The DEA is trumpeting its latest triumphs in its “Dateline DEA: Biweekly E-mail Informant,” which I get regularly from them. The big item in this issue has to do with some major successful international operations.
Let’s take a look at one of them.
The DEA arrested Taza Gul Alizai in the Republic of the Maldives and is extraditing him to stand trial in the U.S. So, how did this all come about?
Well, Gul may very well be a very bad man. I don’t know. The DEA (through the use of “confidential sources”) actually approached Gul in Afghanistan and wanted to buy some heroin and some guns. I’m sure you could find a lot of people there who would be happy to do that for you.
Here’s the trick. During the course of the transaction, the DEA told Gul that the heroin was eventually going to be smuggled into the U.S. and that the guns were going to be given to the Taliban. See where this is leading?
So now, the DEA gets to charge him for:
- distributing one kilogram or more of heroin, knowing or intending that the heroin would be imported into the United States
- conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, knowing or intending that the heroin would be imported into the United States
- engaging in narcoâ€‘terrorism
- conspiracy to engage in narcoâ€‘terrorism
No, no guns were shipped to the Taliban and no heroin was smuggled into the U.S. The only ones interested in doing those things were the DEA agents in order to arrest a foreigner in another country for doing something solely because the DEA asked him to and bring him to the U.S. so we could spend money putting him on trial and keeping him in prison for decades.
How much impact do you suppose that this operation had on the availability of drugs, guns, or people to sell them, in Afghanistan?
The DEA gets credit for a major bust. We get the bill.
There were three other men arrested under similar situations around the same time. For the four men that we’re paying to put in prison, here’s some of what the operation involved:
The charges, arrests, and transfers of these four defendants were the result of the close cooperative efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the Special Operations Division of the DEA, and the DEA Country Offices in: Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, Copenhagen, New Delhi, Athens, Cyprus, and Kabul.
Mr. Bharara expressed his gratitude to the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative Regional Center for Combating Trans-Border Crime, the Romanian National Police, the Turkish National Police, the Malaysian National Police, the Greek Hellenic Police, the Cyprus National Police, the Estonian authorities, and the Maldives Police Service. He also thanked the U.S. Department of Justice Office of International Affairs, the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division, the U.S. National Central Bureau of Interpol and Interpol Headquarters in Lyon, France, the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka, and the U.S. Department of State for their assistance.
These two cases are being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin Naftalis, Adam S. Hickey, and Edward Kim are in charge of the prosecutions.
Your tax dollars at work.