|The DEA enforces federal laws and regulations related to the growth, production, or distribution of controlled substances. In addition, the DEA seeks to reduce the supply of and demand for illicit drugs, both domestically and internationally. The DEA has approximately 10,900 employees staffing its 23 division offices in the United States and the Caribbean and 86 offices in 62 other countries.|
During this reporting period, the OIG received 203 complaints involving the DEA. The most common allegations made against DEA employees included job performance failure, off-duty misconduct, waste, and mismanagement. The OIG opened 8 investigations and referred other allegations to the DEA’s Office of Professional Responsibility for review.
At the close of the reporting period, the OIG had 15 open cases of alleged misconduct against DEA employees. The most common allegations were release of information and theft. The following are examples of cases involving the DEA that the OIG’s Investigations Division handled during this reporting period:
An investigation by the OIG’s Dallas Field Office led to the arrest and guilty plea of a DEA special agent in the Southern District of Texas on charges of making false statements. The OIG investigation revealed that the special agent conducted multiple queries for a confidential informant using law enforcement databases while also requesting and accepting “loans” from the informant. When approached by the OIG, the special agent denied providing information to or accepting money from the informant. During a second interview, however, the special agent acknowledged providing information to the informant and providing false statements to the OIG. Sentencing is pending.
In our March 2007 Semiannual Report to Congress, we reported on an investigation by the OIG’s Denver Field Office that determined a DEA special agent fraudulently obtained a government-funded permanent change of duty station transfer by falsely claiming that his wife suffered from cancer. The DEA expended $47,805 to relocate the special agent and his family. During this reporting period, the special agent and his wife entered into a civil settlement in the District of Utah federal court based on a civil complaint filed under the provisions of the False Claims Act. The special agent agreed to reimburse the government $60,000 over a period of 5 years. The special agent resigned from his position as a result of our investigation.
In our March 2007 Semiannual Report to Congress, we reported on a joint investigation by the OIG’s Los Angeles Field Office and the DEA’s Office of Professional Responsibility that resulted in the arrest of a DEA contracting officer on charges of corruptly profiting from his employment as a federal agent and making a false statement. The joint investigation developed evidence that the contracting officer received for his personal use 21 checks totaling $13,442 from a DEA vendor whose contract he managed. The contracting officer also failed to disclose on his financial disclosure form the funds he received from the vendor. During this reporting period, the contracting officer was sentenced on conflict of interest charges. He was sentenced to 2 years’ probation and ordered to pay a $13,517 fine and perform 50 hours community service.
In August 2002, the OIG issued a report on the DEA’s internal controls over its weapons and laptop computers that detailed significant lapses in the control over management of these assets. This follow-up review is examining the inventory of weapons and laptop computers at DEA headquarters and field locations, assessing actions taken by the DEA regarding lost or stolen weapons and laptop computers, and evaluating the DEA’s control over its weapons and laptop computers.
The DEA’s Utilization of Intelligence Analysts and Reports Officers
The OIG is examining the DEA’s efforts to recruit, train, and retain its intelligence analysts and reports officers.
Diversion Control Fee Account
The OIG is reviewing the DEA’s use of funds from its diversion control fee account.