It has been reported that a number of federal employees with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration have failed drug tests over the past five years. And with that, we learned that after administration found out about the failed drug tests, little punishment was given to those agents. There have been a total of 16 instances where DEA agents have failed their random drug tests only to face a short suspension of 2-10 days.
The DEA hiring policy states that anyone who has experimented with drugs or narcotics will not be considered for the job. The only exception to this policy are those who have been prescribed any drugs and those who experienced “limited youthful and experimental use of marijuana.”
Recent reports in USA Today have also uncovered that in the last five years, many DEA employees have not been fired despite proof of serious violations of DEA policy. Some of these violations even include distribution of drugs and falsifying official records. In those five years, the DEA’s Board of Professional Conduct has recommended that 50 employees be terminated. Of those 50, only 13 were actually fired while the others received reduced sanctions. The DEA has even gone as far as rehiring some of those employees.
A former DEA Internal Affairs Investigator, Carl Pike, informed USA Today that it was rare for him to see an agent actually get fired and was usually surprised when someone was fired. Him and other former agents, showed very little faith in the system.
Looking at the documents that report the misconduct, you find many instances where DEA agents did not act in accordance with policy. This includes 62 counts of lost or stolen firearms and over 30 violations involving driving while intoxicated, some involving a government vehicle and even a hit and run. You also see 9 instances of lost or stolen drug evidence and 10 instances of lost or stolen defendant property.
We are also reminded of the story earlier this year involving DEA agents and sex parties funded by the cartel in Colombia. In that particular case, those agents were barely suspended for more than 10 days and were found to have even been promoted during the investigation. While the higher ups in the DEA believe that some of these violations do not require termination, the Justice Department is concerned that they are not able to adequately define and punish wrongdoing by its employees.