Failures

by Tim Cushing


Filed Under:
bad behavior, dea, punishment



DEA Agents Caught Soliciting Prostitutes Rewarded With Light Punishments, Bonus Checks

from the saving-throw-on-'integrity-check'-fails dept

At the end of September, Brad Heath and Meghan Hoyer of USA Today published a DEA disciplinary log they'd obtained through an FOIA request. The document was obviously misnamed, as it showed plenty of misconduct by DEA agents, but not much in the way of discipline.

Damning, yes, but apparently we still haven't scraped the bottom of the DEA's disciplinary barrel. The DOJ's Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, has released a new report on DEA misconduct -- specifically dealing with the DEA agents who were caught soliciting prostitutes, engaging in "sex parties" and harassing local employees while working overseas.

None of the 14 agents involved lost their job. Two still remain at their overseas posts and the rest (with the exception of one retiree) are still working as agents or supervisory agents. Apparently, DEA misconduct pays pretty well. (h/t PoliceMisconduct.net)

Although none of the 14 individuals received promotions, we found that in 10 instances, 8 employees received bonuses, awards, or other favorable personnel actions, contrary to DEA policy.
The agency's policy states that agents under investigation are not entitled to collect bonuses for three years after being disciplined for "serious misconduct." Any agent seeking advancement/bonuses must be subjected to an "integrity check" by the DEA's HR department to ensure they are not currently under investigation or subject to other disciplinary actions. If the agent fails to clear the "integrity check," the information is passed on to the Chief Inspector, who has the power to override the three-year waiting period.

Exceptions were made. But the Inspector General's office is damned if it can figure out why.
The eight employees who received awards were subjects in an ongoing OPR investigation in which the offenses involved integrity and/or sexual harassment issues, with some of the employees serving as supervisors and managers. In many instances, we could not determine the reason why exceptions were made and we were unable to determine when, or if, an integrity check was performed, the results of the integrity check, or the reason for the approval of the proposed personnel action, because the DEA was unable to provide the OIG with complete documentation.
IG Horowitz is very familiar with the DEA's reluctance to provide documentation. He took his battle with the DEA and FBI over the release of pertinent information to Congress, sailing over the head of the DOJ. In a letter to a Congressional committee, Horowitz threatened these agencies' budgets by pointing out to legislators that the DOJ components are not allowed to use their funding to thwart their oversight.

But the DEA may have a not-very-legitimate excuse for not handing over documents. It apparently doesn't care much for recordkeeping, even when it involves a regional supervisor who "failed" to report his underlings' hiring of prostitutes and brothel patronage.
The DEA also told us that it was unable to provide us with any documents that reflect when the counseling session occurred with the Regional Director, the DEA Administrator, and the Deputy Administrator, or what matters they discussed. Given the gravity of the allegations, and the importance of keeping records related to misconduct reviews, we are concerned that the DEA was unable to provide any written documentation confirming that the counseling occurred and the substance of the counseling.
This official -- who was apparently given an undocumented tongue-lashing -- landed a $12,000 bonus. This was his reward for covering up the misconduct of his agents.

A Supervisory Special Agent who did nothing to prevent "sex parties" with prostitutes from occurring at DEA offices (arranged by local law enforcement officials) was given three bonuses totalling $8,500 -- all while still under investigation.


In the private sector, soliciting prostitutes while on the clock is a good way to get yourself fired. In the DEA, where integrity is a must -- considering the constant temptation of money and drugs -- it's barely worth a two-week suspension. Most agents saw single-digit suspensions, while others only received "letters of caution." And a regional director overseeing all of this received nothing but an alleged, completely undocumented verbal rebuke. At the DEA, the only thing better than the lack of serious discipline is the bonus checks agents receive while still under investigation.


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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 29 Oct 2015 @ 4:00pm

    Why should we treat them differently than Congress?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2015 @ 9:29am

      Re:

      I have a better question: what can a DEA agent possibly do to warrant receiving bonuses??? How can any enforcement agency be eligible to receive bonuses? Presumably, they do their jobs (although that is a BIG presumption). Why should they be over-compensated?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2015 @ 4:04pm

    1 set of laws for the common citizen another set for the priviledged elite. The only way that would not end badly for them is if they rule with an iron fist and suppress dissent

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2015 @ 4:05pm

    Might as well toss in the punishment the DEA staff and agents that left Daniel Chong handcuffed in a cell for 5 days without food or water received: one-week unpaid vacations.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2015 @ 4:05pm

    They fuck everyone in America, why not have fun and fuck some other prostitutes? All the while, at the office, using cops as errand boys. Cops know all the hookers. How else would they get laid?
    Fitting use of cops, I say.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2015 @ 4:34pm

    It's not mentioned in the article, but since they're cops, they probably get all the sex and drugs they could ever want for free.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2015 @ 5:47pm

    Good thing he wasn't a whistleblower who reported a DEA Agent soliciting prostitutes. He would have received a far harsher punishment then.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    lars626 (profile), 29 Oct 2015 @ 6:11pm

    Purge

    What they need at the DEA and many other federal agencies is a serious set of middle management purges, followed up by clear and explicit policy changes. To be followed by ass kicking and/or further purges for noncompliance.

    The only way to remove a cancer this far along is with some radical surgery. Those are MY tax dollars paying those worthless scum and I am Not happy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Justme, 29 Oct 2015 @ 9:00pm

      Re: Purge

      What we need is the end of the DEA, The war on drugs has resulted in many negative effects on society as a whole. . .

      militarization of domestic law enforcement.
      The increasing use of aggressive tactics as the first choice, when it should be the last.
      Interfering with science education by lessening the ability of student to get hands on lab experience.
      Intimidation of doctors that would treat their patients in a manner not approved by the DEA.
      Decreasing the ability of a former drug addicts to become productive members of society.
      Increasing racial tensions resulting from disparity in enforcement and punishment


      Drug addiction is certainly destructive to those individuals and families touched by it. But looking at the drug war's effect's on society as a whole, it is likely as destructive as the problem it was designed to solve, and it certainly hasn't solved it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 30 Oct 2015 @ 7:05am

        Re: Re: Purge

        Also:

        - enormous violence stemming from the drug black market, largely in Mexico and Central America
        - child refugees as a result of above
        - overcrowded prisons
        - the rise of synthetic drugs such as meth

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2015 @ 8:33am

          Re: Re: Re: Purge

          Well, the overcrowded prisons aren't a bad thing if you're CCA.

          On a side note, I'd never really read their website material until just now... they're so transparently sociopathic that they'd (almost) make Dick Cheney blush. Their slogan might as well be "Fuck Humanity. Get Money. Win-Win."

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 7:49am

          Re: Re: Re: Purge

          Meth is semi-synthetic, one could make it from ephedrine if they were so inclined (not a very good way to make it, the semi-synthetic pseudoephedrine comes into play).

          There are tons of gray area drugs sold on the internet which, well, are variations of psilocin, mescaline or LSD, which are either natural, natural and semi-synthetic. And I'm not saying fully synthetic drugs are necessarily bad, tons of meds are fully synthetic and useful. I've enjoyed in the past variations of the DMT molecule and have no shame about it, DPT and 4-aco-DiPT were all very enlightening experiences. Granted, there is stuff out there I don't think anyone without a proof of age and qualifications should buy, because effective doses are in the milligram ranges and most people have scales that only go as low as 100mg. (one can always use the very safe method of diluting a compound in ethanol or water, depending on solubility).

          The natural vs synthetic debate is moot. Especially since some people do not understand most drugs/meds out there are semi-synthetics, meaning that something in nature is very close to it, example : Morphine and Hydromorphone. Both have their places for pain killing, they just have different properties (HM lasts a lot less longer, but is stronger when it is having an effect).

          -TechDirt's in-house Pharmacologist (who is anti-prohibitionist, to the fullest extent).

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 8:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Purge

            I don't mean to say natural=good and synthetic=bad, just that when it's illegal to grow and use something as benign as marijuana, the demand doesn't go away. Some people then turn to something that can be produced anywhere such as meth, which is much more harmful.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2015 @ 4:43am

      Re: Purge

      won't happen without serious revolution. This isn't a few bad apples this is a culture of corruption from the top trickling down to everything else.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2015 @ 6:28pm

    Don'

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2015 @ 6:34pm

    They also have blackmail

    Don't forget that they will have records of a good percentage of the people in power or their relatives being caught red handed in some of their investigations. When you don't have to worry about being reigned in due to you calling the shots, behavior like this is to be expected. If I were a defense attorney, I would call into question their entire moral right to be believed regarding anything. Chain of custody depends on trusting that no one would have reason or motive to tamper with evidence. When the agents themselves can be demonstrated to not only act like this, but to be rewarded in spite of it, the entire organization is as corrupt.
    By their fruits, you will know them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2015 @ 7:31pm

    The only real question IG Horowitz needs to ask the DEA: What, are you guys high?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 29 Oct 2015 @ 7:59pm

    Join 'em!

    Sounds like a great job!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 29 Oct 2015 @ 9:55pm

    Well of course

    Either bringing in prostitutes for parties or looking the other way when it happens, of course they're going to get bonuses for that, they're just showing team spirit and raising moral for the whole office! /s

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jon Bains, 30 Oct 2015 @ 1:41am

    Reckon you are just being mean.

    Why shouldn't they be rewarded for going deep, undercover?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mingus, 30 Oct 2015 @ 3:22am

    end the War on Sex

    When will the USA legalize prostitution? Sane countries all over the world have a framework that protects the women. (Nevada still hasn't gotten it right, but it's better than banning it outright) Keeping paid sex illegal merely creates criminals. Who cares if these agents were visiting prostitutes as long as it's not during work hours.

    I feel I should mention that whores are not my thing, it's about the reality that keeping it a crime destroys lives. Legalizing would protect the women AND the john, while bringing in revenue for the state. Just like drugs...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 30 Oct 2015 @ 12:47pm

    Business as Usual

    Please take the time and read about how the CIA infiltrated the DEA at all levels:

    September 11, 2015
    Creating a Crime: How the CIA Commandeered the DEA

    by Douglas Valentine

    The outlawing of narcotic drugs at the start of the Twentieth Century, the turning of the matter from public health to social control, coincided with American’s imperial Open Door policy and the belief that the government had an obligation to American industrialists to create markets in every nation in the world, whether those nations liked it or not.

    Civic institutions, like public education, were required to sanctify this policy, while “security” bureaucracies were established to ensure the citizenry conformed to the state ideology. Secret services, both public and private, were likewise established to promote the expansion of private American economic interests overseas.

    It takes a book to explain the economic foundations of the war on drugs, and the reasons behind the regulation of the medical, pharmaceutical and drug manufacturers industries. Suffice it to say that by 1943, the nations of the “free world” were relying on America for their opium derivatives, under the guardianship of Harry Anslinger, the Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN).

    Link to full report:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/09/11/creating-a-crime-how-the-cia-commandeered-the-dea/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2015 @ 3:08pm

    I don't know if it's because I'm Canadian and I view it as impossible to have something like the DEA preventing a doctor from giving me pain meds when I need them because said doctor has reached some kind of arbitrary limit in the painkiller scripts he can make in a year and imprisoning people for 15 years for growing a few plants in still 3/4 of the states of the US, but to me the DEA are the tip of the scum and were the ones who started the whole mass surveillance nightmare because zomg drugs (while their compatriots in the CIA made nice black budget profits with those drugs). Since they enforce the most draconian laws out there down south and were put into existence because Nixon was scared of hippies, the US has dragged its close allies into its scary dragnet by using the blueprints of the DEA, who were doing that illegal surveillance thing since their existence came into being. It really takes a special kind of dipshit to actually want to work at DEA and here we're seeing how much so in a most glaring example.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 3:02am

    there is a reason they love to work in COLOMBIA
    hint: it is not the work

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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