An Overview of the El Paso Intelligence Center

December 1, 2011

The second in the series on DEA’s Intelligence Division.

The El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), administered by DEA, was established in 1974. The creation of EPIC resulted from a U.S. Department of Justice study about the myriad issues and problems affecting the U.S./Mexico border. This was the first major attempt at a permanent inter-agency operation in law enforcement. The principal direction was the sharing of information, while protecting active case data. The emphasis on tactical intelligence and a 24-hour center provided the foundation for use of this data for “Agent” safety and actionable intelligence. L.D. Villalobos, DEA Section Chief, Research and Analysis, EPIC and Carlos Almengor, Customs and Border Patrol Assistant Chief Patrol Agent discuss the inner workings of this vital component to DEA.

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The Intelligence Division’s Role in Tracing the Rise and Fall of the Colombian Cartels

November 17, 2011

Supervisory Intelligence Analysts Craig Estancona, Ben Sanborn, Jay Cliff, and Pat Kerner provide a history of the formation of the violent Medellin Cartel and the more “businesslike” Cali Cartel as well as the role of DEA Intelligence in targeting and dismantling these groups. They also discuss the changes DEA made to more effectively target these drug trafficking organizations, including the establishment of DEA HQ drug desks to centralize responsibility and coordination. Through their research and analysis, these analysts pieced together information that identified the worldwide scope of Colombian cartel activities and the identities of the primary cartel members.

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Tranquilandia

June 7, 2011

Richard P. Bly, Retired DEA Special Agent/Deputy Assistant Administrator for Investigative Intelligence, speaks on the 1984 Tranquilandia operation. The operation uncovered one of the biggest cocaine production operations in existence with a seizure of more than 10 tons of cocaine estimated at $1.2 billion.

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Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Awareness Day

May 24, 2011

Sue Webber Brown, former Narcotics Detective, Butte County, California, and founder of the DEC movement, made a difference in the lives of over 2,300 Butte County children from drug related environments. Her work continues to make a difference today through her collaboration with Holly Dye, a national expert on drug endangered child issues. Together they formed the National Drug Endangered Child Training and Advocacy Center. Brown and Dye discuss the who, what, and where of a drug endangered child and how one person can make a difference to help our nation’s most vulnerable victim of drug crimes.

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Attacking America – 1979 Fury in Iran/Rescue in Pakistan

February 23, 2011

On Sunday, November 4, 1979, hundreds of Iranian students attacked the American Embassy in Tehran and took 66 Americans hostage. While 14 hostages escaped or were released, the remaining 52 were blindfolded and spirited from the Embassy without a trace until their release on January 20, 1981, 444 days later.

Three weeks after the attack in Tehran, the day before Thanksgiving, November 21, 1979, an estimated 10,000 Pakistani students and Iranian provocateurs attacked the American Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing a Marine, an Army Warrant Officer, and two Pakistani Embassy employees while pouring gasoline and lighting fires in all of the buildings except for two Embassy vaults where 90 American and Pakistani employees hovered, fearing for their lives. If not for the actions of four U.S. Marines and two DEA Agents trapped inside, the employees may have died.

Randy Sayles, one of the trapped DEA Agents, tells the horrifying story of fear, reaction, survival, and eventual escape (within 15 minutes of suffocation) of those involved.

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