U.S. Customs Package

U.S. Department of the Treasury Customs Bureau

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Cartels Run Roughshod Over Customs
Bedeviled U.S. agency losing border version of hide-and-seek with savvy drug smugglers.

Amado Carrillo Fuentes is winning the drug war.
Running rings around the U.S. Customs Service, the 40-year-old Carrillo and his Juarez Cartel smuggled up to 150 tons of cocaine through El Paso in just 13 months.
Carrillo can change his plan of attack faster than Customs can modify its defenses.
The five-part series:

Part one of the series.136K file
Bedeviled U.S. agency losing border version of hide-and-seek with savvy smugglers.

Part two of the series.160K file
Cartel Chief Amado Carrillo Fuentes makes money even when he is losing it.

Part three of the series.136K file
Distrustful agencies, lure of cash allow corruption thrive.

Part four of the series.252K file
Air smugglers slip past U.S. radar net.

Part five of the series.180K file
Former Customs officer says whistle blowing had its price.

The investigator

Journal investigative reporter Mike Gallagher has written for the Albuquerque Journal since 1986. Prior to that he worked as a newspaper reporter and as a television investigative reporter. In addition to covering border issues, Gallagher has investigated narcotics trafficking, state prisons, gambling and organized crime.

Why we did the series
Turf wars, corruption, funding cuts and bureaucratic bungling are tearing huge holes in the U.S. Customs drug net along the border. More than 200 tons of cocaine flowed into the U.S. from Mexico last year - drugs that found their way into this country's streets and neighborhoods.
The inability of Customs to stop the flood of drugs across our borders poses a serious threat to our nation's well-being.

- T.H. Lang Publisher, Albuquerque Journal