Voice of America Interview

Voice of America interviewed me about China’s role in the opioid crisis. The video interview will be produced soon.

Here’s the article in Mandarin Chinese:

https://www.voachinese.com/a/opioid-china-20170905/4016464.html

Here’s a rough English translation, using Google Translate:

CHINA

New Opium War: China ‘s Fatal Exports

September 6, 2017

Opioids

WASHINGTON –

Every day, an average of 100 Americans died of opioid overdose. Last month, President Chuanpu announced the country’s entry into the “state of emergency” of opioid abuse. In this “unprecedented” crisis, China is an important part, because most of the synthetic opium drugs, made in China, exported from China, especially the highly toxic fentanyl. Law enforcement officers said there is more and more fentanyl through mail into the United States, to challenge the law enforcement.

Continue reading “Voice of America Interview”

3 CNN Appearances

Tune in on Saturday, September 23 to see my two live interviews on CNN Newsroom and to watch an episode about one of my cases on CNN Declassified.

Fredricka Whitfield will interview me about narco-terrorism at 12:50 p.m. and Ana Cabrera will interview me again at 8:50 p.m.

At 9:00 p.m., CNN Declassified will air Heroin’s Godfather: Haji Bagcho.

CNN Declassified Tonight

CNN Declassified is scheduled to air The Godfather of Heroin tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET. This episode details the investigation and arrest of Haji Bagcho, the world’s most prolific drug trafficker.

If the episode is postponed for CNN’s coverage of hurricane Irma, which is possible, I’ll post an update with the new date and time.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/10/world/afghanistan-war-opium-heroin-facts-declassified/index.html

After 16 Years of War, Afghanistan Still World’s Heroin Supplier

After 16 Years of War, Afghanistan Still World’s Heroin Supplier

By Jeffrey James Higgins

Published on August 23, 2017

On Monday, President Donald Trump revealed many substantive changes to U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, but the longest war in U.S. history cannot be won without confronting narco-terrorism. After 16 years and billions of U.S. dollars spent, Afghanistan now supplies more than 75 percent of the world’s heroin and the region hosts the highest concentration of terrorist groups. Not only that, Afghanistan serves as a primary hub where the world’s largest drug trafficking groups directly support Islamic terrorism. There will be none of Trump’s promise of victory without confronting these dark truths.

Narco-terrorism describes the nexus between drug traffickers and terrorists. It manifests itself in four basic forms: 1) drug traffickers who engage in terrorist activity to further their drug trade; 2) terrorists who sell drugs to finance their operations; 3) organizations with equal interests in drug trafficking and terrorism; and 4) drug traffickers and terrorists who mutually support each other.

Continue reading “After 16 Years of War, Afghanistan Still World’s Heroin Supplier”

End the Myth

Law Enforcement Today

By Jeffrey James Higgins

Published on August 19 2017

Stories about racism are dominating the news and the false narrative that there is an epidemic of racist police officers killing unarmed black men continues to be widely believed, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It was a hot political issue during the last presidential campaign and it became one of the most reported stories in 2016. The value of propagating this falsehood has dwindled since the election, but it still lurks below the surface, waiting to be resurrected as a political weapon.

It is time to end this myth.

A quick statistical analysis of reported police shootings in 2015 and 2016 clearly shows that the unlawful use of deadly force by police against blacks is statistically insignificant. The number of people killed by insects in the United States each year is higher than the number of unarmed blacks shot and killed by police officers. Unfortunately the proliferation of this political lie and the vilification of police has resulted in the assassination of police officers, inflamed racial tensions, and a surge of violence in black communities.

Obviously, there is racism in the United States, just like there is in every other country in the world. Some police officers do commit individual acts of racism and there may even be residual, systemically racist policies in some police departments. There are also instances when deadly force is improperly used by some police officers, but racism cannot be assumed without evidence. While individual acts of racism and excessive use of deadly force by police do exist, the characterization of these incidents as systemic problems is absurd.

Continue reading “End the Myth”

China-US Cooperation and the New Opium War

I’m quoted several times in today’s article in The Diplomat, discussing China’s cooperation with the US in combating opioids.

http://thediplomat.com/2017/08/china-us-cooperation-and-the-new-opium-war/

CNN Declassified

My interview with CNN and the CNN Declassified episode about the capture of the world’s most prolific heroin trafficker were postponed last week because of news coverage of the riots in Charlottesville.

Both my interview and the airing of Heroin’s Godfather: Haji Baghco have been rescheduled for Saturday, September 9th, starting at 8:50 p.m.

I hope you can watch.

The DEA commando-style units that captured a heroin ‘godfather’

By Thom Patterson, CNN

Updated 8:25 AM ET, Thu August 10, 2017

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/10/world/afghanistan-war-opium-heroin-facts-declassified/index.html

Program note: Learn about the daring operation by a special DEA team who captured one of the world’s biggest heroin kingpins in Afghanistan on CNN’s Original Series “Declassified”Saturday, August 12, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

(CNN)In 2005, the US Drug Enforcement Administration embarked upon an unprecedented operation: to capture the man they described as “the most prolific drug dealer in the world.”

His name is Haji Bagcho, and the DEA described him as a “criminal mastermind” of one of the largest heroin operations in Afghanistan. Agency sources said he had been dealing heroin and opium — both derived from the poppy plant found in the region — since the early 1990s.

By the mid-2000s, the ties between heroin and terrorism were growing. This prompted the DEA for the first time to form special commando-style units called Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Teams (FAST), and then deploy them to Afghanistan alongside US troops fighting the war against Taliban forces.

Continue reading “The DEA commando-style units that captured a heroin ‘godfather’”

Watch my Appearance on CNN Declassified

On Saturday, August 12, at 9:00 p.m. ET, CNN Declassified will air Catching a Global Godfather of Heroin. 

This episode explores the arrest and conviction of Haji Bagcho, the world’s most prolific heroin trafficker and a significant Taliban benefactor. I explain the magnitude of Bagcho’s drug trafficking organization and his jihad against America.

I’m also scheduled be interviewed by CNN Anchor Ana Cabrera five or ten minutes before the episode airs, so tune in and watch.

 

Steel on Steel Interview

Listen to my interview about drugs and narco-terrorism on Steel on Steel News radio with John Loeffler.

https://www.steelonsteel.com/

The Drug Enforcement Agency’s mission is to enforce drug laws and bring to justice criminals and organizations who endanger our country through illegal drug trafficking. Retired DEA Special Agent Jeffrey Higgins (www.jeffreyjameshiggins.com) joins us on security weekend to discuss the nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism and examine the pros and cons of legalizing certain drugs.

Understanding Narco-Terrorism

Burning seized drugs in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2005. Photo by Jeffrey James Higgins.

American Thinker

By JeffreyJames Higgins

Published on June 13, 2017

To defeat terrorism, the United States should use federal criminal laws to aggressively target narco-terrorists. While narco-terrorism is frequently mentioned in the news, it is rarely explained properly, and as a result, many skeptics doubt its impact. Understanding how drug trafficking fuels terrorism is necessary to craft effective counterterrorism policy and to triumph in the global war on terror.

Narco-terrorism describes the nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism. This term covers a wide spectrum of behavior, but there are four primary types of narco-terrorism. As a special agent with the DEA, I investigated narco-terrorism for over a decade. After the narco-terrorism law was enacted in 2006, I made the first, precedent-setting arrest for narco-terrorism and I was the case agent for the first two narco-terrorism convictions. The link between narcotics trafficking and terrorism is significant and has been repeatedly proven in court. Continue reading “Understanding Narco-Terrorism”

Why buying illegal drugs is immoral

The Washington Times

By Jeffrey James Higgins

Thursday, April 27, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Immoral Illegal Drugs Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Purchasing illegal drugs is an immoral act, regardless of where one stands in the legalization debate. When drugs are legally prohibited, criminal organizations assume control of production and distribution, making violence inherent in the process. Drug proceeds are used to fund criminal and terrorist organizations, enabling them to murder innocent people, attack police and military, bleed our tax dollars, and destroy the rule of law.

Drugs are a major source of income for terrorist groups and other criminal organizations, due to the high profit margins in these illegal markets. For example, one kilogram of heroin costs $2,500-$5,000 in Afghanistan and it sells for $60,000-$90,000 in the United States. That same kilogram is worth approximately $1.5 million after is it diluted and divided into individual dosage units. Profits made from illegal drug sales are also unreported income, allowing unlawful enterprises to remain in the shadows.

There is a strong nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism. According to DEA’s FY2016 Performance Budget Congressional Submission, 22 of 59 designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations had possible ties to drug trafficking. This number is probably low, because evidence is difficult to obtain, and it doesn’t address two recently designated terrorist groups. As an example, Afghanistan produces most of the world’s opium, morphine, and heroin. In Afghanistan, drug producers, traffickers, and transporters have deep connections to the Taliban, Haqqani network, and other terrorist groups. Drug traffickers use terrorists for protection and terrorists use drug traffickers to fund their activities.

Terrorism is not the only violence associated with drug trafficking. Criminal groups regularly commit crimes against humanity. For example, Mexican organized crime was responsible for an estimated 80,000 deaths between 2006 and 2015, according to a Congressional Research Service report on Mexican Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Organizations. Violent, transnational criminal gangs, such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) also fund their criminal activities through drug trafficking.

Violence is inevitable in illegal activity, especially in businesses like drug trafficking that involve large sums of money. Criminal groups exist outside of the judicial system; therefore they have no recourse with police or in the courts when they are victimized by other groups. When a criminal group retaliates against another, it engages in forms of tribalism and anarchism, where justice is determined by those most willing to use force. Drug dealers become modern warlords, operating outside of accepted institutions and societal norms.

Drugs are not the only unlawful trade that should be avoided. For example, illicit cigarette trafficking in the United States has been linked to terrorism funding. Numerous criminal investigations have shown that profits from some illicit cigarette sales support terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda. The Iran-backed Hezballah, which was designated by the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997, has links to both untaxed cigarette sales and drug trafficking. Hezballah, which is also supported by Iran, is responsible for terrorist activities across the globe.

While there are compelling arguments to legalize certain drugs, the policy argument needs to be divorced from the morality of purchasing illicit drugs. It’s ironic that many celebrities and public intellectuals call for boycotts against corporations, like Nike and Apple, because of the low pay and poor working conditions these companies offer workers overseas, but some of the same people also openly admit to buying marijuana illegally. They don’t see the hypocrisy of condemning businesses, while buying marijuana from Mexican drug cartels or heroin from the Taliban; both of which murder innocent people. They mistakenly justify the purchase of illegal drugs based on their belief that drugs should be legalized, while ignoring the fact that their actions subsidize murder.

The next time one considers buying illegal drugs, one should consider that the money might be going to Hezballah, the Taliban, or a drug cartel. If one believes a specific drug should be legalized, then one should encourage legislators to change the law, not violate the law. Until the law is changed, illegal drug purchases will continue to support evil men who commit acts of violence against the innocent.

• Jeffrey James Higgins is a retired DEA supervisory special agent, with 25 years of law enforcement experience, and an expert in narco-terrorism.