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The feds are getting tricker in their war against illegal drug dealers. For years federal agents have been outmanned and outspent by illegal drug dealers operating in south Florida. Trying to intercept them has proved a hit-and-miss effort.

So "Operation Greenback" was put into motion, with federal bank examiners called in to scrutinize Miami-area banks suspected of being used to "launder" millions of dollars worth of illict profits from drug dealings. The first arrests of suspected dealers came in late November. More arrests are likely.

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Congress will be asked to unleash the Internal Revenue Service to help round up more suspected dealers. Usually the IRS does not get involved in nontax cases -- so the proposed legislation may raise some privacy objections.m

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