CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Cyberspace Drug Bust
Aired September 19, 2002 - 10:16 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: First, we want to take you to Washington, where Attorney General John Ashcroft is talking about Operation Web Slinger,where they've netted 115 arrests in about 84 cities, as they talk more specifically about this operation, which helped to cease the drug dealing of a date rape drug on the Internet.
Let's listen in.
JOHN ASHCROFT, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: ... federal, state and provincial and local law enforcement authorities, the Internet is no longer a safe haven where drug dealers can hide. Our campuses, our neighborhoods and our communities are safer places for young women today because cyberspace just got more dangerous for drug traffickers.
Contrary to misinformation disseminated, via the Internet, the drugs targeted in yesterday's arrests are extremely addictive and life-threatening. GHB, as well as the other drugs targeted in Operation Web Slinger, GBL and 1,4 butanediol, they cause hallucinations, respiratory depression, coma and death.
As Administrator Hutchinson has explained, the DEA has documented over 70 deaths from these drugs, as well as thousands of non-death overdoses. These drugs are frequently used at so-called rave parties on college campuses and nightclubs and have had devastating consequences, particularly to young women who have fallen victim to date-rape after unwittingly consuming the chemicals. These arrests make it clear that those who use the Internet to conduct illegal drug transactions will be investigated, they will be apprehended and they will be prosecuted.
The success of Operation Web Slinger is the result of close cooperation among a number of federal agencies. This coordinated effort is a multi-district, multiagency, organized crime drug enforcement task force investigation, coordinated by the Special Operations Division at the Drug Enforcement Administration here.
As the cornerstone of the Justice Department's drug strategy, OCDETF, this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force strategy brings together the expertise of various federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to target entire networks of organized drug traffickers, such as those trafficking in GHB, and we seek to target them from the top down.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Service, the United States Customs Service, the Internal Revenue Service, the National Drug Intelligence Center and the Department of Justice's Criminal Division and their jointly staffed Special Operations Division all contributed to today's arrests.
I want to thank Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson for his leadership of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force.
WHITFIELD: We have been listening to Attorney General John Ashcroft talk about the multilayered, multidistrict, multiagency operation spanning a two-year period where they were able to arrest 115 people in 84 different U.S. cities and in Canada, all targeting operators and customers of the date rape drug. And in the words of John Ashcroft now, our campuses, our neighborhoods, and our communities are safer places for young women today, because cyberspace just got more dangerous for drug traffickers.
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