Friday, October 28, 2016


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What happens when the agents in charge of keeping drugs out of America are actually taking drugs themselves?

Apparently, nothing.

According to a recent investigation by USA Today, there have been at least 16 reports of employees inside the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency failing drug tests since 2010. Not a single case resulted in the outright firing of an employee.

In fact, most employees were just given short suspensions–as little as one day.

That’s far less severe a punishment than most private sector jobs would offer–even though these are the people who are in charge of enforcing drug policy in America.

The article also sheds light on a culture of disobeying laws and rules at the DEA, along with the agency’s apparent history of dishing out paltry punishments for major wrongdoing.

In fact, USA Today found that some employees dealt drugs, falsified official records, and had “improper association with a criminal element”–and still didn’t get fired. Even when their bosses recommended they be fired, the DEA’s Board of Professional Conduct routinely overrided their decisions–reducing firings to suspensions and, in some cases, forcing the agency to rehire fired employees.

Carl Pike, a former DEA internal affairs investigator who recently retired, explained the USA Today just how rare it was for the DEA to actually fire someone.

“If we conducted an investigation, and an employee actually got terminated, I was surprised,” he said. “I was truly, truly surprised. Like, wow, the system actually got this guy.”

If the DEA can’t even manage to keep drugs and drug dealers out of their own hallways, it raises serious questions about their effectiveness on American streets.

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Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Chief Michele Leonhart – the official in charge of enforcing the nation’s laws and regulations regarding controlled substances – will be resigning her post in mid-May amid revelations about “sex parties” involving prostitutes and DEA agents overseas.

In a statement announcing Leonhart’s her decision to resign, Attorney General Eric Holder accepted her decision describing her as his “partner in the work of safeguarding our national security and protecting our citizens from crime, exploitation and abuse.”

Her resignation comes at a time of scandal within the agency that many say has undermined confidence in her leadership and ability to carry out DEA’s mission.

Details surrounding the scandal involving DEA agents, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents were revealed in a March investigative report released by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Investigators confirmed the DOJ personnel participated in “sex parties” with Colombian prostitutes paid for by drug cartels leading administration officials to question the quality of oversight and accountability at the agency.

The announcement came following Congressional hearings earlier this month that had committee members asking Leonhart to explain why she did not punish DEA agents more severely for the misconduct alleged to have taken place in the OIG report. Seven agents who admitted to participating in the “sex parties” received token suspensions ranging from two to ten days.

Leonhart testified that her powers and influence fell short of firing agents or revoking security clearances because as DEA director, she is “not allowed to invoke (herself) in the disciplinary process.”

A frustrated Representative Trey Gowdy, (R-SC) asked Leonhart “…what power do you have? You have to work with agents over whom you can’t discipline and have no control. What the hell do you get to do?”

Following her testimony, Leonhart sent out a mass email to DEA employees where she drew a line between the bad apples responsible for the abuses alleged in the OIG report and all other DEA personnel who have demonstrated fidelity to the agency and its mission. Leonhart writes:

“This has been a very difficult week for DEA, with members of Congress and the media asking tough questions and sharing our outrage about the disgraceful conduct of a few individuals several years ago.

This employee misconduct has upset me for many reasons, but especially because it calls into question the incredible reputation DEA has built over more than 40 years.”

According to the report, the sex parties took place in government-leased buildings and that the DEA agents involved left their laptops, electronic devices, weapons and other property to foreigners for safe-keeping.

Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, characterized the details of the “sex party” event as “a truly breathtaking recklessness by DEA agents who are sworn to protect our country”… and describing the DEA as an agency “completely out of control.”

Before the allegations detailed in the report, Leonhart has appeared to resist relaxing federal rules on enforcing marijuana, even as states legalize both medical and recreational uses for the drug. She has been leading the agency in an acting capacity since 2007 and was nominated to serve as administrator in 2010.

One question that remains unanswered following the release of the report is the reason why Leonhart, who has been with the DEA since 1993 is being dealt with so harshly while officials at the FBI and ATF are being given a pass.

Some suspect that removing Leonhart as DEA’s top cop over the “sex party” scandal is a cover story for the real reason – differences over the issue of marijuana and the enforcement of federal law in states like Colorado and California that have legalized it.

Leonhart believes federal laws regarding marijuana should either be enforced or changed while lawless policy makers in the Obama Administration who know Congress would not go along do not.

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Meth Smuggling California

As if there weren’t plenty of good reasons to secure the famously porous southern border, a San Diego newspaper reports a record-high number of methamphetamine seizures at U.S. ports of entry on the California-Mexico border.

Figures provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reveal an astounding 300% increase in California meth seizures coming from Mexico in the last few years. In the last fiscal year, 14,732 pounds of meth were seized by the San Diego Border Patrol office, accounting for a whopping 63% of the synthetic drugs seized at all of the nation’s land, air and sea ports of entry combined. Besides the obvious downside of foreign illicit drugs flowing into the country, it’s overwhelming our already swamped courts, according to authorities cited in the article. Federal prosecutors in San Diego confirm that “meth cases continue to represent the largest part of our drug prosecutions” in the last two or three years. County prosecutors that try state crimes have also seen a big increase in meth cases.

Here’s a snippet from the news story: “Methamphetamine seizures at U.S. ports of entry on the California-Mexico border reached unprecedented levels in fiscal 2014, as drug trafficking organizations strive to smuggle growing quantities of the low-cost Mexican-made product into the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures show 14,732 pounds of meth seized by the San Diego field office during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, accounting for 63 percent of the synthetic drug seized at all land, air and sea ports of entry nationwide.”

A federal agent from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) confirms that the California border is the main smuggling route for Mexican cartels flooding the U.S. marketplace with cheap meth. The agency, which is responsible for enforcing the nation’s controlled substances laws and regulations, estimates that 90% of the meth consumed in the U.S. is manufactured in Mexico. The National Institute on Drug Abuse calls them “superlabs” where the extremely addictive stimulant is produced en masse. Meth comes in the form of a white, odorless crystalline powder that’s taken orally, smoked, snorted or dissolved in water or alcohol and injected.

Once the drug gets smuggled through the southwest border, it’s distributed throughout the country, as far away as New York, Georgia, North Carolina, Montana and throughout California. It’s a huge and lucrative business run by violent street gangs in the U.S. In fact, last year ten members of the 18th Street gang, the largest gang in Los Angeles County, were indicted for running a large-scale meth and drug-trafficking business in the area. It turns out that 18th Street gang leaders deported from the U.S. in the 1990s helped spread the gang across Central America and into Mexico, according to news coverage of the case.

Drug smuggling—and associated violence—in the southern border region has long been a serious problem and in fact Judicial Watch has reported it for years. Back in 2006 JW wrote about a shocking DHS report documenting how Middle Eastern terrorists, violent Mexican drug cartels and sophisticated human smugglers regularly slip into the U.S. through the southern border. Millions of pounds of illegal drugs were seized entering the country through Mexico in one year alone, the DHS report revealed, including more than a million pounds of cocaine, nearly 7 million pounds of marijuana and almost 17,000 pounds of methamphetamine. This was nearly a decade ago!

In 2010 the National Drug Intelligence Center, dismantled by the Obama administration after nearly two decades of operation, published equally alarming figures regarding the Mexican drug crisis. In a detailed report published by JW, the now-defunct agency revealed that in 2009 thousands of metric tons of heroin, meth, marijuana and cocaine were smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico and that tens of billions of dollars in drug proceeds flowed back south. At that point, much of the smuggled drugs came through the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation in Arizona, so the problem is spreading like wildfire across the vast southern border which spans around 2,000 miles.



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