Attorney General Loretta Lynch acknowledges an increase in drug trafficking of heroin and cocaine via the Mexico border.
Before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, Lynch testified, “Certainly the Mexican border is a major trans-shipment point for heroin and cocaine. Which is a shift from where it was 20 years ago.” Lynch was responding when Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) asked about the need for a secure border to combat the ongoing drug epidemic in the United States.
Sessions concurred that there has been a shift since his tenure as a prosecutor, when drugs were smuggled into the U.S. via airplanes and boats. He argued that the trend has moved to the southern border.
“It has certainly grown to rival other areas, although I would hesitate to say that we take our attention away from the ports — as you noted — the ships and the boats and the northern border also,” Lynch responded.
The Alabama lawmaker took issue with her answer, saying that he thinks drugs from the Mexican border “clearly is the majority.”
Sessions further pointed to a decline in drug prosecutions despite “surging” drug use — with a six month average down 21 percent in 2015 compared to five years ago and 32 percent lower when excluding prosecutions in magistrate courts.