Drug Enforcement Administration

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Drug Bust Like 'Something Out of Science Fiction Movie'

'It would be very safe to say people have died from this operation'

(Newser) - Officials are calling it the largest seizure of pills and one of the largest drug busts in Utah history. DEA agents raided a home in Cottonwood Heights on Tuesday and found an "absolutely catastrophic" drug operation. In addition to almost $1 million in cash and what DEA Agent Brian... 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 »

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 »

What It Means if Prince Got Fentanyl Illegally

Authorities say the investigation is just beginning

(Newser) - We now know that Prince died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl —an opioid up to 50 times more potent than heroin—which he administered himself. But the investigation into his death is really just beginning, reports the AP . Investigators still need to determine if the singer had a... More »

Is This Mystery Woman the DEA's New El Chapo?

Well, maybe...

(Newser) - With El Chapo currently in custody (thanks, Sean Penn!), the DEA has a new most wanted fugitive. Maybe. The Houston Chronicle —citing a BBC Mundo story —claims a "mysterious" Colombian woman named Maria Teresa Osorio de Serna now tops the DEA's list of wanted fugitives.... More »

DEA Agents Have Handed Out Drugs, Kept Jobs

Records reveal that it's pretty hard to get fired from agency

(Newser) - It is technically possible to get fired from the Drug Enforcement Administration, but you apparently have to work pretty hard at it. Records from the agency's files show that since 2010, agents have escaped with warnings or suspensions after falsifying records, misusing government vehicles while drunk, associating with criminals,... 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 »

DEA Chief Steps Down After Sex Party Scandal

Lawmakers from both parties have lost confidence in her

(Newser) - The embattled head of the Drug Enforcement Administration says she plans to retire after three decades with the agency. The announcement came amid mounting pressure for her resignation from members of Congress who questioned her handling of misconduct allegations against agents. Michele Leonhart, a career drug agent who has led... More »

Feds: DEA Agents Went to Colombia Sex Parties

Report slams handling of sexual misconduct at multiple agencies

(Newser) - The DEA was pretty relaxed about allegations that its agents attended sex parties funded by drug cartels, according to a Justice Department report on sexual harassment and misconduct at federal agencies. The report says the parties—which an official tells the AP took place in Colombia—allegedly happened in government-leased... More »

Amid Record Meth Seizures at Border, a 'Clear Trend'

Would-be smugglers are strapping it to their bodies, says official

(Newser) - Stashed in gas tanks, fire extinguishers, even wheels of cheese—those were some of the ways drug runners tried and failed in fiscal 2014 to smuggle methamphetamine through ports at the California-Mexico border, where meth seizures reached record levels, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. According to US Customs and Border... More »

DEA Carries Out Surprise NFL Drug Checks

No arrests made after agents spot-check visiting teams

(Newser) - Federal drug enforcement agents showed up unannounced yesterday to check at least three visiting NFL teams' medical staffs as part of an investigation into former players' claims that teams mishandled prescription drugs . There were no arrests, a Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman says. The San Francisco 49ers' staff was checked at... 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 Amtrak Informant $854K for Free Lists

They could have lawfully obtained the lists at no charge

(Newser) - The US Drug Enforcement Agency has paid an Amtrak secretary $854,460 over a 20-year period for passenger list data that it could have obtained for free, the AP has learned. Moreover, by not using a joint drug enforcement task force directly with Amtrak, Amtrak police have been denied a... 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 »

Feds' Drug Sting Hits Half of US States

Agents today served search and arrest warrants in at least 25 states

(Newser) - Federal agents are serving hundreds of warrants in dozens of cities as part of a continued crackdown on synthetic drug manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. Agents served search and arrest warrants on homes, warehouses, and smoke shops in at least 25 states this morning, a DEA spokesman said. The largest single... 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 »

Move Over, NSA: DEA Uses Bigger Phone-Call Database

AT&T workers embedded with anti-drug units

(Newser) - The Drug Enforcement Administration has been working closely with AT&T to access a database of American phone calls that dwarfs the NSA's controversial data-collecting efforts, the New York Times finds. In the "Hemisphere Project," which began in 2007, AT&T employees are embedded in anti-drug units... 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 »

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 »

Walgreens Slapped With Record $80M Oxy Fine

One small-town pharmacy was ordering 2.2M pills a year

(Newser) - Walgreens made history yesterday ... by being ordered to pay the largest fine in the history of the US Controlled Substances Act. The drugstore empire was slugged for $80 million for "an unprecedented number" of violations in its sale of oxycodone and other controlled substances, following a probe by the... More »

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