WASHINGTON, D.C. - James Agee, Jr., a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, has pleaded guilty to a charge of submitting false reimbursement and expenditure reports to the DEA’s Fiscal Unit while serving as the Country Attache in the DEA’s Caribbean Field Division, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and Inspector General Glenn A. Fine announced today.
Agee, 43, of South Plainfield, New Jersey, entered the plea Thursday morning before U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle at the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C.
Agee served as DEA Country Attache in the Bridgetown, Barbados Office from May 1997 until November 2002. During that time, he enlisted local police officers from various Caribbean law enforcement agencies to participate in DEA-funded drug enforcement operations in the Caribbean Field Division. The local agencies were given DEA funds to cover any expenses associated with their participation in the DEA operations. Agee was responsible for the disbursement of that money and the maintenance of true and accurate accounts of any funds disbursed. Before each operation began, Agee would receive from DEA a lump sum cash payment representing the total amount of operational funds to be disbursed. At the conclusion of each operation, Agee was charged with the duty of reviewing and approving the appropriate DEA reimbursement and expenditure reports, and submitting those reports, along with any supporting documentation, to the DEA Caribbean Field Division’s Fiscal Unit.
In court papers filed today, Agee admitted that from Oct. 22, 2000 through Sept. 13, 2002, he submitted, or caused to be submitted, fraudulent reimbursement and expenditure reports to the DEA’s Fiscal Unit. The reports were fraudulent in that they incorporated supporting payment vouchers containing the forged signatures of the local police officers. Agee admitted that over the course of three DEA Caribbean operations, he forged the local officers’ signatures on 15 separate payment vouchers. The total amount of funds that were not disbursed as a result of Agee’s conduct was between $10,000 and $30,000.
Agee faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing, scheduled for Jan. 18, 2006. The case was investigated by the Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, and the DEA Office of Professional Responsibility. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Kartik K. Raman and Natashia Tidwell of the Public Integrity Section of the United States Department of Justice, headed by Section Chief Noel L. Hillman.