Global Drug Enforcement: Practical Investigative Techniques. By Gregory D. Lee; published by CRC Press, 800/272-7737 (phone), www.crcpress.com (Web); 440 pages; $79.95.
Drawing on 30 years of experience in law enforcement, Gregory Lee has written a definitive work on criminal drug investigations. Lee offers an objective look at the worldwide illegal-drug industry and describes various methods for conducting investigations, all the while taking care not to understate the dangers involved in undercover work. After all, as he notes, undercover agents have the highest fatality rate of all investigative positions.
Early in the book Lee paints a grim picture of the global drug epidemic, elaborating on the various sources of drugs, trafficking methods, and use and effects. After that overview, he focuses on the steps that agents should take in the course of an investigation, emphasizing the importance of surveillance and the use of informants. He also ably wades into deeper, more complicated waters, such as dealing with conspiracy issues, homemade drug labs, and asset seizures.
Documentation is airtight. Lee refers often to statutes and Supreme Court decisions to provide proper legal context. Citation to other works is solid as well.
At one point, discussing the arguments for and against drug legalization, Lee interjects his personal opinion. Understandably, given his career in fighting the war on drugs, he rejects legalization. Even though the war has not been won, it is still worth fighting, he says.
This well-presented book, though it doesn't advance any revolutionary ideas and contains mostly material known by experienced drug investigators, would be an ideal text for students, aspiring investigators, and trainees.
Reviewers: Eugene F. Ferraro, CPP, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), is the president of Business Controls Inc. in Golden, Colorado, which has conducted hundreds of drug investigations. He is the author of Undercover Investigations in the Workplace and is the former chairman of the ASIS International Council on Substance Abuse. Collin Baer is an undercover-drug-investigation supervisor at Business Controls. He holds a criminal justice degree from the University of Nebraska.