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Tag: DEA

Head of DEA’s Chicago Office Headed to Washington D.C. for No. 3 Job

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jack Riley, the head of the DEA’s Chicago division, is headed to a top post in Washington D.C., the Associated Press reports.

The 56-year-old, who has shed light on the influence of Mexican cartels on the Midwest, has been named the DEA’s chief of operations. The No. 3 post at the agency means Riley will oversee all DEA activity.

Riley was previously the head of the El Paso office.

He is to begin his new job next month.

A replacement has not yet been named.

Colombian National Pleads Guilty in DEA Agent’s Slaying in Bogota

James Terry Watson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A Colombian national pleaded guilty in the slaying of DEA Agent James “Terry” Watson, who was stabbed to death in Columbia, the Associated Press reports.

Julio Estiven Garcia Ramiez, one of seven Colombians extradited to the U.S. for charges connected to the murder of the 43-year-old agent, pleaded guilty Wednesday to aiding and abetting the murder of an internationally protected person.

Ramirez was in federal court in Alexandria, where he will be sentenced Dec. 5.

Authorities say Watson was in Columbia when the defendants posed as taxi drivers in an attempt to rob him.

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Sen. Grassley Demands Answers from DEA about ‘Brutal Captivity’ of College Student

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants answers.

The Republican from Iowa is demanding details of the treatment of Daniel Chong, who was detained and deprived of water and food for five days, the Hill reports.

“The American people still do not know the full details about Mr. Chong’s mistreatment and abuse,” Grassley wrote. “And despite this inexcusable behavior and long-overdue findings, the American people still have no idea whether these agents and administrators are still working for the DEA.”

The letter to DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart comes after an Inspector General report that “raises even more questions.”

“Not only were there specific failures by specific agents and employees that led to Mr. Chong’s brutal captivity, as well as a possible attempted cover up by senior DEA officials, but the entire system itself was set up to fail and forestall any future review,” Grassley wrote. “This is wholly unacceptable.”

Chong, a college student, reached a $4.1 million settlement with the DEA.

DEA Increases Amount of Marijuana for Federal Government to Grow for Research

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The federal government plans to significantly increase the amount of marijuana it manufactures for research.

The U.S. News reports that the DEA increased production from 46.3 pounds to 1,433 pounds.

Before making the decision, the DEA sought public comment and received one remark in favor of the production increase.

“The DEA appreciates the support for this adjusted 2014 aggregate production quota for marijuana which will provide for the estimated scientific, research and industrial needs of the United States,” a Tuesday notice in the Federal Register says.

The DEA didn’t approve enough marijuana for research last year, the U.S. News reported.

“Due to the manufacturing process unique to marijuana, including the length of time and conditions necessary to propagate and process the substance for distribution in 2014, it is necessary to adjust the initial, established 2014 aggregate production quota for marijuana as soon as practicable,” the DEA said. “Accordingly, the administrator finds good cause to adjust the aggregate production quota for marijuana before accepting written comments from interested persons or holding a public hearing.”

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DEA Office Evacuated, Employees Quarantined After Suspicious Letter Found

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A threatening letter containing black powder prompted the evacuation of the DEA’s office in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood Thursday, the New York Daily News reports.

The DEA evacuated a floor of its offices and quarantined three employees after the letter was opened at 9:15 a.m.

Police, firefighters, medics and the FBI responded to the scene.

“Right now, the area is being investigated and analyzed,” Mulvey said Thursday afternoon. “The three individuals exposed look to be fine, but we are still evaluating.”

The DEA said the letter was not addressed to anyone in particular.

 

 

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DEA Cracks Down on Painkillers by Making it More Difficult to Get Them at Pharmacy

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is cracking down on narcotic painkiller abuse by restricting how patients can receive the medication, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The DEA plans to reclassify hydrocodone combination drugs like Vicodin, a move that will require people to receive a new prescription for painkillers every 90 days. Currently, painkiller users can get prescriptions for 18- days, with up to five refills.

Patients also must present a prescription for the pills and can no longer rely on having the drugs phone-in by doctors.

The change takes effect in 45 days.

“Today’s action recognizes that these products are some of the most addictive and potentially dangerous prescription medications available,” said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart.

Lawsuit Claims DEA Informant Improperly Monitored Albuquerque Man Who Snapped

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man accused of fatally shooting an Albuquerque man last year was an active DEA informant despite his criminal background, according to a lawsuit filed against the agency, the Associated Press reports.

The lawsuit claims the DEA did not properly supervise Jason Estrada, who was killed when he confronted a man accused of sexually assaulting a child.

The man, 31-year-old Edward Quintana, is charged with killing Estrada and criminal sexual penetration of a child under 13.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

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DEA Paid Amtrak Insider $854,000 for Passenger Data It Could Have Gotten for Free

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA forked over $854,460 to an Amtrak secretary for confidential information the agency should have gotten for free, according to an internal investigation.

The DEA paid the employee to be an informant despite the agency’s right to obtain the information at no cost as part of a joint drug enforcement task force, the Associated Press reports.

The payments were made over a two-decade span, the investigation found.

The Amtrak secretary provided passenger information without the proper approval, but the information was available through the proper channels, the inspector general found.

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