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The History Of Us Customs. Essay

1557 words - 6 pages

The history of the U.S Customs dates back to 1789. The Customs department was one of the first agencies to come to life. It is a branch of the department of treasury responsible for levying and collecting taxes on imported goods. In the early 1900's most government income was received from the Customs Service. The revenue it raises is now exceeded only by that brought in by the Internal Revenue Service. Corruption in this department dates all the way back to the Civil War. Pay for Customs agents wasn't the greatest, but somehow they still ended up with plenty of money. The customs department has had to deal with problems from prohibition to drug trafficking. My paper will focus on corruption within the U.S Customs, mainly the findings of government reports and the real life experiences of Customs Agents. I chose to write my paper on corruption within the Customs Department for several reasons. The war on drugs has always fascinated me. I have always had an anti-drug belief. I also have a boyfriend that works for the government. We often discuss corruption within different government agencies. In talking with him and through research, I have realized the government chosen to protect this country from the flow of illegal drugs is fighting a major battle....most of the time, against themselves.There are several reports stating that high ranking Customs supervisors are responsible for violating rules and regulations, taking kick-backs and essentially letting illegal drugs flow into this country without so much as batting a lash, and anyone who gets in the way or questions authority is disposed of.A recent report by Rebecca Hagelin notes that on an average day anywhere form 500 to 1,000 rail cars full of illegal narcotics enter freely into the U.S. She also reports that the rail cars entering our country are controlled by the Arellano-Felix cartel. She attributes these illegal crossing into the U.S to corrupt U.S Customs officials. Not only are we allowing drugs to flow freely into this country, but who know what else is flowing with it. Her report was pre 9-11.Also in her report, she discusses the story of former Customs agent Darlene Catalan. Agent Catalans record of service was impeccable, until she became one of several whistleblowers. In 1998 she led an undercover operation with the Pacific Railroad Police. During this operation they successfully seized 32 kilos of cocaine and 8,000 pounds of marijuana from Pressurized tanker cars. Agent Catalan and her co-workers had everything they needed to bust the people responsible but, as many who followed in her footsteps would find out, Customs supervisors stopped them dead in their tracks. Instead of continuing the operation, many people were pulled, surveillance was stopped, and many co-workers who had been working so hard to stop the illegal flow of drugs, were now under investigation themselves. Unfortunately, we are hearing similar stories from agents all over the nation. Agent Catalan also stated...

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