Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Misleading and Incomplete Stats Department: Record Pot Seizures in the Tucson Sector

The Arizona Daily Star reports this morning reports that agents in the Tucson Border Patrol Sector have seized a record 845,000 tons of marijuana so far this year.

While the Border Patrol attributes this increase to being able to operate the checkpoint in a fixed location, the one thing this statistic does not address is the amount of pot NOT being seized by "flanking" the fixed checkpoint on I-19.

Who is to say that the drug smugglers are viewing that the pot seized at the fixed checkpoint as a cost of doing business. And their profits are the many tons that are getting past the fixed, static checkpoint.

Moreover, the General Accounting Office (GAO) in 2005, clearly stated that using apprehension statistics alone is an inadequate measure of the performance of permanent interior checkpoints. Other factors "such as apprehensions per agent work year and cost per apprehension," etc. must be considered in order to truly evaluate the permanent checkpoints.

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