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The Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) is a United States
United States
federal law enforcement agency under the U.S. Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States. The DEA is the lead agency for domestic enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act, sharing concurrent jurisdiction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
(CBP), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It has sole responsibility for coordinating and pursuing US drug investigations both domestic and abroad.

Contents

1 History and mandate 2 Organization

2.1 Structure 2.2 Special
Special
agents 2.3 Aviation Division 2.4 Special
Special
Response Teams 2.5 Special
Special
Operations Division 2.6 Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program

3 Budget 4 Firearms 5 Impact on the drug trade

5.1 Registration and licensing 5.2 Diversion control system 5.3 MDMA
MDMA
DEA scheduling overturn

6 Criticism

6.1 Costs 6.2 Civil liberties 6.3 Incarceration of Daniel Chong 6.4 Department of Justice Smart on Crime Program 6.5 International 6.6 Special
Special
Operations Division fabricated evidence trails 6.7 Cannabis rescheduling 6.8 Domestic anti-drug advocacy

7 Raids on medical marijuana dispensaries 8 Project Cassandra 9 DEA Museum 10 In popular culture

10.1 DEA agents in fiction

11 See also 12 Notes 13 Further reading 14 External links

History and mandate[edit]

Map of the 21 DEA domestic field divisions: 1. Chicago, 2. Detroit, 3.Atlanta, 4. Dallas, 5. Denver, 6. Boston, 7. El Paso, 8. Houston, 9. Los Angeles, 10. Miami, 11. Newark, 12. New Orleans, 13. New York, 14. Philadelphia, 15. Phoenix, 16. San Diego, 17. San Francisco, 18. Seattle, 19. St. Louis, 20. Caribbean, 21. Washington, D.C.

The Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
was established on July 1, 1973, by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1973, signed by President Richard Nixon on July 28.[4] It proposed the creation of a single federal agency to enforce the federal drug laws as well as consolidate and coordinate the government's drug control activities. Congress accepted the proposal, as they were concerned with the growing availability of drugs.[5] As a result, the Bureau of Narcotics
Narcotics
and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement (ODALE); approximately 600 Special
Special
Agents of the Bureau of Customs, Customs Agency Service, and other federal offices merged to create the DEA.[6] From the early 1970s, DEA headquarters was located at 1405 I ("Eye") Street NW in downtown Washington, D.C. With the overall growth of the agency in the 1980s (owing to the increased emphasis on federal drug law enforcement efforts) and a concurrent growth in the headquarters staff, DEA began to search for a new headquarters location; locations in Arkansas, Mississippi, and various abandoned military bases around the United States
United States
were considered. However, then–Attorney General Edwin Meese
Edwin Meese
determined that the headquarters had to be located in close proximity to the Attorney General's office. Thus, in 1989, the headquarters relocated to 600–700 Army-Navy Drive in the Pentagon City area of Arlington, Virginia, near the Metro station with the same name.[7] On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh
Timothy McVeigh
attacked the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City
because it housed regional offices for the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and DEA, all of which had carried out raids that he viewed as unjustified intrusions on the rights of the people;[8] this attack caused the deaths of two DEA employees, one task force member, and two contractors in the Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City
bombing. Subsequently, the DEA headquarters complex was classified as a Level IV installation under United States
United States
federal building security standards, meaning it was to be considered a high-risk law enforcement target for terrorists.[9] Security measures include hydraulic steel roadplates to enforce standoff distance from the building, metal detectors, and guard stations.[10] In February 2003, the DEA established a Digital Evidence Laboratory within its Office of Forensic Sciences.[11] Organization[edit]

Two DEA agents in a shoot house exercise.

The DEA is headed by an Administrator of Drug Enforcement appointed by the President of the United States
United States
and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The Administrator reports to the Attorney General through the Deputy Attorney General.[12] The Administrator is assisted by a Deputy Administrator, the Chief of Operations, the Chief Inspector, and three Assistant Administrators (for the Operations Support, Intelligence, and Human Resources Divisions). Other senior staff include the chief financial officer and the Chief Counsel. The Administrator and Deputy Administrator are the only presidentially-appointed personnel in the DEA; all other DEA officials are career government employees. DEA's headquarters is located in Arlington, Virginia
Virginia
across from the Pentagon. It maintains its own DEA Academy located on the Marine Corps Base Quantico at Quantico, Virginia
Virginia
along with the FBI Academy. It maintains 21 domestic field divisions with 221 field offices and 92 foreign offices in 70 countries.[13] With a budget exceeding $2 billion, DEA employs over 10,800 people, including over 4,600 Special Agents and 800 Intelligence Analysts. Becoming a Special Agent or Intelligence Analyst with the DEA is a competitive process. Structure[edit]

Administrator

Deputy Administrator

Human Resource Division

Career Board Board of Professional Conduct Office of Training

Operations Division

Aviation Division Office of Operations Management Special
Special
Operations Division Office of Diversion Control Office of Global Enforcement Office of Financial Operations

Intelligence Division

Office of National Security Intelligence Office of Strategic Intelligence Office of Special
Special
Intelligence El Paso Intelligence Center OCDETF Fusion Center

Financial Management Division

Office of Acquisition and Relocation Management Office of Finance Office of Resource Management

Operational Support Division

Office of Administration Office of Information System Office of Forensic Science Office of Investigative Technology

Inspection Division

Office of Inspections Office of Professional Responsibility Office of Security Programs

Field Divisions and Offices

Special
Special
agents[edit]

DEA agents escort Colombian drug lord Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela
Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela
after being extradited to the United States
United States
in 2005

As of 2017 there were 4,650 special agents employed by the Drug Enforcement Administration. DEA agents' starting salary is $49,746–$55,483. After four years working as an agent, the salary jumps to above $92,592.[14] After receiving a conditional offer of employment, recruits must then complete a 19-week rigorous training which includes lessons in firearms proficiency (including basic marksmanship), weapons safety, tactical shooting, and deadly-force decision training. In order to graduate, students must maintain an academic average of 80 percent on academic examinations, pass the firearms-qualification test, successfully demonstrate leadership and sound decision-making in practical scenarios, and pass rigorous physical-task tests. Upon graduation, recruits earn the title of DEA Special
Special
Agent. The DEA excludes from consideration job applicants who have a history of any use of narcotics or illicit drugs. Investigation usually includes a polygraph test for special-agent, diversion-investigator, and intelligence research specialist positions.

Applicants who are found, through investigation or personal admission, to have experimented with or used narcotics or dangerous drugs, except those medically prescribed, will not be considered for employment with the Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA). Exceptions to this policy may be made for applicants who admit to limited youthful and experimental use of marijuana. Such applicants may be considered for employment if there is no evidence of regular, confirmed usage and the full-field background investigation and results of the other steps in the process are otherwise favorable.[15]

The DEA's relatively firm stance on this issue contrasts with that of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which in 2005 considered relaxing its hiring policy relevant to individual drug-use history.[16]

DEA Aviation Division logo

Aviation Division[edit] The DEA Aviation Division or Office of Aviation Operations (OA) (formerly Aviation Section) is an airborne division based in Fort Worth Alliance Airport, Texas. The current OA fleet consists of 106 aircraft and 124 DEA pilots.[17] The DEA shares a communications system with the Department of Defense for communication with state and regional enforcement independent of the Department of Justice and police information systems and is coordinated by an information command center called the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) near El Paso, Texas. Special
Special
Response Teams[edit]

DEA agents burning hashish seized in Operation Albatross in Afghanistan, 2008.

Rapid Response Teams (RRT) (Previously known as Foreign-Deployed Advisory and Support Teams (FAST)) was decommissioned by DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenburg on March 2017 via memorandum. DEA officially created and standardized its Special
Special
Response Team (SRT) program in 2016 to address higher risk tactical operations in the field. DEA mandates that each major domestic office maintains an operational Special
Special
Response Team. The SRT Certification Course (SCC) consists of 11 days of SRT Basic and 5 days of SRT Advanced at U.S. Army Base Ft. A.P. Hill in Virginia. The SCC cadre are former operators from the DEA RRTs best and most seasoned agents. The training responsibility for the SRT was transferred to the DEA Office of Training to a newly created training unit with former members of RRT. The SCC course trains SRT candidates in team movement, high-risk entry, tactical weapons proficiency, and principles of dynamic operations. Some of the SRT missions consist of high-risk arrests, vehicle assault, specialized surveillance, custody of high-profile individuals, dignitary and witness protection, tactical surveillance and interdiction, advanced breaching, tactical training to other police units, and urban and rural fugitive searches. In the past, DEA had other tactical teams like the High-risk Entry Apprehension Teams (HEAT) in some Field Divisions,and Operation Snowcap Teams (Predecessor of FAST). The teams administered by the Mobile Enforcement Section, the Mobile Enforcement Teams (MET) and Regional Enforcement Teams (RET), were mobile investigative units intended to deploy resources to state and local agencies (MET) or DEA Field Divisions (RET) in need of assistance with a particular investigation or trafficking group. These programs ended in the early 2000's. Special
Special
Operations Division[edit] The DEA Special
Special
Operations Division (SOD) is a division within the DEA, which forwards information from wiretaps, intercepts and databases from various sources to federal agents and local law enforcement officials. The SOD came under scrutiny following the 2013 mass surveillance disclosures.[18] Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program[edit] The Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP) began funding eradication programs in Hawaii and California in 1979. The program rapidly expanded to include programs in 25 states by 1982. By 1985, all 50 States were participating in the DCE/SP.[19] In 2015, the DCE/SP was responsible for the eradication of 3,932,201 cultivated outdoor cannabis plants and 325,019 indoor plants for a total of 4,257,220 marijuana plants. In addition, the DCE/SP accounted for 6,278 arrests and the seizure in excess of $29.7 million of cultivator assets.[20] In 2014, the DEA spent $73,000 to eradicate marijuana plants in Utah, though they did not find a single marijuana plant.[21] Federal documents obtained by journalist Drew Atkins detail the DEA's continuing efforts to spend upwards of $14 million per year to completely eradicate marijuana within the United States
United States
despite the government funding allocation reports showing that the Marijuana Eradication Program often leads to the discovery of no marijuana plants.[22] This prompted twelve members of Congress to push for the elimination of the program and use the money instead to fund domestic-violence prevention and deficit-reduction programs.[23] Budget[edit] The 1998 DEA budget was directed toward three of five major goals of U.S. drug eradication:[24]

Breaking foreign and domestic sources of supply ($1.0149 billion) via domestic cannabis eradication/suppression; domestic enforcement; research, engineering, and technical operations; the Foreign Cooperative Investigations Program; intelligence operations (financial intelligence, operational intelligence, strategic intelligence, and the El Paso Intelligence Center); and drug and chemical diversion control. Reduction of drug-related crime and violence ($181.8 million) funding state and local teams and mobile enforcement teams. Demand reduction ($3.3 million) via anti-legalization education, training for law enforcement personnel, youth programs, support for community-based coalitions, and sports drug awareness programs.

Firearms[edit] DEA agents' primary service weapons are the Glock 17
Glock 17
and Glock 19, Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun, and Rock River Arms LAR-15 semi-automatic carbine in 5.56X45 mm NATO. Agents may also qualify to carry a firearm listed on an authorized carry list maintained and updated by the Firearms Training Unit (FTU), Quantico, VA. Special
Special
Agents may qualify with their own personally-owned handguns, rifle, and shotgun and certain handguns are allowed to be used with permission from the FTU. Agents are required to attend tactical and firearms proficiency training quarterly, and to qualify with their handguns twice per year. The DEA has one of the most challenging handgun qualification courses in all of federal law enforcement. Failure to achieve a passing qualification score is the reason for most Academy dismissals and special agents in the field may have their authority to carry a firearm revoked for failure to qualify. Basic Agent Trainees (BATs) who fail the initial pistol qualification course of fire are placed in a remedial program to receive additional training. In remedial training, BATs receive 5 extra two-hour range sessions, for a total of 10 more hours of live fire training on their issued sidearm, in order to further aid them in helping pass the pistol qualification. After passing their pistol qualification, Basic Agent Trainees move on to receive formal training on the DEA's standard-issue long guns and will continue to frequently shoot their agency-issued sidearm that they have already qualified on. In all, BATs receive a total of 32 firearms training sessions, when combining classroom instruction, gear issue, and pistol, rifle, and shotgun live fire training at the DEA Academy. They will shoot the qualification courses for all 3 weapons systems during their initial training, but must pass their final qualification attempts only on their Glock pistols in order to become a Special
Special
Agent. Trained to use shoulder-fired weapons, the Rock River LAR-15, adopted in 2004, and LWRC is the standard carbine of DEA. The Colt 9mm SMG
Colt 9mm SMG
was previously issued, but no longer in service. Agents are required to complete a two-day (16-hour) proficiency course in order to carry a shoulder weapon on enforcement operations. They may carry a Rock River LAR-15 or LWRC M6A2 carbine as authorized, personally-owned weapons, provided they meet the same training and proficiency standards. Impact on the drug trade[edit] Main article: Illegal drug trade In 2005, the DEA seized a reported $1.4 billion in drug trade related assets and $477 million worth of drugs.[25] According to the White House's Office of Drug Control Policy, the total value of all of the drugs sold in the U.S. is as much as $64 billion a year,[26] giving the DEA an efficiency rate of less than 1% at intercepting the flow of drugs into and within the U.S. Critics of the DEA (including recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, Milton Friedman, prior to his death a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) point out that demand for illegal drugs is inelastic; the people who are buying drugs will continue to buy them with little regard to price, often turning to crime to support expensive drug habits when the drug prices rise. One recent study by the DEA showed that the price of cocaine and methamphetamine is the highest it has ever been while the quality of both is at its lowest point ever.[27] This is contrary to a collection of data done by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which states that purity of street drugs has increased, while price has decreased.[28][29][30] In contrast to the statistics presented by the DEA, the United States
United States
Department of Justice released data in 2003 showing that purity of methamphetamine was on the rise.[31] Registration and licensing[edit]

"Operation Somalia Express" was an 18-month investigation which included the coordinated takedown of a 44-member international narcotics-trafficking organization responsible for smuggling more than 25 tons of khat from the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
to the United States.

The DEA has a registration system in place which authorizes anyone to manufacture, import, export, and distribute by filing DEA form 225 along with medical professionals, researchers and manufacturers access to "Schedule I" drugs, as well as Schedules 2, 3, 4 and 5. Authorized registrants apply for and, if granted, receive a "DEA number". An entity that has been issued a DEA number is authorized to manufacture (drug companies), distribute, research, prescribe (doctors, pharmacists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, etc.) or dispense (pharmacy) a controlled substance. Diversion control system[edit] Many problems associated with drug abuse are the result of legitimately-manufactured controlled substances being diverted from their lawful purpose into the illicit drug traffic. Many of the analgesics, depressants and stimulants manufactured for legitimate medical use can often carry potential for dependence or abuse. Therefore, those scheduled substances have been brought under legal control for prevention and population safety. The goal of controls is to ensure that these "controlled substances" are readily available for medical use, while preventing their distribution for illicit distribution and non-medical use. This can be a difficult task, sometimes providing difficulty for legitimate patients and healthcare providers while circumventing illegal trade and consumption of scheduled drugs. Under federal law, all businesses which manufacture or distribute controlled drugs, all health professionals entitled to dispense, administer or prescribe them, and all pharmacies entitled to fill prescriptions must register with the DEA. Registrants must comply with a series of regulatory requirements relating to drug security, records accountability, and adherence to standards. All of these investigations are conducted by Diversion Investigators (DIs). DIs conduct investigations to uncover and investigate suspected sources of diversion and take appropriate civil and administrative actions. Prescription Database Management Programs (PDMP) aid and facilitate investigation and surveillance.[citation needed] MDMA
MDMA
DEA scheduling overturn[edit] In 1985 MDMA
MDMA
and its analogues were under review by the American government as a drug for potential of abuse. During this time, several public hearings on the new drug were held by the DEA. Based on all of the evidence and facts presented at the time, the DEA's administrative law judge did not see MDMA
MDMA
and its analogues as being of large concern and recommended that they be placed in Schedule III. The DEA administrator, expressing concern for abuse potential, overruled the recommendation and ruled that MDMA
MDMA
be put in Schedule I, the Controlled Substances Act's most restrictive category.[32][33][34] Criticism[edit]

Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
25th Anniversary badge

The DEA has been criticized for placing highly restrictive schedules on a few drugs which researchers in the fields of pharmacology and medicine regard as having medical uses. Critics assert that some such decisions are motivated primarily by political factors stemming from the U.S. government's War on Drugs, and that many benefits of such substances remain unrecognized due to the difficulty of conducting scientific research. A counterpoint to that criticism is that under the Controlled Substances Act
Controlled Substances Act
it is the Department of Health and Human Services (through the Food and Drug Administration
Food and Drug Administration
and the National Institute on Drug Abuse), not the DEA, which has the legal responsibility to make scientific and medical determinations with respect to drug scheduling; no drug can be scheduled if the Secretary of Health and Human Services recommends against it on a scientific or medical basis, and no drug can be placed in the most restrictive schedule (Schedule I) if DHHS finds that the drug has an accepted medical use. Jon Gettman's essay Science and the End of Marijuana Prohibition describes the DEA as "a fall guy to deflect responsibility from the key decision-makers" and opines, "HHS calls the shots when it comes to marijuana prohibition, and the cops at DEA and the general over at ONDCP
ONDCP
take the heat."[35] The DEA is also criticized for focusing on the operations from which it can seize the most money,[36] namely the organized cross-border trafficking of marijuana. Some individuals contemplating the nature of the DEA's charter advise that, based on danger, the DEA should be most focused on cocaine. Others suggest that, based on opiate popularity, the DEA should focus much more on prescription opiates used recreationally, which critics contend comes first before users switch to heroin. Practitioners who legally prescribe medicine however must possess a valid DEA license. According to federal law the budget of the DEA Diversion Control Program is to be paid by these license fees. In 1984 a three-year license cost $25. In 2009 the fee for a three-year license was $551. Some have likened this approach to license fees unreasonable, "like making pilot licenses support the entire Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) budget." Costs[edit] The total budget of the DEA from 1972 to 2014, according to the agency website, was $50.6 billion. The agency had 11,055 employees in 2014. For the year 2014 the average cost per arrest made was $97,325.[37] Civil liberties[edit] Others, such as former Republican congressman Ron Paul, the Cato Institute,[38] The Libertarian Party[39] and the Drug Policy Alliance[40] criticize the very existence of the DEA and the War on Drugs as both hostile, and contrary, to the concept of civil liberties by arguing that anybody should be free to put any substance they choose into their own bodies for any reason, particularly when legal drugs such as alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs are also open to abuse, and that any harm caused by a drug user or addict to the general public is a case of conflicting civil rights. Recurrently, billions of dollars are spent yearly, focusing largely on criminal law and demand reduction campaigns, which has resulted in the imprisonments of thousands of U.S. citizens.[41] Demand for recreational drugs is somewhat static as the market for most illegal drugs has been saturated, forcing the cartels to expand their market to Europe and other areas than the United States.[citation needed] United States
United States
federal law registers cannabis as a Schedule I drug,[42] yet it is common for illicit drugs such as cannabis to be widely available in most urban, suburban, and even rural areas in the United States, which leads drug legalization proponents to claim that drug laws have little effect on those who choose not to obey them, and that the resources spent enforcing drug laws are wasted. As it relates to the DEA specifically, the vast majority of individual arrests stemming from illegal drug possession and distribution are narrow and more local in scope and are made by local law enforcement officers, while the DEA tends to focus on larger, interstate and international distribution networks and the higher-ranking members of such organizations in addition to operating in conjunction with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies along U.S. borders.[citation needed] Some groups advocate legalization of certain controlled substances under the premise that doing so may reduce the volume of illicit trafficking and associated crime as well as yield a valuable tax source, although some of the results of drug legalization have raised doubt about some of these beliefs. For example, marijuana is now available as a palliative agent, in Canada, with a medical prescription. Yet 86% of Canadians with HIV/AIDS, eligible for a prescription, continue to obtain marijuana illegally (AIDS Care. 2007 Apr;19(4):500-6.) However, this could be due to the availability or quality of illegal cannabis compared to provisions by government sources. Bureaucratic impediments may also discourage patients from actually attempting to receive it from the government. Incarceration of Daniel Chong[edit] An April 2012 DEA raid on a California home led to the incarceration of Daniel Chong for several days under conditions of neglect. The 23-year-old student attending the University of California, San Diego was taken into custody along with eight other people when the DEA executed a raid on a suspected MDMA
MDMA
distribution operation at a residence that he was visiting to celebrate the April 20 cannabis "holiday" known as "420".[43][44][45] According to Chong, the DEA agents questioned him and told him that he could go home, one even offering him a ride home, but instead he was transferred to a holding cell and confined for five days without any food or water, although Chong said he ingested a powdery substance that was left for him, which was later found to be methamphetamine.[44] After five days and two failed suicide attempts, DEA agents found Chong. He was taken to the hospital, where he spent three days in intensive care, because his kidneys were close to failing. No criminal charges were filed against Chong. A DEA spokesperson stated that the extended detention was accidental and the acting special agent in charge of the San Diego DEA office issued an apology to Chong. Chong disputes the claim of accidental neglect, saying that DEA personnel ignored his calls for help. His attorney stated an intent to file a claim against the federal government and some members of California's delegation to the Congress called for further investigation of the incident.[44][45][46] Department of Justice Smart on Crime Program[edit] On 12 August 2013, at the American Bar Association's House of Delegates meeting, Attorney General Eric Holder
Eric Holder
announced the "Smart on Crime" program, which is "a sweeping initiative by the Justice Department that in effect renounces several decades of tough-on-crime anti-drug legislation and policies."[47][48] Holder said the program "will encourage U.S. attorneys to charge defendants only with crimes "for which the accompanying sentences are better suited to their individual conduct, rather than excessive prison terms more appropriate for violent criminals or drug kingpins…"[47][48] Running through Holder's statements, the increasing economic burden of over-incarceration was stressed.[47][48] As of August 2013[update], the Smart on Crime program is not a legislative initiative but an effort "limited to the DOJ's policy parameters."[47][48] International[edit] David Coleman Headley (born Daood Sayed Gilani; 30 June 1960) who was working as an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) simultaneously made periodic trips to Pakistan for LeT training and was one of main conspirator in 2008 Mumbai attacks
2008 Mumbai attacks
On January 24, 2013, Headley, then 52 years old, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber of the United States
United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago to 35 years in prison for his part in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in which at least 164 victims (civilians and security personnel) and nine attackers were killed. Among the dead were 28 foreign nationals from 10 countries.[49][50][51][52][53] One attacker was captured.[50] The bodies of many of the dead hostages showed signs of torture or disfigurement.[54] A number of those killed were notable figures in business, media, and security services.[55][56][57] The DEA was accused in 2005 by the Venezuelan government of collaborating with drug traffickers, after which President Hugo Chávez decided to end any collaboration with the agency. In 2007, after the U.S. State Department criticized Venezuela
Venezuela
in its annual report on drug trafficking, the Venezuelan Minister of Justice reiterated the accusations: "A large quantity of drug shipments left the country through that organization.We were in the presence of a new drug cartel."[58] In his 1996 series of articles and subsequent 1999 book, both titled Dark Alliance, journalist Gary Webb asserts that the DEA helped harbor Nicaraguan drug traffickers. Notably, they allowed Oscar Danilo Blandón political asylum in the USA despite knowledge of his cocaine trafficking organization.[59] The government of Bolivia
Bolivia
has also taken similar steps to ban the DEA from operating in the country. In September 2008, Bolivia
Bolivia
drastically reduced diplomatic ties with the United States, withdrawing its ambassador from the US and expelling the US ambassador from Bolivia. This occurred soon after Bolivian president Evo Morales
Evo Morales
expelled all DEA agents from the country due to a revolt in the traditional coca-growing Chapare Province. The Bolivian government claimed that it could not protect the agents, and Morales further accused the agency of helping incite the violence, which claimed 30 lives. National agencies were to take over control of drug management.[60] Three years later, Bolivia
Bolivia
and the US began to restore full diplomatic ties. However, Morales maintained that the DEA would remain unwelcome in the country, characterising it as an affront to Bolivia's "dignity and sovereignty".[61] In the Netherlands, both the Dutch government and the DEA have been criticized for violations of Dutch sovereignty in drug investigations. According to Peter R. de Vries, a Dutch journalist present at the 2005 trial of Henk Orlando Rommy, the DEA has admitted to activities on Dutch soil. Earlier, then Minister of Justice Piet Hein Donner, had denied to the Dutch parliament that he had given permission to the DEA for any such activities, which would have been a requirement by Dutch law in order to allow foreign agents to act within the territory.[62] Special
Special
Operations Division fabricated evidence trails[edit] In 2013 Reuters
Reuters
published a report about the DEA's Special
Special
Operations Division (SOD) stating that it conceals where an investigative trail about a suspect truly originates from and creates a parallel set of evidence given to prosecutors, judges, and defense lawyers. This DEA program mainly affects common criminals such as drug dealers. The concealment of evidence means the defendant is unaware how his or her investigation began and will be unable to request a review possible sources of exculpatory evidence. Exculpatory evidence may include biased witnesses, mistakes, or entrapment. Nancy Gertner, a former federal judge who had served from 1994 to 2011 and a Harvard Law School professor, stated that "It is one thing to create special rules for national security. Ordinary crime is entirely different. It sounds like they are phonying up investigations."[63] Andrew O'Hehir of Salon wrote that "It’s the first clear evidence that the “special rules” and disregard for constitutional law that have characterized the hunt for so-called terrorists have crept into the domestic criminal justice system on a significant scale."[64] Cannabis rescheduling[edit] A 2014 report by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies and the Drug Policy Alliance
Drug Policy Alliance
accuses the DEA of unfairly blocking the removal of cannabis from Schedule I. The report alleges that the methods employed by the DEA to achieve this include: delaying rescheduling petitions for years, overruling DEA administrative law judges, and systematically impeding scientific research.[65] The DEA continues to refuse the removal of cannabis from Schedule I despite wide-scale acceptance of the substance among the medical community, including 76% of doctors, for the treatment of various disease.[66][67][68] Domestic anti-drug advocacy[edit]

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The DEA, in addition to enforcement, also regularly engage in advocacy, specifically against rescheduling marijuana, by publishing policy-based papers on certain drugs. Some[who?]have criticized the DEA for using tax dollars in what they call an attempt to change public opinion, which they call an overreach from the scope of the agency's job of enforcement, and that by releasing such non-peer-reviewed reports is a transparent attempt to justify its own activities. They have claimed that since the DEA is not, by law, an advocacy group, but a legal enforcement group, that those press releases are tantamount to what they consider domestic propaganda.[citation needed] Raids on medical marijuana dispensaries[edit]

People protesting medical marijuana raids

The DEA has taken a particularly strong stance on enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act
Controlled Substances Act
on persons and organizations acting within state laws that allow medical cannabis cultivation and distribution.[69] DEA agency executive, Chuck Rosenberg has made negative statements against patients who use medical marijuana. Chuck Rosenberg has mentioned that he considers medical marijuana to be a "joke." As a reaction against the negative statements made by Chuck Rosenberg towards medical marijuana, an international online petition has been formed. More than 159,737 signatures have been gathered globally as a means to protest against DEA agency executive, Chuck Rosenberg. The online petition has been formed with the intention that Chuck Rosenberg will be fired or forced to resign as head of DEA. The petition is titled, "Petition - Trump: Fire DEA Head Chuck Rosenberg for Calling Medical Marijuana
Marijuana
a "Joke". The petition to fire Chuck Rosenberg is posted on Change.org.[70] "The people of California and the County of Santa Cruz have overwhelmingly supported the provision of medical marijuana for people who have serious illnesses," county Supervisor Mardi Wormhoudt told the San Francisco Gate. "These people (blocking the road) are people with AIDS and cancer and other grave illnesses. To attack these people, who work collectively and have never taken money for their work, is outrageous."[71][72] As a result, the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, with the City and County of Santa Cruz, had sued the DEA, Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and the ONDCP. The most recent court decision rejected the government's motion to dismiss, which allowed discovery to move forward. The American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
hailed the decision as "a first-of-its-kind ruling."[73] More recently, the DEA has escalated its enforcement efforts on the recently proliferated Los Angeles area medical cannabis collectives. On July 25, 2007, the DEA raided the California Patients Group, Hollywood Compassionate Collective, and Natural Hybrid (NHI Caregivers) in Hollywood, California.[74] Earlier that day, the operators of those collectives participated in a press conference with LA City Council members announcing the City's intention to regulate the collectives and asking the DEA to halt raids on collectives while the City drafted regulations.[citation needed] The dispensary operator of Natural Hybrid (NHI Caregivers) was forced to close down the collective due to the tremendous loss caused by the DEA conducted joint task force raid against them.[citation needed] Project Cassandra[edit] In 2008 the Special
Special
Operations part of the agency launched a multi-agency effort named Project Cassandra[75] to investigate the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah
Hezbollah
for illicit drug trafficking and terrorist financing. The investigation identified an Iranian cell in the U.S. which worked in concert with a Lebanese bank called the Lebanese Canadian Bank to launder money using the purchase of used automobiles exported to Africa. Project Cassandra also identified hemispheric drug syndicates involved in cocaine trafficking in order to finance Hezbollah
Hezbollah
terrorism. The Department of Justice issued several sealed indictments, but declined to seize, prosecute, extradite, or further investigate likely targets of these alleged foreign criminal activities operating in the United States
United States
due to White House diplomatic objectives involving the international nuclear agreement with Iran.[76] On December 22, 2017, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Jeff Sessions
ordered a review of prior cases in the project.[77] DEA Museum[edit] Main article: Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
Museum and Visitors Center In 1999, the DEA opened the Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
Museum in Arlington, Virginia. The original permanent exhibit – Illegal Drugs in America: A Modern History – remains the museum's centerpiece. The exhibit features "the more than 150 year history of drugs and drug abuse and the DEA," including a considerable collection of drug paraphernalia and an image of a smiling drug vendor under the heading "Jimmy's Joint".[78] In popular culture[edit] DEA agents in fiction[edit]

Agent Phil Broker (Jason Statham) in the film Homefront Agent Robert "Bobby" Trench (Denzel Washington) in the film 2 Guns Agent Sean Vetter (Vin Diesel) in the film A Man Apart Agent Dennis Cain (John Travolta) in the film Savages Agent Norman Stansfield
Norman Stansfield
(Gary Oldman) in the film Léon: The Professional Agent Ty Moncrief (Gary Busey) in the film Drop Zone Agent John "Breacher" Wharton (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in the film Sabotage Agents Hank Schrader
Hank Schrader
(Dean Norris) and Steven Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada) in the television show Breaking Bad Agent Paige Arkin (Serinda Swan) in the television show Graceland Agent Peter Scottson (Martin Donovan) in the television show Weeds Agent Art Keller in author Don Winslow's book The Power of the Dog Agents Steve Murphy and Javier Peña in Netflix
Netflix
series Narcos Agent John Hatcher (Steven Seagal) in Marked for Death Agent Talia Del Campo (Mercedes Mason) in NCIS: Los Angeles

See also[edit]

Government of the United States
United States
portal Law enforcement/Law enforcement topics portal

Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad
Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad
(former Colombian counterpart) Diplomatic Security Service
Diplomatic Security Service
(DSS), U.S. State Department Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) Main Directorate for Drugs Control
Main Directorate for Drugs Control
(Russian counterpart) Federal Drug Control Service (Russian former counterpart) Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) List of United States
United States
federal law enforcement agencies Operation Panama Express Regulation of therapeutic goods in the United States U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
(CBP)

Notes[edit]

^ "U. S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SUMMARY OF BUDGET AUTHORITY BY APPROPRIATION" (PDF).  ^ "DEA Leadership". dea.gov. Retrieved 18 March 2018.  ^ "Justice Department names new acting head of drug enforcement agency". October 3, 2017 – via Reuters.  ^ "Drug Enforcement Administration: Drug Abuse Prevention Service Award" (PDF). Learning for Life. Retrieved October 9, 2016.  ^ "History of the DEA: 1970 – 1975". deamuseum.org DEA museum. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved April 30, 2007.  ^ " Marijuana
Marijuana
Timeline". Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved April 23, 2007.  ^ "DEA History Book, 1985–1990". United States
United States
Department of Justice. Archived from the original on June 22, 2008. Retrieved August 31, 2011.  ^ Michel, Lou; Herbeck, Dan. American Terrorist.  ^ Smith, Joseph (2002). "Anti-Terrorism: Criteria, Tools & Technology" (PDF). Protective Glazing. Applied Research Associates, Inc. Retrieved 1 October 2014.  ^ "The DEA museum Cannabis Culture Magazine". Cannabisculture.com. December 15, 2009. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2011.  ^ "1999–2003". DEA. Archived from the original on May 26, 2007. Retrieved June 3, 2007.  ^ "Title 28, C.F.R., Part 0.102" (PDF). Department of Justice. p. 57. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 10, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2007.  ^ "DEA Office Locations". Drug Enforcement Administration. Archived from the original on July 22, 2008. Retrieved July 9, 2008.  ^ "Top Careers for Students of Criminology and Criminal Justice". Portland State University. Retrieved 30 September 2014.  ^ "Drug Questionnaire". U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Archived from the original on May 13, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2007.  ^ "FBI may relax hiring policy on drug use". MSNBC. October 9, 2005. Retrieved August 31, 2011.  ^ "Inside the DEA > DEA Programs > Aviation". U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Archived from the original on September 20, 2008. Retrieved September 13, 2008.  ^ John Shiffman (August 5, 2013). "How DEA program differs from recent NSA revelations". Reuters. Retrieved August 5, 2013.  ^ "DEA / Cannabis Eradication". www.dea.gov. Retrieved 2017-06-07.  ^ "DEA / Cannabis Eradication". www.dea.gov. Retrieved 2017-06-08.  ^ "Analysis The DEA spent $73,000 to eradicate marijuana plants in Utah. It didn't find any". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-06-07.  ^ "U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
- FY 2016 Performance Budget Congressional Submission" (PDF). www.justice.gov.  ^ "Congress Wants the DEA to Prove Marijuana
Marijuana
Eradication Program Is Necessary". Congressman Ted Lieu. 2016-10-28. Retrieved 2017-06-07.  ^ "IV. Agency Budget Summaries: Drug Enforcement Administration". Office of National Drug Control Policy.  ^ " Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
Highlights Year's Accomplishments". dea.gov. December 28, 2005. Retrieved 2007-04-28.  ^ "What America's Users Spend on Illegal Drugs 1988–1998". Office of National Drug Control Policy. December 2000. Archived from the original on 2007-03-12. Retrieved 2007-04-28.  ^ "News from DEA, News Releases, 12/11/08". Usdoj.gov. Retrieved 2011-08-31.  ^ Figure 4 Source: ONDCP. 1998 National Drug Control Strategy. Table 20. ^ Figure 5 Source: ONDCP. 1998 National Drug Control Strategy. Table 20. ^ ''Lies, Damn Lies and Drug War Statistics''. Books.google.com. 2010-03-10. ISBN 9780791480670. Retrieved 2011-08-31.  ^ [1] Archived August 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "24 MDMA, Chorles S. Grob and Russell E Polond". Drugtext.org. Archived from the original on September 11, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2011.  ^ Video Documentary: "Hooked – Illegal Drugs and How They Got That Way: LSD, Ecstasy and Raves",The History Channel ^ "Documents "404". MAPS.  ^ [2] Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Policing for Profit: The Drug War's Hidden Economic Agenda". Papers.ssrn.com. January 29, 2007. SSRN 959869 .  Missing or empty url= (help) ^ "DEA Staffing & Budget". Justice.gov. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2014.  ^ Boaz, David; Timothy Lynch (August 12, 2004). "The war on drugs" (PDF). Cato Handbook on Policy. Cato Institute. pp. 253–260. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 15, 2007. Retrieved May 3, 2007.  ^ Libertarian Party. "LIBERTARIAN PARTY PLATFORM".  ^ Drug Policy Alliance. "Mission and Vision". Retrieved May 3, 2007.  ^ "News from DEA, News Releases, 02/10/99". Usdoj.gov. Retrieved August 31, 2011.  ^ "DEA, Drug Scheduling". Usdoj.gov. Retrieved August 31, 2011.  ^ Huus, 'Kari. "Student's ordeal: How was Daniel Chong lost in DEA detention?". MSNBC. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012.  ^ a b c Grieco, Sarah. "DEA Ignored all my Cries: Student". NBC San Diego.  ^ a b Lovett, Ian (May 2, 2012). "California Man's 'Drug Holiday' Becomes Four-Day Nightmare in Holding Cell". The New York Times.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 26, 2014. Retrieved February 20, 2014. , May 1, 2012 ^ a b c d Carter, Terry (12 August 2013). "Sweeping reversal of the War on Drugs
War on Drugs
announced by Atty General Holder". ABA's 560-member policy making House of Delegates. American Bar Association. p. 1. Retrieved 16 August 2013.  ^ a b c d "Smart on Crime: Reforming The Criminal Justice System" (PDF). Remarks to American Bar Association’s Annual Convention in San Francisco, CA. US Department of Justice. August 12, 2013. p. 7. Retrieved 16 August 2013.  ^ "HM announces measures to enhance security" (Press release). Press Information Bureau (Government of India). 11 December 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.  ^ a b Stevens, Andrew; Kapur, Mallika; Shah Singh, Harmeet; Ahmed, Saeed; Sidner, Sara; Vinci, Alessio; Sayah, Reza; Newton, Paula (29 November 2008). "Indian official: Terrorists wanted to kill 5,000". CNN. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2008.  ^ "Indian forces storm Jewish centre". BBC
BBC
News. 27 November 2008. Archived from the original on 28 November 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2008.  ^ "One Japanese killed, another wounded in Mumbai shootings". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 26 November 2008. [dead link] ^ P.S. Suryanarayana (27 November 2008). "Caught in the crossfire, 9 foreign nationals killed". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 27 November 2008.  ^ Krishnakumar P; Vicky Nanjappa (30 November 2008). "Rediff: Doctors shocked at hostages's torture". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2009.  ^ Naughton, Philippe (27 November 2008). "British yachting tycoon Andreas Liveras killed in Bombay terror attacks". The Times. UK. Retrieved 27 November 2008.  ^ "Three top cops die on duty". The Times of India. India. 27 November 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2008.  ^ "Indian victims include financier, journalist, actor's sister, police". CNN. 30 November 2008. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2008.  ^ Christopher Toothaker. " Venezuela
Venezuela
rejects U.S. drug report, accuses DEA of collaborating with traffickers". New County Times. Retrieved March 2, 2007.  ^ Webb, Gary (1999). Dark Alliance. Seven Stories Press. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-888363-93-7.  ^ "Morales: Government will take over for DEA in Bolivia". CNN. November 1, 2008. Archived from the original on October 5, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2012.  ^ "Bolivia's Morales insists no return for US drug agency". BBC. November 8, 2011. Retrieved November 2, 2012.  ^ de Vries, Peter R. (October 2, 2005). "Dossier: De zwarte Cobra". Programma (in Dutch). Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved May 12, 2007.  ^ Shiffman, John; Cooke, Kristina (Aug 5, 2013). "Exclusive: U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans". Reuters. Retrieved Jun 2, 2016.  ^ O'Hehir, Andrew (August 10, 2013). "The NSA-DEA police state tango". Salon. Retrieved June 2, 2016.  ^ "The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding And Rejecting Science". DPA, MAPS. Retrieved 14 June 2014.  ^ Grotenhermen, F; Müller-Vahl, K (Jul 2012). "The therapeutic potential of cannabis and cannabinoids". Deutsches Arzteblatt international. 109 (29–30): 495–501. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2012.0495. PMC 3442177 . PMID 23008748.  ^ Pamplona, FA; Takahashi, RN (Jan 2012). "Psychopharmacology of the endocannabinoids: far beyond anandamide". Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England). 26 (1): 7–22. doi:10.1177/0269881111405357. PMID 21652605.  ^ Adler, Jonathan N.; Colbert, James A. (30 May 2013). "Medicinal Use of Marijuana
Marijuana
— Polling Results". New England Journal of Medicine. 368 (22): e30. doi:10.1056/NEJMclde1305159. PMID 23718175.  ^ "Feds Raid 11 Medical Marijuana
Marijuana
Clinics, DEA Does Not Recognize California Law legalizing medical use of pot". CBS News. Retrieved August 31, 2011.  ^ Rough, Lisa (November 18, 2015). "Petition to Fire DEA Chief Gains Traction". Leafly. Retrieved June 12, 2017.  ^ "Feature: Move to Block DEA Medical Marijuana
Marijuana
Raids Heads for House Floor Vote Next Week". Stopthedrugwar.org. Retrieved August 31, 2011.  ^ "Santa Cruz officials fume over medical pot club bust / DEA arrests founders, confiscates plants". San Francisco Chronicle. September 6, 2002. Retrieved August 31, 2011.  ^ "Federal Court Rules U.S. Government May Not Deliberately Subvert California's Medical Marijuana
Marijuana
Laws". American Civil Liberties Union. August 20, 2008. Retrieved August 31, 2011.  ^ Lee, Martin (2012). "An Industry Emerges: The Rise of Medical Marijuana". Reality Sandwich. Retrieved 1 October 2014.  ^ Meyer, Josh. (18 December 2017). "The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah
Hezbollah
off the hook". Politico website Retrieved 24 December 2017. ^ Meyer, 2017 ^ Hacohen, Hagay and Wilner, Michael. (23 December 2017). "Sessions Orders a Review of Project Cassandra". Jerusalem Post website Retrieved 25 December 2017. ^ "Illegal Drugs in America, a Modern History". DEA Museum Website. Archived from the original on October 24, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

Harry J. Anslinger
Harry J. Anslinger
and Will Oursler (1961), The Murderers: The Story of the Narcotic Gangs, New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy. Edward Jay Epstein (1977), Agency of Fear: Opiates and Political Power in America, New York: Putnam. Wayne Smith (2012), Waffle House Diaries, Chattanooga, TN: Bluehotel Press. "98 Percent of All Domestically Eradicated Marijuana
Marijuana
Is 'Ditchweed,' DEA Admits". NORML. September 7, 2006. Retrieved March 27, 2007.  Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy Rufus King (1972), The Drug Hang-Up: America's Fifty Year Folly Results of America's Drug War

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Drug Enforcement Administration.

Official website Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
in the Federal Register List of former DEA Administrators Office of Diversion Control A response to the DEA web site DEA Watch DrugEnforcementEdu.org Get Smart About Drugs – A DEA Resource for Parents DEA Demand Reduction – Street Smart Prevention DEA Museum

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