Page images
PDF
EPUB

1044

D.E.A. AGENT FOR THREE ISLANDS, AND ONLY A LIMITED COAST GUARD

OPERATION....OUR AREA IS A HOLE IN THE BORDER CURTAIN THAT

THRRATENS TO BECOME A FUNNEL.

THAT THIS IS HAPPENING IS EVIDENCED BY THE SAARP INCREASE IN

ILLEGAL DRUGS AND DRUG-RELATED CRIME IN THE TERRITORY. IN A

RECENT LETTER TO ME, OUR COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC SAFETY ESTIMATED

[ocr errors]

THAT 65 TO 75% OF ALL ARRESTS ARE DRUG-RELATED. PCP AND CRACK,

TWO NEW ENTRANTS, HAVE ALREADY LED TO ONE OF THE MOST HORRIBLE

MURDERS IN OUR HISTORY AND HAVE MADE TRULY ALARMING INROADS INTO

OUR SCHOOL AGE POPULATION.

THE VIRGIN ISLANDS GOVERNMENT, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE

NATIONAL DRUG POLICY BOARD, HAS DEVELOPED A PLAN POR THB

EXPENDITURE OF $2.5 MILLION IN FY 88 AND $1.5 MILLION IN FY 89.

THAT PLAN IS BEING PRESENTED TO YOU TODAY, AND IN MY OPINION, I

THINK IT IS AN EXCELLENT ONE, MR. RALPH TARR, THE SOLICITOR

GENERAL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR, WHO CHAIRED THE VIRGIN

ISLANDS TASK FORCE, IN SPEAKING TO ME WHEN HE RECEIVED BIS COPY,

SAID THAT IT WAS CONSISTENT WITH FEDERAL DRUG POLICY.

[graphic]

3.

I COMMEND MR. TARR POR HIS ASSISTANCE, AND MS. TERRY HALPERN

THE ACTING U.S.ATTORNEY POR THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, WHO PLAYED A DUAL

ROLE IN THE FORMULATION OF THE PLAN, AND MS. JACQUELYN DENNIS, OF

THE LAW ENFORCEMENT PLANNING COMMISSION, WHO WAS CHARGED BY THE

GOVERNOR WITE COORDINATING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PLAN. I COMMEND

ALL THOSE IN THE LOCAL AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHO PARTICIPATED IN

ITS DEVELOPMENT. IT SEEMS TO ME IT IS A WELL THOUGHT OUT,

LOGICAL, AND COORDINATED APPROACH THAT HAS AN INHERENT

ACCOUNTABILITY FACTOR. THIS WILL BE MOST HELPPOL IN ASSESSING

PROGRESS AND THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PLAN NEXT YEAR.

I WOULD LIKE TO NOTE ALSO THAT IN DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN THE

LOCAL AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, COMMITMENTS WERE MADE BY VARIOUS

PEDERAL AGENCIES TO ASSIST THE VIRGIN ISLANDS WITH CONFISCATED

EQUIPMENT, INCLUDING PATROL BOATS AND OTHER EQUIPMENT, ADDITIONAL

AGENTS, AND READY ACCESS TO SURVEILLANCE PLANES. I WOULD

APPRECIATE THE COMMITTEE'S SUPPORT IN EXPEDITING FOLLOW-THROUGH

ON THESE COMMITMENTS, WE DO NOT HAVE A DAY TO LOSE IN ATTACKING

THE DRUG PROBLEM IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS.

[graphic]
[graphic]

VIRGIN ISLANDS IMPROVED ECONOMIC CONDITION Mr. MURTHA. Welcome, Governor.

Mr. FARRELLY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the generous credit from our venerable delegate. I wish to introduce to the Chair sitting on my left Jacquelyn Dennis who is not only the Executive Director of LEPC, but she was the coordinator of our local Drug Policy Board and thus the lead person on the plan that everyone seems to be in agreement as to what has to be done.

I certainly appreciate the opportunity not only to have met you informally, but to appear formally before this Committee and to say that about a year ago, when I had just three months' experience, I asked the Committee to take note of our sad state of affairs. Our finances were in a deplorable state. We were $80 million in debt. We owed employees $37 million in retroactive salaries. And so, in short, I inherited a mess.

But we were not intimidated by the size and complexity of that mess. We got to work. Sweepingly, we organized our government. We paid off the $80 million deficit, including the $37 million in retroactive pay. We consolidated functions in the executive branch, and I was able to report in September that the territory's economy was healthy and revenues were up. That is the positive side of the picture.

Earlier this year my colleague and the subcommittee chair, Delegate de Lugo, invited me to testify before his subcommittee on the President's

budget. There wasn't much to testify about, as it turns out. It was $1.1 million for water distribution, zero for drug interdiction.

I told the Interior Committee and testified before the de Lugo subcommittee that our economy was expanding, tourism was accelerating, the unemployment rate was going down, and we had paid off the accumulated government debt. I will not waste your time, sir, with debating whether our economy is exceptionally strong or to detail the reasons for the elimination of the government debt. But it seems to me that the good guys, as Leo Durocher once said, finish last. Having worked hard, we were rewarded for our hard work by simply being denied any money for drug interdiction and by severely limiting the monies due for our water supply system.

I was astounded, sir, because the Committee report said that the United States insular areas are in a very real sense the Nation's insular borders in the Caribbean and the drug traffickers know this. And they use the Virgin Islands for transshipment of deadly narcotics from other countries to the mainland. And one of the consequences of this activity has been an increase in local drug abuse, and drug related crime has pushed violent crime rates many times higher than we would wish to acknowledge.

VIRGIN ISLANDS DRUG PROGRAM NEEDS And so, Mr. Chairman, I cannot emphasize too strongly that the drug problem in the Virgin Islands is staggering. And it is twofold. The report, as I said, speaks of transshipment, hundreds of miles of shoreline and dozens of beaches where boats can land and have landed with impunity. In one instance, the Coast Guard was called and picked up something like 30 kilos of coke that was being trans

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »