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Holder Visits South L.A.

Los Angeles WAVE, News Report , Olu Alemoru Posted: Jul 22, 2009

Many of the nations law enforcement agencies, which are fighting a drug war on the southern border, are intensifying their efforts to target criminal cartels that could bring in up to $24 billion a year.

That was the message this week from Attorney General Eric Holder, who outlined the administrations drug trafficking efforts along the Southwest border in the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles.

Later this week, Holder the nations first African-American attorney general will also discuss multi-jurisdictional cooperation on other issues including crime, gang prevention and violence against women.

In a Wednesday press conference, Holder announced $8.7 million in Recovery Act funds for three communities in California to use in fighting crime and drug trafficking as part of the Justice Departments Southwest Border Strategy.

The guns, drugs, and bulk cash that are the backbone of the cartels business contribute to addiction and drug-related violence in our communities, Holder said.

He was joined by Timothy J. Landrum, DEA special agent in charge of the Los Angeles Office, Ralph W.
Partridge, DEA special agent in charge of the San Diego Field Office and local law enforcement officials.
Holder announced grant awards to the California communities of Chula Vista ($2,864,605); San Mateo County ($800,700); and San Diego County ($4,999,996).

On our side of the border, an appetite for those drugs sends billions of dollars and stockpiles of weapons back to Mexico, Landrum said. The overall drug profit is estimated by the National Drug Intelligence Center at eight to 24 billion dollars a year.

In March, the department announced its Mexico Cartel Strategy, which uses federal prosecutor-led task forces that bring together federal, state and local law enforcement components.

The idea is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the Mexican drug cartels through investigation, prosecution and extradition of their key leaders and facilitators, and seizure of their assets.

As part of the effort to combat Mexican drug cartels, the Office of Justice Programs is administering the
$30 million Recovery Act Assistance for Law Enforcement along the southern border and in high-intensity drug trafficking areas.

This will provide resources for hiring, retention, assistance and equipment to law enforcement to combat criminal narcotics activity stemming from the southern border states.

I am very impressed with the level of communication and coordination that exists between federal, state and local law enforcement, Holder said. We are going to use all the tools we possibly can to stop these cartels from bringing drugs into the country.

Following the press conference, Holder visited Challengers Boys & Girls Club in South Los Angeles, where he spoke to local youth and toured the facility.

Related Articles:

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Mexico Rejects Dialogue with Drug Cartel

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