IACP Leadership in the Prevention of Transnational Crime Award
The IACP Leadership in Transnational Crime Award recognizes outstanding efforts by law enforcement agencies in successfully mitigating the international threats to their communities by transnational criminal organizations.
Exemplary programs will demonstrate innovative approaches to investigating and preventing transnational crime, as well as successful information and intelligence sharing practices.
For further information, contact awards@theIACP.org.
United States Department of Homeland Security, Office of Homeland Security Investigations
The Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) San Diego Field Office teams are part of the San Diego and Imperial County (SDI) HIDTA Transnational Organized Crime (TCO/Domestic Highway Enforcement (DHE) Initiative, known as Operation Citadel. Operation Citadel is an HIS San Diego led initiative designed to disrupt drug trafficking organizations’ (DTO) transportation and staging networks in southern California. The innovative tactics employed under Operation Citadel have proven critical to disrupting DTO operations at every level.
These joint HIDTA operations are extremely effective at disrupting narcotics smuggled by Mexican drug cartels including the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). The innovative operational approach has created a framework resulting in the disruption to drug trafficking organizations that are exploiting our nation’s borders. The impact of these successful operations is vital to promoting border security and increasing public safety ultimately dismantling Transnational Organized Crime operating within the southern California regions and beyond.
Colleyville Police Department
In the summer of 2019, the Colleyville (Texas) Police Department, United States Secret Service, and Investigators from the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office initiated an investigation into multiple romance and lottery scams involving elderly victims across the country. Agencies worked collaboratively across multiple state and federal jurisdictions to ultimately identify an international fraud ring that was operating in the United States. This transnational criminal organization is responsible for moving over $4 million in fraudulent proceeds from these scams into overseas bank accounts. Through this case, investigators positively identified multiple suspects, ring-leaders, and money mules operating in the United States and successfully apprehended them. Although the case is still active, there are currently four suspects arrested, charged, and awaiting trial. Seizures include two Freightliner Truck Tractors and approximately $25,000.00 in cash. Additionally, $200,000 in fraudulent proceeds have been secured and the team is proceeding with forfeiture. Identifying and prosecuting these transnational criminal leaders as well as identifying their fraud schemes successfully mitigates the threat to communities and their most vulnerable residents.
Dubai Police, United Arab Emirates
Dubai Police’s Operation Stalker oversaw intelligence gathering and later prosecution of members of a multi-level, transnational drug trafficking organization. The operation began when the Dubai Police received intelligence on illicit drug activity. Quickly working to protect their jurisdiction, the Dubai Police coordinated with INTERPOL and multiple agencies throughout the Middle East in areas where the illicit activity was believed to be taking place. Ultimately, 16 suspects were apprehended, all of which are being charged with multiple drug crimes. The Dubai Police seized approximately 268 kg of heroin, 96 kg of crystal meth, valued at a total market value of $80 million; the largest seizure in the United Arab Emirates.
The National Crime Agency, United Kingdom
Operation RORIPA and DEA Operation RENACER was a joint National Crime Agency (NCA) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation into Colombian cocaine suppliers utilizing West African trade routes to facilitate cocaine importations into Europe. In 2015, NCA commenced an investigation into intelligence of an unidentified Colombian national who was due to meet with a major transport provider on the Venezuelan/Colombian border. It was later discovered that the DEA was also conducting surveillance on the same subject. Over the next two years, the two agencies shared leads until the DEA gathered enough evidence to conduct an arrest. During the length of the investigation, the agencies jointly identified the key players such as the financial controller; cocaine suppliers; aviators in Africa and the United States who fly and maintain aircraft used for illicit loads; and facilitators. Ultimately, numerous perpetrators have been charged and indicted in the United States.
U.S. Department of Justice, District of North Dakota
Operation Deadly Merchant, a multi-national investigation supported and coordinated by the multi-agency Special Operations Division of the U.S. Department of Justice began with one overdose death in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Led by the U.S Attorney for the District of North Dakota, the collaborative investigation has resulted in the indictment of more than 30 individuals in the United States, Canada, and China. Members of the Jian Zhang transnational criminal organization, based in China, have been identified and charged with running a criminal enterprise the overdose deaths of multiple individuals in the United States through their distribution of dangerous synthetic opioids, including fentanyl. Operation Deadly Merchant demonstrates how effective state, federal, and international level partners working toward the single goal of identifying and holding accountable those responsible for their criminal conduct can succeed.