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Column: Ex-DEA Official Questions Fast and Furious and IG’s Slow Response

Robert J. Nieves is a partner in the firm BERG Associates. He retired from DEA in 1995 as the chief of international operations.

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By Robert J. Nieves
Washington Times
Anyone who has spent time in Washington knows government runs on process. There is a procedure for everything, and this is especially true in federal law enforcement, where lives are at risk every day. I should know, I spent most of my adult life as an agent with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

As chief of major investigations in the 1990s, I managed DEA’s highly sensitive undercover operations targeting the Medellin and Cali cartels. We routinely coordinated with our colleagues in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and enjoyed great success. Agent safety always was paramount in our discussions, and we were successful, in large part, because we followed procedures for the review of sensitive undercover operations.

Before commencing a sensitive operation, the field office had to prepare an operations plan detailing the activities it intended to pursue and the goals of the operation. Once the op plan was received, it was vetted in DEA headquarters to include coordination with any foreign office impacted by the proposal, the U.S. Embassy and host-nation counterparts.

To read the full column click here.

 


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