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Tag: DEA

DEA Arrests Border Patrol Agent on Drug Possession Charges in Texas

Border Patrol Agent Gregory Dylan Sessions

Border Patrol Agent Gregory Dylan Sessions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent has been arrested and charged on drug possession charges in Texas.

The DEA busted Gregory Dylan Sessions, who posted a $20,000 bond and has been released from jail, MySanAntonio.com reports

Sessions, who is assigned to the Carrizo Springs Station, which is about 80 miles north of Laredo, has worked with the agency for six years.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission, and the overwhelming majority of CBP employees perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe,” read a statement from Customs and Border Protection Spokesman Dennis Smith. “We do not tolerate corruption within our ranks, nor acts which tarnish our agency’s reputation. We fully cooperate with any criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, on or off duty.”

Details of the arrest remain murky. It wasn’t immediately clear what drugs were involved.

Other Stories of Interest

DEA’s Will Glaspy No Stranger to Drug Battle Along Border

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Will Glaspy, who recently took charge of the DEA’s Houston office, is no stranger to the drug battle.

Glaspy has spent more than decade battling drug traffickers along the Texas border, reports Click2Houston.com. He tells the station the Mexican cartels still have a strong presence in the Texas region.

Below is an interview with the station.

Congressional Committee Threatens DEA with Subpoena Over ‘Pill Dumping’

pillsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Growing impatient with the DEA dragging its feet on the opioid epidemic, members of the Energy and Commerce Committee are threatening to subpoena the agency for information on “pill dumping” in West Virginia.

Chairman of the committee, Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., blasted the DEA for its failure to fully respond to a May 8 request for data on drug suppliers sending millions of opioids into the state, the Hill reports

“Enough is enough. Will you, on behalf of the DEA, commit today to producing the documents and information we requested, and soon? Or do we simply need to issue a subpoena? Because we are done waiting,” Walden said to DEA Deputy Assistant Administrator Neil Doherty at a hearing. 

West Virginia has been at the center of the opioid crisis, leading the nation in drug overdose deaths.

Drug suppliers pumped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills into the state in six years, according to an investigation by the Charleston Gazette-Mail. 

DEA Warns Cocaine Is Making a Comeback As Coca Production Rises

Cocaine-jpgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Cocaine is making a comeback.

That’s according to a recently released report by the DEA, which indicated that cocaine use and availability are rebounding, Newsweek reports

The DEA has found that coca production has significantly increased in Columbia, the primary supplier of cocaine in the U.S. since the mid-1990s.

“Average farmer profits increased more than 120 percent between 2012 and 2016,” the report underscores. “A Colombian coca farmer tending a mature quarter-hectare field realized some $1,200 in profits in 2016. This rise in potential profits provides the coca farmers with a strong economic incentive to grow more coca.”

Joe Rannazzisi, the Former DEA Official and Whistleblower Who Fought the Abusive Drug Firms

Joe Rannazzisi  on "60 Minutes"

Joe Rannazzisi on “60 Minutes”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Joe Rannazzisi isn’t a household name, but he’s certainly getting well known, particularly after his appearance on Sunday on CBS’ s “60 Minutes,” where he was referred to as a whistleblower who tried cracking down on drug companies.

Scott Highham and Lenny Bernstein of the Washington Post write:

Joe Rannazzisi  is a man of strong passions who admits that he has a temper. For more than a decade, he was the frontman in the government’s war against opioid abuse. As head of the Office of Diversion Control for the Drug Enforcement Administration, he was responsible for cracking down on doctors, pharmacies, drug manufacturers and distributors who did not follow the nation’s prescription drug laws.

He said he worked hard to uphold the law, until he was pushed out by members of Congress and an industry campaign that he says has resulted in a weakening of the nation’s drug laws at a time of unprecedented crisis.

The burly, tough-talking Long Islander is now a man in the news, appearing in The Washington Post and on “60 Minutes” this Sunday to give his views on how the DEA’s war on opioids got derailed by pressure from Congress and the drug industry.

To read the whole story click here. 

Trump’s Pick for Nation’s Drug Czar Withdraws Amid Firestorm

Rep. Tom Marino

Rep. Tom Marino

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s top pick for the nation’s drug czar, Rep. Tom Marino, has withdrawn his name from consideration, Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.

Calls mounted for Trump to dump Marino following a scathing Washington Post/“60 Minutes” story that exposed the congressman for siding with drug companies over the DEA’s battle to address the opioid crisis.

On Twitter, Trump wrote, “Rep.Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar. Tom is a fine man and a great Congressman!”

Trump told reporters Monday that he “will make a change” if he decides Marino’s actions curbed the fight against opioid abuse.

Other Stories of Interest

Opioid Crisis Accelerated by Lawmakers with ties to Drug Industry

pillsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the nation grappled with an opioid crisis that has claimed more than 200,000 lives, a handful of Congressional members with strong ties to the nation’s major drug distributors managed to strip the DEA of one of its most effective weapons against narcotics.

Despite desperate calls to curtail the number of prescription narcotics spilling onto the streets, the members of Congress convinced the DEA and Justice Department to reluctantly agree to a more industry-friendly that effectively allowed the flow of addictive pain pills to continue unhindered, according to an investigation by The Washington Post and “60 Minutes.” 

It was a major win for the drug companies because it weakened the DEA’s ability to pursue companies that supply to corrupt doctors and pharmacists who pushed massive amounts of pills into the black market.

Under the watered-down law, the DEA is severely limited in responding to suspicious narcotic shipments.

The 23 lawmakers who sponsored or co-sponsored four versions of the bill received at least $1.5 million in donation from political action committees representing the drug industry.

DEA Agents Who Took Down Pablo Escobar Share Experience at Ohio State University

Javier Pena/dea photo

Javier Pena/dea photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The two DEA agents who took down one of the most violent and elusive cocaine kingpins in history, Pablo Escobar, shared their experience Monday night at the Ohio Union at Ohio State University.

The retired DEA agents Javier Pena and Steve Murphy were the impetus for the first two seasons of the Netflix original series, “Narco.”

The agents were sent to Colombia to take down Escobar and his Medellin cartel.

“Our philosophy was that when you go after an organization, you have to go after everybody in it,” Peña told the Lantern. “In other words, you have to dismantle the organization, not just one person.” 

Murphy said the phrase “war on drugs” was not completely accurate because governments provider serious resources in an actual war.

“We were fighting a ‘war on drugs’ against the biggest cocaine dealer, the world’s first narco-terrorist, the world’s most wanted criminal, and what did they send? They sent the two of us,” Murphy said. “It was more of a joke. Since we’ve retired, we’ve re-examined the situation. We still need the enforcement element, but we cannot arrest our way out of this problem. We cannot put enough people in jail to stop narcotics trafficking. There’s just too great a demand.”

The lecture included a history of Escobar, the violence of the Medellin cartel, smuggling tactics and the prison that Escobar built for himself and his compatriots.

“We never met him, but he knew us by name,” Murphy said. “He put a $300,000 bounty on our heads.”