DEA

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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 »

DEA Target: Jenni Rivera Plane Owner

Christian Esquino was allegedly involved in drug smuggling ring in the '90s

(Newser) - The investigation into the shady company that owned the Learjet carrying Jenni Rivera continues: The DEA confirmed yesterday that two other planes owned by Starwood Management were seized earlier this year in Texas and Arizona as part of a probe into the company. Both flights originated in Mexico. The DEA... More »

Killing in Honduras: Is DEA Overstepping Its Bounds?

DEA says strategy is working, human rights groups not so sure

(Newser) - The Drug Enforcement Agency has confirmed that its agents shot a suspected drug pilot dead in Honduras last week, the AP reports. An agency spokeswoman says that a twin-engine plane carrying cocaine from Colombia crashed in eastern Honduras while being pursued by government aircraft. One pilot was injured in the... More »

Homebuyers, Beware of Buying a Former Meth Lab

Toxic residue and patchwork regulations a 'nationwide issue,' says DEA

(Newser) - Those in the market for a home may want to add this question to their checklist: Was this by any chance ever used as a meth lab? The idea may sound far-fetched, but Fox News has a few examples of horror stories in which unsuspecting families move into homes, get... More »

US Drones' New Mission: Caribbean Drug Traffic

Homeland Security will increase surveillance flights

(Newser) - No wonder the US has so many drone bases scattered about the country: The drones keep getting extra duties. In the latest development, the US plans to ramp up flights over the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico to catch drug smugglers, reports the Los Angeles Times . The move will "... More »

18 American Airlines Workers Hunted in PR Drug Raid

Sophisticated airport operation moved tons ofdrugs to US via commercial airlines: DEA

(Newser) - US drug agents nabbed dozens of baggage handlers, American Airlines workers and others in a raid on Puerto Rico's main airport. "We have dismantled the two most significant drug operations at the airport," said the acting special agent in charge of the DEA's Caribbean division. At... More »

DEA Agents Probed for Hiring Colombian Prostitutes

Secret Service scandal spreads

(Newser) - Looks like Secret Service agents weren't the only feds misbehaving in Colombia. The Drug Enforcement Administration is investigating three of its agents for hiring prostitutes in the country, sources tell CBS . The investigation of the agents—who have been removed from Colombia—was opened based on information from a... More »

Student Forgotten in DEA Cell Wants $20M

Daniel Chong's treatment 'torture,' lawyers say

(Newser) - The five days Daniel Chong spent, forgotten and with no access to food or water , in a DEA cell "constitute torture," his lawyers say in a claim filed yesterday. Chong seeks up to $20 million in compensation for the incident, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. "The deprivation... More »

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