A probabilistic model of illegal drug trafficking operations in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Sea
Mooshegian, Matthew S.
Royset, Johannes O.
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Illicit drug-trafficking is a major concern of the United States and is a primary pillar of President Barack Obama_s Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime. In the eastern Pacific and Caribbean Sea, drug-trafficking organizations operate a variety of vessels to transit drugs from South America to the United States. Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) South, in cooperation with partner agencies and nations, detects, tracks, and interdicts illegal drug-trafficking in this region. In this thesis, we develop a probability model based on intelligence inputs to generate a spatial temporal heat map specifying the likely location of targets over time. We also formulate a path-finding model that takes the heat map as input and determines route characteristics through transit, such as departure times, waypoints, and speed. We link the results of our models to a separate effort that seeks to provide JIATF South with an optimal search plan to maximize the expected amount of drugs seized. We show that our path-finding model accurately reproduces the target_s track even when the target transits along a complex route. Furthermore, we show that the optimal search plan based on our path-finding model is nearly identical to the search plan using the known parameters.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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