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ICE investigates narcotics smuggling organizations and the methods utilized to smuggle contraband across U.S. borders.
Narcotics Enforcement

Smuggling methods include the use of high-speed vessels, cargo containers, aircraft, commercial trucking, commercial vessel and human carriers.

The National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD-25 directs U.S. government agencies to attack the vulnerabilities of drug trafficking organizations by disrupting key business sectors and weakening the economic basis of the drug trade. The illegal drug market in the U.S. is based on illegal narcotics grown or manufactured in foreign countries and smuggled across our nation's borders.

ICE agents enforce a wide range of criminal statutes including Title 18 and Title 19 of the U.S. Code. These statutes address general smuggling issues as well as customs violations. ICE also enforces Title 21, which covers the importation, distribution, manufacture and possession of illegal narcotics.

ICE agents have extensive knowledge of the border environment and techniques employed by smuggling organizations to transport contraband into the United States. This expertise has been gained through years of experience in conducting undercover operations, utilizing confidential informants, special enforcement operations and conducting contraband smuggling investigations.

The methods used by smuggling organizations are always changing and through continued training, the use of emerging technologies and dedication, ICE has maintained its expertise in disrupting and dismantling these criminal organizations.

As a leader in narcotics investigations and enforcement, ICE participates in key task forces around the country.
Drug Enforcement Task Forces

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is committed to strong investigative partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement.

ICE brings to bear its investigative expertise in money laundering and bulk cash smuggling in the fight against drug trafficking. Knowing where criminals are consolidating cash and how they are transporting it, helps arm law enforcement with critical information needed to halt drug traffickers in their tracks.

High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force

High intensity drug trafficking area task forces bring law enforcement agency partners together to combat drug-trafficking crimes in designated areas around the country that have a high concentration of narcotic distribution, transportation, smuggling and other drug-related activities.

ICE participates in 30 of the 32 high intensity drug trafficking area task forces around the country. The task forces are administered by the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, which launched the program in 1990.

Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force

ICE participates in organized crime drug enforcement task forces, which were established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The program identifies, disrupts and dismantles the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation's drug supply.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/15/2020