A large portion of the illicit drugs that harm America’s health and burden the nation’s criminal justice system originate from outside of the United States. For this reason, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) efforts to stop the entry of illicit drugs into the United States are vital to protecting the homeland and national security.
DHS plays a critical role in protecting the homeland against a broad range of threats. One of the department’s missions is to interdict and investigate drug smuggling into the United States. DHS collaborates with other federal and foreign law enforcement agencies in fulfilling its counternarcotics responsibilities. In fiscal years 2009 and 2010, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized more than $282 million in illegal currency, more than 7 million pounds of drugs, and more than 6,800 weapons along the Southwest border of the United States—increases of more than $73 million, more than 1 million pounds of drugs, and more than 1,500 weapons compared to 2007 and 2008. DHS also works closely with its state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners on investigations of transnational crimes and provides training that supports counternarcotics investigations.