Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "smuggling" ...

  • The Catch

    "The Catch" is documentary investigation that found Canada may be complicit in violating international law because the country’s navy and air force assists the U.S. Coast Guard to police international waters and capture suspected drug smugglers, some of whom have reported mistreatment on board U.S. Coast Guard vessels.
  • Border Patrol

    We believe this is the most extensive investigation on the U.S. border conducted by a Sunday news program in 2016. We begin by revealing one of the biggest issues that’s gotten lost in the debate over illegal immigration: the disturbing increase in drug smuggling. In Border Control, we find evidence that our southern border is not under U.S. control. In Tunnel Vision, we expose some of the underground tunnels that cartels have used to smuggle drugs and people into the U.S. In Bordertown, USA, we provide an unusual profile of a U.S. border town so influenced by illegal smugglers and drugs, that the culture has worked its way into the fabric of daily life: Douglas, Arizona. In Crossing the Line, we take an eye opening look at the corruption inside U.S. Customs and Border Protection. And in Cuban Exodus, we exclusively reveal the “mind-boggling” number of Cubans surging across the Mexican border into the U.S.
  • Tech Behind Bars

    "Tech Behind Bars" is a deeply reported, multi-media three-part examination of the growing intersection of the corrections system and the technology industry. Part 1, "Inside the prison system’s illicit digital world," explores the growing problem of smartphone smuggling inside federal and state prisons, and reveals dozens of social media profiles of inmates currently serving time in several states, many of whom were using the internet illicitly from their cells. Part 2, "After years behind bars, can prisoners re-enter a digital society?", explores what happens to inmates after they're released from length prison stays, and are forced into a world and a job market that expects them to have familiarity with the tools of the digital age, and profiles Code 7370, a program at San Quentin State Prison that is equipping inmates with computer skills in preparation for their re-entry. Part 3, "Can technology and prisons get along?", is an examination of the growing number of attempts to integrate modern technology into correctional facilities, through the lens of the Napa County Jail, which is giving tablets to its inmates in attempt to keep them up to speed with the digital revolution.
  • American Coyotes

    American Coyotes is a series of stories about the human smugglers -- or "coyotes" -- who bring undocumented immigrants from Mexico into the United States via vehicle and on foot, often utilizing stash houses, in return for payments that vary depending on where the immigrant is coming from and where they are crossing the border. The stories look at how the coyotes operate, the impact they have on Americans who live along the border and the environment as well as the Border Patrol agents, law enforcement and even Texas National Guardsmen assigned to prevent undocumented immigrants.
  • Homeland Insecurity

    Dozens of U.S. border agents have been caught in recent years illegally smuggling weapons, drugs, or people into the United States. Melissa del Bosque and Patrick Michels investigate why so few of them have been disciplined or punished. In their mindboggling tale of broken accountability at the Department of Homeland Security, Michels and del Bosque find that a broken chain of command, turf wars, grueling caseloads, and a lack of internal accountability at the DHS Office of Inspector General have allowed potentially corrupt agents to remain employed for years on our nation's border with Mexico.
  • Michigan prison food privatization gone wrong

    Free Press Lansing bureau chief Paul Egan produced a series of exclusive reports on Michigan’s attempt to privatize prison food service and kept the heat up throughout 2014. His headlines included such stomach-turners as maggots found on meal lines, sex between Aramark employees and inmates, inmates served rotten meat, marijuana smuggling by an Aramark employee, growing inmate unrest -- even an Aramark worker who was suspected of trying to hire an inmate to kill another inmate. The stories prompted widespread revulsion and criticism of the contractor from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder – along with calls from Michigan lawmakers to cancel the three-year, $145 million Aramark contract.
  • Saric

    The book "Saric" follows the rise of the Balkan narco-cartel and details its drug smuggling, money laundering, and corruption of politicians and businesses. The year 2004 was a breakthrough for Balkan organized crime. After Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić was assassinated in 2003, police dismantled most of crime groups in the country. Big criminals understood that to keep operating they had to change and operate smarter. They did. They formed a syndicate, they stoped selling drugs inside the country and they moved into European markets. Through their new cartel they earned billions and have used it to buy political parties, police and control over the economies of Serbia, Montenegro and other countries.
  • Ruthless Kidnapping Rings Reach from Desert Sands to U.S. Cities

    The story deals with the ever-evolving crime of human smuggling, and how opportunistic criminal gangs exploit gaps in law enforcement to open new channels for profit. In this case it was how Bedouin gangs along the Egypt-Israel border in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula took advantage of the Arab Spring, the fall of the Mubarak regime, and the increasingly lawless state of the region to create a perfect smuggling scenario linking African refugees in Israel to Palestinian bag men (who collect the ransom) to diaspora Africans in Europe and North America who raise thousands of dollars to rescue their captives. The story documents the $80,000 payment made by one immigrant father from Eritrea—now living near San Jose, California—to secure the release of his teen-age daughter and his own brother. We showed how this was part of a growing international network that has funneled millions of dollars in each of the last 3 years to the criminals operating these enterprises.
  • The Deadliest Place in Mexico

    The Juarez Valley, a narrow corridor of green farmland carved from the Chihuahuan desert along the Rio Grande, was once known for its cotton, which rivaled Egypt’s. But that was before the Juarez cartel moved in to set up a lucrative drug smuggling trade. “The Deadliest Place in Mexico” explores untold aspects of Mexico’s drug war as it has played out in the small farming communities of this valley. The violence began in 2008, when the Sinaloa cartel moved in to take over the Juarez cartel’s turf. The Mexican government sent in the military to quell the violence — but instead the murder rate exploded. While the bloodshed in the nearby City of Juarez attracted widespread media attention, the violence spilling into the rural Juarez Valley received far less, eve as the killings began to escalate in brutal ways. Community advocates, elected officials, even police officers were shot down in the streets. Several residents were stabbed in the face with ice picks. By 2009, the valley, with a population of 20,000, had a murder rate six times higher than Juarez itself. Newspapers began to call the rural farming region the “Valley of Death.” This investigation uses extensive Freedom of Information Act requests, court documents, and difficult-to-obtain interviews in Spanish and English with current and former Juarez Valley residents, Mexican officials, narcotraffickers and U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials, to reveal that many of these shocking deaths were perpetrated with the participation of Mexican authorities. It shows scenes of devastation — households where six members of a single family were killed, without a single police investigation. It uncovers targeted killings by masked gunmen of community activists and innocent residents for speaking out against violence and repression facilitated by corrupt military and government officials. And it gathers multiple witnesses who describe soldiers themselves, working in league with the Sinaloa cartel, perpetrating violence against civilians. "The cemeteries are all full. There isn't anywhere left to bury the bodies," one former resident said. "You'll find nothing there but ghost towns and soldiers."
  • Documenting Russian Federation Corruption

    With documentation from several secret bank accounts and offshore corporate records, Barron's Dow Jones traced how Russia's most powerful officials have looted their nation in cahoots with cops, gangsters, and oligarchs. They show how a worldwide network of money laundering professionals that facilitates that plunder, while also abetting other global mischief like drug smuggling and arms trafficking.