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DEA Backs Off Herbal Supplement—at Least for Now

Agency soliciting public comments about kratom until December 1

(Newser) - The DEA has backed off a controversial plan to classify the relatively unknown herbal supplement kratom as a Schedule I substance, saying it wants to seek more feedback on the issue, NPR reports. Schedule I substances are classified as dangerous, ripe for abuse, and without recognized medical use—claims that... More »

Popular Herbal Supplement Will Be Classified Like LSD

DEA is putting kratom on the list of Schedule 1 drugs

(Newser) - Heroin, marijuana, LSD, and ... kratom? The latter is a plant native to southeast Asia, and it's about to join the others on the most restrictive drug classification list in the US. The DEA said this week that kratom—specifically its active ingredients, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine—will become a Schedule... More »

DEA Takes Millions From US Travelers, Often Without Charges

'You've got to feed the monster'

(Newser) - USA Today has discovered that DEA agents routinely seize cash from American travelers without ever arresting, charging, or sometimes even questioning them. Further, this practice has become integral to the DEA's budget. “Basically, you’ve got to feed the monster," a former DEA supervisor says. Over... More »

Sources: Pot Will Remain a Schedule I Drug

DEA to make an announcement Thursday

(Newser) - Marijuana is a Schedule I drug and it's going to stay that way, sources tell NPR and the Washington Post in advance of the Drug Enforcement Administration's announcement Thursday on the subject. Some five years ago, two Democratic governors petitioned the agency to rebrand the drug as one... More »

Judge: No, Your Cellphone Can't Be Used to Track You

First time a federal judge has thrown out evidence culled thanks to 'stingray' device

(Newser) - A surveillance device that "tricks" cellphones into revealing their location has been a civil rights concern since it debuted. Now, for the first time, a federal judge agrees that using such a tool to ID a suspect's home without a warrant is an "unreasonable" violation of the... More »

'Adorable' Suspected Drug Dealer Has DEA Agent Dad

Maybe she was smiling because she appreciates irony

(Newser) - It turns out the 19-year-old college student dubbed an "adorable drug kingpin" by the media is also the daughter of a veteran DEA agent, Death and Taxes reports. According to the Houston Chronicle , Sarah Furay was arrested in Texas last month after police allegedly found a good amount of... More »

DEA Chief in Hot Water After Calling Medical Pot a 'Joke'

7 lawmakers and 100K signatures call for his removal

(Newser) - Medical marijuana supporters aren't joking; they want new DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg replaced now, Extract reports. Rosenberg has been in hot water with cannabis fans since calling medical marijuana a "joke" earlier this month. He also hedged on whether pot is safer than heroin. On Friday, Marijuana Majority... More »

New DEA Chief: Pot 'Probably Not' as Dangerous as Heroin

But 'I'm no expert,' Chuck Rosenberg adds

(Newser) - Marijuana advocates celebrated when DEA head Michele Leonhart stepped down , with a rep for the Marijuana Policy Project telling Bloomberg , that Leonhart held up an era of "Reefer Madness" at the DEA and "maintained an opinion about marijuana akin to the opinion people had back in the '... More »

No Crime? No Problem. DEA Nabs Guy's Life Savings

Joseph Rivers fighting $16K seizure under civil forfeiture laws

(Newser) - Last month, Joseph Rivers boarded a Michigan train bound for Los Angeles with $16,000 in cash and a dream of making a music video. Instead, DEA agents, who asked to search Rivers' bags during a stop in New Mexico, seized his life savings still in a bank envelope, suspecting... More »

US Tracked Billions of Calls Long Before 9/11

USA Today: DEA, Justice Department collected data for 20 years

(Newser) - Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA and its surveillance tactics may have riled people up, but the agency apparently took its cue from two other government departments: the DEA and the DoJ. For almost 10 years before 9/11 took place, the agencies secretly kept records of billions of international... More »

Former Feds Busted for Boosting Bitcoins

Ex-DEA, Secret Service agents stole digital currency during Silk Road probe: report

(Newser) - What do you do if you're a federal agent who's part of an undercover operation to bust up a booming black-market drug-dealing website? One thing you don't usually do is skim a goodly portion of said site's digital currency into your pockets, but two former federal... More »

The Feds Are Probably Tracking Your Car

Database of license-plate readers is steadily growing

(Newser) - Attention highway drivers: Smile, the DEA is watching. The feds are making use of license-plate reading technology to run a database that tracks millions of cars in real time around the US, report the Wall Street Journal and the ACLU . The agency makes use of its own readers on major... More »

DEA Kept a Secret Phone Database, Too

Wall Street Journal says it's no longer in operation

(Newser) - A court case involving a man accused of illegally exporting electronics to Iran has revealed a DEA secret, reports the Wall Street Journal : The agency kept a secret database of calls between the US and foreign countries for more than a decade. One key difference between this database and the... More »

Feds Used Woman's Identity for Fake Facebook Profile

Posted compromising pictures of Sondra Arquiett

(Newser) - A DEA agent used a woman's identity—along with private pictures from her phone—to create a fake Facebook profile without her knowledge, BuzzFeed reports. The government is defending the agent's actions in the scheme to connect with potential criminal targets. In a court filing, officials say special... More »

DEA Paid Broke Addict in Crack: Lawsuit

Court papers claim federal agents got the man hooked again

(Newser) - A drug addict who says he was “targeted” by DEA agents because they knew about his past addiction has filed an $8.5 million lawsuit against the agency, claiming that agents used crack cocaine as payment for his help and got him hooked again, reports AP . The legal papers... More »

2 Ex-US Soldiers Accused in Plot to Kill DEA Agent

Former German soldier also charged in US sting operation

(Newser) - Two former American soldiers and a German ex-soldier faced charges today that they plotted to kill a US drug enforcement agent and an informant for $800,000. It was all a sting set up by federal agents, however. The indictment described 48-year-old Joseph Hunter, also known as "Rambo,"... More »

DEA: You Can Still Make Meth From New Cold Drug

But Zephrex-D maker claims the amount of meth extracted is negligible

(Newser) - The DEA is refusing to allow a new "meth-resistant" pseudoephedrine tablet to be sold over the counter, saying it can be used to make meth after all. The agency says government chemists were able to extract meth from Zephrex-D —now in 15,000 pharmacies across the US—so... More »

Feds Have Been Overstating Mexican Cartels' Reach

Frequently cited NDIC statistic draws skepticism

(Newser) - Mexican drug cartels now operate in more than 1,000 US cities. It's a statistic quoted constantly in rhetoric in the war on drugs—last year John McCain and the House Homeland Security subcommitee were among the many to cite it. And it's almost certainly bogus, law enforcement... More »

Secret DEA Unit Tips Off Police, Requests Cover-Up

Reuters reports that the SOD asks agents to re-create the info it provides

(Newser) - If you've never heard of the SOD, that's understandable: It's the Special Operations Division, an arm of the DEA that was founded nearly two decades ago with an eye on Latin American cartels and designed to be secretive (so much so its exact Virginia location is under... More »

Student Forgotten in DEA Cell Gets $4.1M Payout

He nearly died during 5 days with no food, water

(Newser) - A UC San Diego student has been awarded a settlement that amounts to $820,000 for each of the hellish five days he spent forgotten in a DEA interrogation room with no food, water, or toilet facilities . The Department of Justice approved the $4.1 settlement with Daniel Chong, whose... More »

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