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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Assistant Attorney General Christopher A. Wray of the Criminal Division announced today that Douglas C. Furlow, a Special Agent with the Phoenix Field Division of the DEA, pleaded guilty before the Honorable Mary H. Murguia to one count of making a false statement, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1001, during the course of a DEA investigation into whether he called the target of an ongoing investigation to warn him about a pending arrest.

Sentencing has been scheduled for April 25, 2005. Furlow, 43, faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Furlow was indicted by a District of Arizona grand jury on March 17, 2004 on one count of witness tampering, 18 U.S.C. Section 1512(b)(3). That charge stemmed from Furlow’s interference with a pending DEA drug investigation in which an undercover DEA informant was scheduled to meet a suspected drug trafficker to make a drug buy leading to the trafficker’s arrest. To block the investigation, Furlow made a series of unauthorized telephone calls to the trafficker on Aug. 26, 2002 and warned of the informant’s affiliation with law enforcement. Consequently, the DEA’s investigation was aborted, and neither the drug buy nor the arrest could be made that day. The trafficker was later arrested in connection with a different matter.

After being alerted to what happened, Furlow’s DEA supervisor began an investigation into whether Furlow called the target. During the course of that investigation, Furlow was asked on Aug. 26, 2002 whether he called the target. Furlow denied doing so. However, cell phone and cell site records establish that Furlow did, in fact, call the trafficker that day. Consequently, after being indicted for witness tampering in 2004, Furlow pleaded guilty today to the false statements charge, thereby admitting that he made a materially false representation to his supervisor when he denied calling the target. Since the incident, Furlow has been on administrative leave from DEA.

This prosecution is being handled by the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., headed by Noel L. Hillman, Chief. The investigation is being conducted by the Tucson Field Office of the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Justice, and the DEA’s Office of Professional Responsibility, Western Field Division.