Mission And Experience

BNDD's role was to suppress illicit narcotics trafficking and to control the diversion of legally manufactured drugs. BNDD was responsible for working with foreign governments to halt international drug traffic, immobilizing domestic illegal drug-distribution networks, providing a wide range of technical assistance and training to state and local officers, and preparing drug cases for prosecution.

BNDD emphasized investigations of high-level drug trafficking to identify and target major national and international violators. Director John E. Ingersoll described the success of BNDD as being ''able to apprehend scores of illicit drug traffickers who were previously immune to the feeble efforts which law enforcement was formerly able to mount.'' In 1968 and 1969, BNDD contributed to major international success in stopping heroin traffic originating in Turkey.

The Bureau of Customs continued interdiction of drug smuggling at the borders and ports of entry. Customs special agents investigated drug cases based on seizures made by Customs inspectors and on antismuggling intelligence. Conflict between BNDD and Customs continued, with allegations of lack of cooperation and failure to share intelligence with each other.

The White House and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) tried to resolve the conflict and, in early 1970, President Richard M. Nixon directed BNDD and Customs to work out a set of operating guidelines. After considerable interagency discussion, formal guidelines were prepared to give to BNDD full jurisdiction over drug-enforcement operations both within the United States and overseas. Customs was to be limited to border operations. The president approved the guidelines, but the conflicts continued. Neither Congress nor the White House was satisfied. Senator Abraham Ribi-coff described the detailed guidelines as ''more reminiscent of a cease-fire agreement between combatants than a working agreement between supposedly cooperative agencies.''

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