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Tag: DEA

DEA Supervisor Busted in ‘Improper Personal Relationship’ with Confidential Source

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A DEA supervisor was involved in an “improper personal relationship” with a confidential source, taking the source on dates and making unjustified payments to the source, according to a report by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General.

The internal watchdog investigation was prompted by a tip from the DEA’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which said the unnamed supervisor “caused false statements to be made to justify” payments to the source, The Hill first reported.

The report also states the supervisor took the source on dates using a government vehicle, which is a violation of DEA policy. The supervisor also shared nonpublic information about personnel issues.

“The OIG concluded that the GS violated DEA policy and federal law when the GS approved payments to the CS without proper justification and when the GS approved a form relating to the CS knowing that it included false statements,” the report states.

Prosecutors declined to charge the supervisor, who the report says violated DEA policy and federal law.

Feds Seize a Record 16.5 Tons of Cocaine Worth $1B+ in Philadelphia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities seized more than $1 billion worth of cocaine at the Philadelphia Port, calling it the largest coke bust in the history of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the third largest in the U.S.

The DEA bust netted 16.5 tons of cocaine from seven shipping containers found in a cargo ship docked at the Packer Marine Terminal, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Federal authorities arrested two members of the crew, Ivan Durasevic and Fonofaavae Tiasag.
Authorities said the ship appears to have originated from Chile and traveled to Peru, Columbia and Panama.

“This amount of cocaine could kill millions – MILLIONS – of people,” Philadelphia-based U.S. Attorney William McSwain said on Twitter, “My Office is committed to keeping our borders secure and streets safe from deadly narcotics.”

Public Invited to Interact with DEA Special Agents During Lecture Series

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a special agent for the DEA?

The DEA Museum in Arlington, Va., is offering the public an opportunity to hear from several special agents as part of a lecture series Tuesday. They will discuss who they are and what they do.

The event is free. Register at EventBrite.com. Can’t make it? The event will be live-streamed.

Speaking during the lecture series are Steve Fraga, who works with law enforcement counterparts in South America and Central America; Michelle Spahn, who serves as supervisory special agent and DEA 360 strategy coordinator; and Amador Martinez, who works on a number of assignments at DEA headquarters.

According to the event page:

Special Agents are on the front line for drug law enforcement in America and around the world. DEA’s goal is to eliminate illegal drug distribution, prosecute traffickers and destroy the financial infrastructure of these organizations. As the federal government’s premier drug law enforcement agency, our mission has never been so important. Agents are prepared for innumerable tasks including facilitating informant contacts, making drug arrests, community outreach, and international diplomacy.

Special Agents must maintain many skills to perform in less than ideal and often high pressure situations. While in the field, agents may investigate and help prosecute major violators of controlled substance laws, and partner with federal, state, local, and foreign officials in managing drug intelligence programs. Agents are often identified as the people who arrest and search subjects and seize assets connected to illicit drug trafficking, but they are also responsible for collecting and preparing evidence and performing other judicial functions. DEA Special Agents have a long-standing history in combating the critical problems of drug trafficking.

The event is from 11 a.m. to noon in the auditorium of DEA headquarters at 700 Army Navy Dr., Arlington, Va.

For more information, call the DEA Museum at (202) 307-3463.

Mexican Police Arrest Cartel Member Accused in 1985 Torture, Murder of DEA Agent

Ezequiel Godinez Cervantes is in custody.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Mexican police arrested a 77-year-old man accused in the 1985 torturing and killing of DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Salazar.

The arrest of Ezequiel Godinez Cervantes is major break in what was the first time a cartel had murdered a DEA agent.

DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

The FBI tipped off Mexican authorities that Godinez had crossed the border.

“The killing of an American agent on foreign soil was a huge game changer for the United States,” Gretchen Von Helms, a criminal defense attorney who has no ties to the case, told NBC 7 San Diego. “They were obviously very interested in protecting their agents down there and at the time the DEA operated in Mexico much like it was in the United States. You didn’t believe that you could be killed.”

Camarena was working undercover in February 1985 when he disappeared. His body was found a month later on a ranch in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Guadalajara Cartel accused the agent of taking down a marijuana plantation.

“His name has morphed into a symbol of the drug wars between the United States and Mexico,” Von Helms told NBC 7.

Camarena was depicted in the Netflix show “Narcos: Mexico.”

Godinez, who also is accused of killing two Americans he mistook for DEA agents, was handed over to immigration officials for planned extradition to the U.S., where he will be charged.

Feds Consider Classifying Fentanyl As Weapon of Mass Destruction

File photo of pills laced with fentanyl.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Fentanyl is so toxic and lethal that the Department of Homeland Security is considering classifying it as a weapon of mass destruction.

The powerful opioid was responsible for 30,000 overdose deaths in 2017, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The new designation would authorize customs officials and the FBI to inspect more shipments and develop detection tools, The Times reports. Prosecutors also would have more leverage in their fight against the opioid crisis.

Earlier this year, customs officials in Nogales found 254 pounds of fentanyl hidden among cucumbers inside an 18-wheeler. It was the largest fentanyl seizure ever recorded at a port of entry.

DEA Agent Accused of Tapping Sheriff’s Deputy on the Head During DUI Stop

Agent taps the sheriff’s deputy on the head.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A DEA undercover agent in Florida is accused of tapping a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy on the head during a DUI stop last December, the Palm Beach Post reports.

The agent apparently became frustrated during a field sobriety test.

“You’re under arrest for DUI,” PBSO deputy Patrick Zeitz said. Then, “You’re lucky I’m not charging you with something stupid like Batt-Leo.”  Batt-Leo is battery on a law-enforcement officer, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison, the paper explains.

“You, as somebody who does this profession, should know better,” Zeitz said.

“You’re right,” Brendan D’Arcangelo said. “You’re right, bro.”

The DEA has refused to say whether he is still employed at the agency.

He faces four counts of DUI with damage to property or a person, first-degree misdemeanors each punishable by up to a year in jail. A plea conference is set for April 5.

The paper reports that D’Arcangelo’s pickup slammed into two vehicles stopped at a red light. No one was seriously injured.

Ex-DEA Official: Sean Penn Should Be Behind Bars for ‘El Chapo’ Stunt

Sean Penn and “El Chapo,” via Twitter.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Jack Riley, the former number 2 guy at the DEA, has never been one to mince words. In this case, he’s got some strong ones for actor Sean Penn. He thinks the actor should be behind bars for interfering in the apprehension of the drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

“Oh, my God! If I could get my hands on Sean Penn!” Riley tells the N.Y. Post.  “The people he put at risk because of that stunt. He should be in jail.”

The Post explains:

On Oct. 2, 2015, Mexican marines were finally closing in on the drug lord. They had tracked him to a rugged hilltop compound in La Tuna. Just as the order was about to be given to move in, two people inexplicably arrived: Sean Penn and Kate del Castillo, a Mexican soap opera actress who had praised Chapo online. The two were there ostensibly to speak to Guzman about making a film of his life, but Penn later published an infamously softball interview with the kingpin in Rolling Stone.

Fearing the actors would be caught in the crossfire, commanders ordered the marines to stand down. The military waited for the celebrities to leave and, instead of going in on foot, chose to attack by helicopter. They lost the element of surprise, and El Chapo escaped again.

In 2015, Riley was named ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year. 

Mistrial Declared in Trial of Ex-DEA Agent in New Orleans

By Allan Lengel
ticklethwire.com

Federal prosecutors have a decision to make whether to go after ex-DEA agent Chad Scott again.

A mistrial was declared Monday in the trial of the former agent after jurors failed to reach a verdict.

Scott is accused in a seven-year conspiracy of stealing property and money taken during investigations, reports WVUE.

According to  NOLA.com, Scott faced two counts of falsification of government records, related to a Ford pickup truck the prosecutors said was “a gift … from a dope dealer,” three counts of obstruction of justice — related to accusations Scott induced false testimony at a hearing and trial for an alleged drug supplier, Jorge Perralta — and two counts of perjury, related to Scott’s testimony in the Perralta case.