Illicit drugs: where do they come from? Where does the money go?

In 1996 Gary Webb, reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, examined the origins of crack cocaine in Los Angeles.  Webb traced the cocaine back to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). [OIG.justice.gov] News reports said Webb killed himself at his California home and said he left a suicide note.  [Telegraph UK March 2015]  Now the Los Angeles Times is publishing a series on the Oxycontin/illicit drug trade in Los Angeles.  It turns out the drug maker, Perdue Pharmaceuticals, failed to report a single pharmacy in Los Angeles was being used to sell Oxycontin to street gangs and other criminals.  The drug maker did not report to the Drug Enforcement Agency about the lawless pharmacy in Los Angeles while it continue to supply pills.  Over 194,000 Americans have died since 1999 from Oxycontin overdoses.  Perdue Pharmaceuticals earned more than $31 billion selling Oxycontin and was penalized with a $635,000 fine that was paid to government. [LA Times July 10, 2016]  Will their report end up pointing in the same direction as Gary Webb’s report over a decade ago?

The U.S. as a nation is broke.  It knows if it doesn’t get a piece of the action from the illicit drug trade, crime syndicates will.  The Federal government wants its share.  How does the drug money, all in cash, get laundered back into the U.S.?  That apparently was the job of Wachovia Bank that got fined for bringing drug money from the Mexican drug cartel back into the U.S.  When caught, Wachovia was slapped on the hand with $160 million fine.  Wachovia was eventually purchased by a larger bank. [Huffington Post July 14, 2010]

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