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reason, that's fine. But today many of the younger people take four or five pills at once. And what happens to them? We really don't know about it.
The other thing I found out is no one ever talks about the end result. They never talk about the young boy or girl that is found with an overdose. They never talk about a young boy or girl that is in a State or private mental facility.
We never see these things in movies. We see them in real life.
Mr. MURPHY. One of the things I have had on my mind since I became a member of this committee was to have the Federal Government—and I willtalk to John Brademas in the House Education and Labor Committee to see if we can't contract for and induce the people that are experts in this business of communication, of movies and television, to produce a meaningful film that we can disburse throughout the congressional districts in this country, also some pamphlets that are meaningful.
I want to congratulate you today for reminding this committee of that very fact. And in fact, as I sit looking at you—
Senator DALEY. You are looking for the movie?
Mr. MURPHY. No, I think back 8 years ago when I was in the same room as a junior member of this committee and your late and great father was testifying before this committee. He told of an instance where he introduced a proposal in the city council about unauthorized people around school grounds that are out selling drugs to the kids.
In fact, at 102d and Seely, I think, just last week, the police arested a 21-year-old selling pills to students at a public school, near my house. It is only 3 blocks from my house.
Your dad introduced this ordinance, but it was struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional, as an invasion of search and seizure prohibition, where the Chicago Police could not come up and talk to suspicious people in parked cars around playgrounds and school grounds.
When the Select Committee returns to Washington we will come up with a meaningful film and some pamphlets. And I want to thank you on behalf of the committee for a very informative testimony today and congratulate you on your drug education efforts in your own legislative district and your home section around Bridgeport.
I know the great job you do there. And I know the high esteem in which the community holds you. And we want to thank you and your assistant, Pam, for coming today.
Senator DALEY. Thank you very much.
Mr. MURPHY. Our next witness is Peter Bensinger, Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Mr. Robert Cutright, Diversion Investigative Unit.
Would both you gentlemen raise your right hand, and I will swear [The witnesses were sworn by Mr. Murphy.?
TESTIMONY OF PETER B. BENSINGER, ADMINISTRATOR, DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION; ACCOMPANIED BY ROBERT CUTRIGHT DIVERSION INVESTIGATIVE UNIT; HOWARD MCCLAIN, JR., CHIEF, DIVISION OF COMPLIANCE AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS; AND LARRY SNYDER, SUPERVISOR, COMPLIANCE ACTIVITIES
Mr. BENSINGER. Mr. Chairman, I have a couple other associates I would like to call on, too. Howard McClain, who is our Division Chief, Division of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs, and Larry Snyder, who is our supervisor in charge of compliance activities for this entire region.
Mr. MURPHY. I see you also have your capable assistant, Don Meyer, the Chicago Regional Director of DEA. I would like to recognize his fine work, too.
Mr. BENSINGER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BENSINGER. If I can proceed, I would like to assure you, Chairman Murphy and Congresswoman Collins and Congressman Railsback and Chief Counsel Nellis, of our appreciation of these hearings.
As Administrator of DEA and as a member of the Federal Government involved in the establishment of effective regulation law enforcement, the hearings which you are leading deal with one of the problems that has not surfaced. It has been kept in the background, but which has affected the lives and taken the lives of people throughout this country.
I am talking about drugs that are not controlled, that appear on the streets as substitutes for the most serious controlled substances such as heroin.
And in Chicago, the use of T's and Blue's, Talwin and Pyribenzamine, an antihistamine, is rapidly becoming a very serious problem of drug abuse.
The generic name for Talwin is pentazocine. However, for the remainder of the morning, we will refer to this drug by its most common name.
It was marked initially in 1967 as an injectable solution and 2 years later in an oral form. It is a product of intensive search for a new analgesic of little or no abuse potential. And at normal dosage units, Talwin will not substitute for morphine or heroin for an individual who is physically dependent on either of these substances.
However, Talwin is capable of producing a euphoric effect according to some individuals who have taken this drug for nonmedical purposes and in excessive amounts. One of the reasons that Talwin has become such a problem in Chicago has been because of two factors.
One, heroin availability has decreased both in terms of total availability and in terms of purity, had become increasingly expensive. And the addict population and dealers have preferred Talwin instead of heroin because Talwin has not been controlled. And the risks are minimal.
I would like to state, if I could, Mr. Chairman, that an event took place yesterday in the city of Chicago which has particular significance for this committee. Agents of the Chicago drug enforcement
task force comprised of Chicago police officers and DEA special agents arrested yesterday David Herrera-Saucedo of 1927 South Allport, and Jose Rivera-Lopez of 4350 South Honore, as they delivered i kilo of Mexican brown heroin to an undercover task force agent.
Following that arrest of Herrera and Rivera, the task force agents seized an additional 15 pounds of brown heroin from Rivera's residence at 4350 South Honore.
Subsequent to those arrests, Arnoldo Carrera-Ayala was arrested as he negotiated with another task force undercover agent. And Angel Nevarez, a resident of Stone Park, Ill., was subsequently arrested at his residence.
These arrests were the result of a 6-month intensive investigation by the combined Chicago PD and DEA task force.
Three of the defendants appeared before U.S. Magistrate James T. Balog yesterday. And bail for Arnaldo Carrera-Ayala was $1 million fully secured cash.
Mr. MURPHY. May I interrupt you at that point, Mr. Bensinger? Could your men here put the heroin on the table so that the people in the audience and the TV cameras can get an idea of the scope of this problem and the fine work that you and the Chicago Police Department have done?
Mr. BENSINGER. Absolutely, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to introduce if I might, by the way, Deputy Police Superintendent Walter Murphy and Don Meyer. Chicago Deputy Police Superintendent Walter Murphy and Don Meyer have led what in my opinion is one of the most outstanding joint cooperative task force efforts we have seen in this country. And it is evidenced by this kind of seizure and investigation, and these two gentlemen can probably join me here, if they would. Mr. MURPHY. Don and Mr. Murphy?
Mr. BENSINGER. They have led this task force, Mr. Chairman, and it has resulted in 55 pounds of heroin seizures so far this year. The task force has seized $1,600,000 of cash since it started and in conjunction with the efforts of the Mexican Government to eradicate opium poppies at the source has reduced the purity level in Chicago for heroin and increased the risks to the traffickers as a result of their significant investigations that on the one hand has reduced the overdose deaths and the availability of heroin and, on the other tended to encourage dealers and users to go to Talwin.
Mr. NELLIS. Mr. Bensinger, can I ask you has that been analyzed as to purity?
Mr. BENSINGER. It has, chief counsel. And I am surprised today the purity of this large a seizure, 17 pounds, is 3 percent. And when you are dealing with 7, 8 kilos of heroin, you are generally talking in the 20-percent range before it is diluted.
Mr. Chairman, if you and other members of the committee would care to join us here, or we can move that
upMr. MURPHY. I would like, first of all, to commend Superintendent Murphy and Don Meyer, the head of the local DEA office here, and
yourself, Mr. Bensinger, for the fine cooperation and work whiclı resulted in this seizure.
I would wonder if you would, for the record, describe how it came about. And again, you mentioned the names of these people, but are these people the same people that are in this international Herrera family?
Mr. BENSINGER. Mr. Chairman, the investigation involving these arrests is ongoing, and I don't want to link up today and identify exactly where on an international basis these recent defendants are. Their names are David Herrera-Saucedo, Jose Rivera-Lopez, Arnaldo Carrera-Ayala.
The investigation has been an ongoing one for the last 6 months. It does involve, obviously, a significant quantity of heroin. A number of undercover buys which will be described later in court were made from these individuals prior to this arrest yesterday.
Perhaps Mr. Meyer may want to comment further on the method in which this arrest took place.
Mr. MURPHY. I wish you would, Mr. Meyer, if you
Mr. MEYER. This investigation, Mr. Chairman, initiated as Mr. Bensinger indicated some 6 months ago through one of our ordinary methods of operation. And that is undercover contact and subsequent purchase.
In the interim, there was a substantial round-the-clock surveillance that ultimately led to the identification or location of the place where the drugs were kept. And we had pretty good information that a shipment recently had arrived.
The investigation was pursued through another undercover buy at which time we verified the location of the drugs and subsequently seized them.
Mr. MURPHY. Again, on behalf of the committee, we would like to commend your efforts, Mr. Meyer and Superintendent Murphy. Do you have anything to say ?
Superintendent MURPHY. Just that I think this is an excellent example of the cooperation between DEA and our department. This is only one of a number of seizures that have been made and hopefully will be made in the future.
Mr. MURPHY. Again, my congratulations to both of you. And do any other members of the panel wish to say anything?
Mrs. COLLINS. I certainly want to salute these gentlemen for the fine work that they have done. I have two questions.
One is: What is the street value of these drugs!
Mr. BENSINGER. Seventeen pounds at perhaps $1.86 a milligram, we are talking upwards of $15 million.
Mrs. COLLINS. Now, that is literally mindblowing. But I wonder: Does a seizure like this represent an indication of the amount of this stuff that is coming in? Was this the seizure of a whole shipment, or is this just part of it? Can you tell ?
Mr. BENSINGER Tt is hard to tell. It is probably coming in, in one load: 16 pounds would be a sizable shipment.
It indicates two things to me. The purity of it being 3 percent indicates it is not as available as it used to be and that the individual lab operators in Mexico are stepping on it, cutting it more directly.
Mrs. COLLINS. What was the purity of this, say, 2 years ago ?
Mr. BENSINGER. The retail purity was 6.6 percent. And today, the retail purity nationally is 4.9. But 2 years ago a shipment this size would have probably been 20 to 40 percent in purity. Then, it would have been broken down.
When it is seized in one location with 15 pounds, that is obviously a lot of money and marketable raw narcotic material that can be cut up and distributed.
Mrs. COLLINS. That is a clear indication of the fine job you are doing. I salute you again.
Mr. MURPHY. Mr. Railsback?
Mr. RAILSBACK. I would simply add to what has been said my congratulations. I am boggled by the size of the bust.
Also, I would have asked the same question that Cardiss did. How much was it worth? That is a lot of money.
Mr. MURPHY. I would like to say if there is any gentleman or lady of the press that would like to inquire about this, we will give you 5 minutes before we come back on the record, if there are any questions.
[Discussion off the record with the press.]
I would only, as a reinforcing comment want to associate myself with the comments of Mayor Bilandic this morning that the cooperation in law enforcement as was evidenced by this seizure and the comments of yours, Mr. Chairman, and other Members of Congress, this task force has done a tremendous job. And the work that Don Meyer has given Police Superintendent Chief O'Grady, has given, has been all important. They have done an excellent job and in conjunction with the Government of Mexico, have had a significant impact on the availability of heroin in the Chicago area, which relates to Talwin and the problem that this committee is addressing.
Because during 1977, we estimate between 3 to 6 million doses of Talwin had been diverted in Chicago alone. When I say "diverted," used for nonmedical purposes, 2.6 million dosage units from one pharmacy. And that, I think, is a significant factor in the abuse that this committee is looking at.
In 1974, the Drug Enforcement Administration recommended and requested of the Federal Drug Administration, the FDA, to schedule this drug. It is a drug that is prescribed by doctors, but is not a controlled substance under the act.
As a consequence, our agents don't have it as a Federal violation because it is not under the CSA. Since that time, the situation in Chicago, particularly, has indicated increased abuse injuries and fatalities from Talwin.
And the Drug Abuse Warning Network, DAWN, collects data and analyzes it from medical centers and from hospitals to identify drugs currently being abused and to identify patterns of drug abuse in selected cities.
According to the DAWN data, there has been a steady increase in total Talwin mentions from emergency rooms and crisis centers nationally. This has been particularly acute in Chicago.