|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 10,800 employees staffing its 21 division offices in the United States and the Caribbean and 87 offices in 63 other countries.|
During this reporting period, the OIG received 184 complaints involving DEA personnel. The most common allegations made against DEA employees included job performance failure; theft or loss of seized property, money, or drugs; waste; and mismanagement. The OIG opened 8 investigations. The majority of the complaints were considered management issues and were provided to the DEA for its review and appropriate action.
At the close of the reporting period, the OIG had 24 open cases of alleged misconduct against DEA employees. The most common allegations were release of information, false statements, and job performance failure. The following are examples of cases involving the DEA that the OIG’s Investigations Division handled during this reporting period:
- In our March 2009 Semiannual Report to Congress, we reported on an investigation by the OIG’s Boston Area Office that led to the arrest of a DEA task force member assigned to a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force on charges of violating the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, making false statements, altering and falsifying records in a federal investigation, and wire fraud resulting in the theft of honest services from the National Guard and the DEA. The task force member served as a criminal intelligence analyst for HIDTA, a position that provided him with access to computer databases containing sensitive case information. OIG investigators developed evidence that the task force member accessed state records regarding his ex-girlfriend to harass her and misused DEA subpoenas when he falsely implicated her in an active drug investigation. During this reporting period, the DEA task force member pled guilty to all charges and was sentenced in the District of Massachusetts to 18 months’ incarceration followed by 3 years of supervised release.
- In our September 2009 Semiannual Report to Congress, we reported on an investigation that led to the indictment and arrest in the Northern District of Ohio of a DEA special agent on obstruction of justice and other charges stemming from allegations that he intentionally provided false statements and suppressed evidence concerning 17 individuals during the course of 13 controlled drug buys. A Richland County, Ohio, Sheriff’s detective also was arrested and pled guilty to depriving an individual’s civil rights by providing false testimony against an individual. During this reporting period, a jury acquitted the DEA special agent on all charges arising from the OIG’s investigation of false narcotics charges being filed against numerous defendants. The detective who previously pled guilty to violating an individual’s civil rights was sentenced during this reporting period to 12 weeks of weekend incarceration and 2 years’ probation.
The OIG is reviewing how the DEA’s El Paso Intelligence Center provides intelligence support to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
The DEA’s Clandestine Drug Laboratory Cleanup Program
The OIG is evaluating the DEA’s Clandestine Laboratory Cleanup Program.
The DEA’s Mobile Enforcement Teams
The OIG is assessing the DEA’s design, implementation, and effectiveness of the Mobile Enforcement Teams (MET) program. The DEA deploys MET teams to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement in an effort to disrupt or dismantle violent drug trafficking organizations and gangs.