Letter: Letter misses mark about smuggling over border

From: Robert Trent, member board of directors for National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers

Saint Mary’s, Georgia

I just finished reading a letter authored by Greg Dinkins, which you (The Republic) published.

I take issue with what Mr. Dinkins wrote about most of the drugs being smuggled through the ports of entry, and not across the wide open spaces between the ports. Most liberals and never Trumpers promote this message, and it stems from the DEA 2018 Drug Threat Assessment paper. The DEA is a fantastic illicit counter narcotics agency, but it is not a border law enforcement outfit.

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) runs our ports of entry. The vast expanses that lie between these ports are protected by the U.S. Border Patrol. Both agencies turn over for investigation whatever drugs and smugglers they catch to the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

I believe the DEA was offering the opinion that most illicit drugs are smuggled through the ports based on CBP reported seizures, not on what got passed the ports. The same holds true for the Border Patrol. They also can’t tell us what was successfully smuggled across the open border.

The best measure of what gets across is just taking a look at what is reported by the press/media, and law enforcement officials. You might try running a Google search using the words “heroin epidemic,” then add the name of just about any American city or state. The results will be staggering.

The Mexican cartels will smuggle their drugs any, and every, way you can and can’t think of. This will most certainly include the porous border between the ports.

While building additional walls and barriers might seem unappealing to a lot of Americans, these barriers do work to reduce the drug flow.

America is also not about heroin/fentanyl/meth addiction, and overdose deaths. Which is the most unappealing?