Drug Investigations:

Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program's Accomplishments

GGD-87-64BR: Published: May 6, 1987. Publicly Released: May 26, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO determined: (1) the validity of certain accomplishments the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) claimed, such as the number of offenders convicted, sentences imposed, criminal fines assessed, and non-drug assets seized and/or forfeited; (2) compliance with an OCDETF guideline requiring U.S. Attorney approval for pleas to less than the most serious charges; and (3) whether task force attorneys are seeking enhanced drug penalties for offenders with prior federal felony drug convictions.

GAO found that OCDETF reported that: (1) it convicted 1,408 offenders, but GAO identified 1,528 convictions; (2) about 80 percent of the 1,408 convicted offenders were sentenced to various prison terms; (3) it assessed $9,624,000 in criminal fines, whereas GAO identified $9,607,000; and (4) the value of asset seizures totalled $157.6 million and forfeitures amounted to $52 million. GAO also found that: (1) 16 districts did not follow the OCDETF guideline concerning plea agreements; (2) 16 districts obtained oral approval from the U.S Attorney; (3) 13 districts obtained oral or written approval from the U.S. attorney or some other official in the U.S. Attorney's office; and (4) 2 districts did not provide information. In addition, GAO reported that: (1) of 1,450 offenders convicted of drug offenses, 64 had prior felony drug convictions; (2) prosecutors sought the enhanced penalty for 27 of the 64 offenders; and (3) during the summer of 1987, the administrative staff will consider the issue of whether a prosecutor's decision not to seek an enhanced penalty should be subject to the approval of the U.S. Attorney.

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