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Tag: DEA

Interim Head of DEA Is Stepping Down, Citing Increasing Challenges

Robert Patterson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Having interim heads of major federal law enforcement agencies for too long often sends a message that the agency isn’t as important as some other agencies like the FBI.

Now comes Robert W. Patterson, acting head of  the DEA, who told staff Monday in an email that he is retiring in about two weeks, saying that running the agency as a temporary fill-in had become “increasingly challenging,” Devlin Barrett of the Washington Post reports.

Patterson said he “realized that the administrator of the DEA needs to decide and address priorities for years into the future — something which has become increasingly challenging in an acting capacity.”

A replacement has not been named.

DEA Agent Wants Oklahoma Voters to Know Facts on Pot Measure on the Ballot

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Oklahomans will vote whether to legalize medical marijuana.

So, the head of Oklahoma’s DEA office, Richard Salter, is going around delivering a 45-minute presentation, saying people need to know the facts.  He says the bill is really about recreational use, not medical, News on 6 reports.

“I think Oklahoma will be the first state, if this passes, to have no qualifying medical condition. That means you go to the doctor and say, ‘Even though there’s nothing wrong with me, I’d like a medical marijuana card,’” Salter said.
NewsOn6.com – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports – KOTV.com |

DEA Creates Omaha Division Office, In Part to Battle Opioids

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is establishing an Omaha Field Division, its 23rd division office in the nation.

The division will include Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

“In January, DEA reorganized its field divisions for the first time in nearly 20 years. Today, just five months later, we are adding another new field division,”  Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “That’s because we are facing a drug threat today the likes of which we have never seen before—but we are rising to the challenge. The Omaha Division will help us address the methamphetamine and opioid threat in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The people of these states can rest assured that, in the face of an unprecedented crisis, we are taking steps to be more effective and put the traffickers and crooked doctors where they belong—behind bars.”

“This action converts the existing Omaha District Office into a division in an effort to enhance DEA enforcement efforts within the Great Plain states region and unify drug trafficking investigations under a single Special Agent in Charge,” said DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson.

DEA Agent Fatally Shoots Suspect in Drug Probe in Chicago

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A DEA agent fatally shot a suspect in a drug probe on Chicago’s west side on Saturday morning, WLS TV reports.

The DEA said it was conducting surveillance on, “an individual and a location known as a multiple-kilogram cocaine distribution point,”  the station reports.

A marked police car attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the suspect, Gus Tousis, 43, of Bartlett, who  fled and temporarily got away from law enforcement, the station reports.

Authorities attempted a second traffic stop, and Tousis, according to the DEA, turned his vehicle at a DEA agent and hit the agent, who fired his gun. Tousis died at the scene, the DEA said. The agent sustained non-life threatening injuries.

Oops! DEA Raids Wrong House in Tennessee

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The DEA has apologized after raiding the wrong home in Cleveland, Tenn.

The task force was looking for a murder suspect but barged into the wrong home instead.

Lawmakers Concerned About Allegations of Misconduct in DEA’s Haiti Office

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is concerned about allegations of misconduct involving the DEA’s  Haiti office and the effectiveness of the office’s efforts to fight drugs in that country, the Miami Herald reports.

Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland have written to Justice’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz requesting that he review allegations of potential mismanagement and misconduct in the Haiti office that has eight employees.

“Because of the seriousness of these allegations, we request that your office initiate a review,” the May 14 letter said.

The letter offers few specifics but raises serious concerns relating to the handling of personnel matters and whistleblower retaliation, among other things, the paper reports.

 

Opinion Piece: DEA Has No Clue What It’s Talking About When it Comes to Pot and Opioids

Paul Armentano is the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He is the co-author of the book, Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? and the author of the book, The Citizen’s Guide to State-By-State Marijuana Laws. This piece appears in The Hill.

By Paul Armentano
For The Hill

Is state-level medical cannabis access mitigating or fueling America’s opioid crisis? Testifying before Congress last week, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) acting administrator Robert Patterson claimed the latter. But when he prompted to provide evidence in support of the agency’s position, he acknowledged that he could not.

His failure to substantiate this claim is unsurprising. That is because numerous peer-reviewed studies show that increased cannabis access is associated with declining rates of opioid useabusehospitalizations, and mortality. Among patients enrolled in state-sanctioned medical marijuana access programs, participants’ use of not only opioids, but also their use of numerous other prescription medications — such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs — declines significantly.

To read the full piece click here.

Mexican Police Commander Pleads No Contest to Leaking Sensitive DEA Information to Drug Cartel Members

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Here’s a scenario that has been played out countless times over the years.

Jason McGahan of the Daily Beast reports:

A top-ranking Mexican police commander who was the point person for intelligence sharing between U.S. and Mexican law enforcement has pleaded “no contest” in Chicago federal court to charges he leaked sensitive information, including the identity of an informant, to drug cartel members who were targets of a U.S.-led investigation.

Ivan Reyes Arzate, 46, is accused of funneling sensitive information about surveillance operations from U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents to the cartel members, who were the objects of those very same operations in Mexico, over a Blackberry Messenger app.

The unusual pleading of “nolo contendere,” which required a judge’s approval, means Reyes Arzate is acknowledging that the particular facts, if presented at trial, would result in a verdict of guilty, but stops short of admitting guilt.

Reyes Arzate flew to Chicago and self-surrendered to law enforcement in April 2017, according to Chris Hotaling, assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.