking the extradition to this country of at least one of the people arrested in Italy.
Officers say that the people they arrested were in the early stages of building a large drug smuggling organization that involved at least three countries – the United States, Italy and Costa Rica.
This operation shows that, unfortunately, U.S. borders are as porous as ever, and not just in the southwestern states and Florida, but also at seaports up and down our shores. Undoubtedly the long and often unsecured land border with Canada calls out to drug traffickers.
To prevent this poison from polluting our culture and subverting American young people, I would urge our political leaders along with customs and border officials to redouble their efforts to secure our borders and keep the United States from being further damaged by illegal drugs.