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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Thomas Harrigan Rumored to be Front Runner for #2 Spot at DEA

Thomas Harrigan/dea photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON —   The rumor mill has  Thomas M. Harrigan, chief of DEA operations, as the  front runner for the number two spot in the agency, according to people familiar with the situation.

The number two spot was held by Michele Leonhart, who has been acting head of the agency, and has been nominated for the permanent spot by President Obama.  On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee gave  her nomination the nod. She must still be confirmed by the full Senate.

The DEA declined comment on Wednesday on the number two spot in the agency.

In the past several months, other names that have surfaced for the number two spot include Anthony Placido, chief of intelligence, and John P. Gilbride, head of the N.Y. DEA.  However,  Placido has now opted to retire.

John Gilbride

Harrigan, who joined the DEA in 1987, heads up all domestic and foreign offices as well the Special Operations Division, the Aviation Division, and the Office of Diversion Control. He was appointed to the post in 2008.

Gilbride was appointed head of the N.Y. DEA in 2005. Prior to that, he headed up the Detroit office.

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