Drug Enforcement Administration expands Afghanistan fight

Friday - 7/23/2010, 5:59pm EDT

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July 29, 2010 -- By the end of 2011, 81 special agents for the Drug Enforcement Administration will have set up in Afghanistan to fight the illegal drug trade, according to a high-ranking DEA leader.

Just three years ago, the DEA had deployed 13 agents to Afghanistan, said Tom Harrigan, DEA chief of operations.

The forces being added this year will help the Afghan government stop the flow of opium, which is used to produce heroin that could make its way into the United States.

"Afghanistan is the most prolific producer of opium," said Harrigan. "We are working very closely with our Afghan counterparts. We're there to extend the rule of law."

Other highlights show:

  • Technology: How the DEA races to stay ahead of criminals who use high-tech devices to thwart law enforcement
  • Mission-success: A major take down of drug criminals who used a fully submersible ocean vessel in an attempt to sneak by law enforcement *Global presence: Harrington leads enforcement operations for the DEA's 227 domestic and 87 foreign offices
  • Aviation: Harrington oversees the DEA's presence in the sky, which includes various types of helicopters and airplanes
  • Climbing the leadership ladder: Harrington started as a special agent in 1987