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Originally published Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 1:59 PM

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US official: Caribbean to become larger drug route

A top U.S. State Department official says the Caribbean will likely see a surge in drug trafficking activity by 2015 as operations shift to the tropics due to a crackdown in much of Latin America.

The Associated Press

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico —

A top U.S. State Department official says the Caribbean will likely see a surge in drug trafficking activity by 2015 as operations shift to the tropics due to a crackdown in much of Latin America.

William Brownfield says he believes drug traffickers squeezed out of Mexico, Central America and South America will target the Caribbean because it's spacious and allows them to remain undercover and take advantage of weak law enforcement in certain countries.

Brownfield is assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement. He spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday during an official visit to Puerto Rico.

Brownfield also said Congress recently approved $40 million to help boost security in the Caribbean as part of a federal program. Officials haven't decided how the money will be spent.

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