CQ Homeland Security

The Drug Enforcement Agency says it doesn’t need additional manpower or resources to stem violence on the southwest border, despite interest in doing so from key lawmakers.

“We have the authorities now, we just need to make sure that the DEA and other agencies use the tools that are available,” said Michele M. Leonhart, the acting DEA administrator, at an agency roundtable with reporters Wednesday.

The key will be widespread collaboration between federal agencies, state and local law-enforcement authorities, and Mexican officials, Leonhart said.

“A seizure at the border is not going to break the backs of the cartels; what breaks the backs of the cartels are the partnerships with the U.S. and Mexican counterparts . . . going after cartels, and with our inter-agency coordination and these multi-jurisdictional cases done all around the country . . . .”