Tag Archives: Inspector General Report

DOJ Report Exposes DEA Agents’ Sex Parties with Prostitutes Funded by Colombian Drug Cartels

The Drug Enforcement Administration is the Department of Justice’s law enforcement arm charged with enforcing US drug prohibition laws, ostensibly under the guise of protecting Americans from their own libertine, lascivious tendencies. However, a new DOJ inspector general report released on Thursday exposed the fact that DEA agents stationed in places like Colombia let local police watch their weapons and other personal items as they engaged in hedonistic sex parties in their taxpayer-funded living quarters with prostitutes paid for by drug cartels. Ten agents confessed to attending the parties, some of whom were disciplined with suspensions lasting between two to ten days.

The report by DOJ Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz notes that Colombian police officers said that DEA agents accepted bribes from drug cartels. Said the report, “The foreign officers further alleged that in addition to soliciting prostitutes, three DEA SSAs [special agents] in particular were provided money, expensive gifts, and weapons from drug cartel members.”

Utah Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz discussed the national security implications in comments to Politico and said, “You can’t ignore this. This is terribly embarrassing and fundamentally not right… We need to understand what’s happening with the culture … anytime you bring a foreign national into your room, you’re asking for trouble.” He called for the DEA to fire the agents involved.

The Washington Post notes that, though the report did not specify the country in which the parties took place, a law enforcement official said that they happened in Colombia. The parties reportedly occurred on an ongoing basis between 2005 and 2008. “Although some of the DEA agents participating in these parties denied it, the information in the case file suggested they should have known the prostitutes in attendance were paid with cartel funds,” the report stated.

The above-embedded video by Fox News notes that the report said, “The fact that most of the ‘sex parties’ occurred in government-leased quarters where agents’ laptops, BlackBerry devices, and other government-issued equipment were present created potential security risks for the DEA and for the agents who participated in the parties, potentially exposing them to extortion, blackmail, or coercion.”

The DOJ pointed out the fact that the DEA was uncooperative with the inspector general’s investigation. Said the report, “We were also concerned by an apparent decision by DEA to withhold information regarding a particular open misconduct case… Therefore, we cannot be completely confident that the FBI and DEA provided us with all information relevant to this review. As a result, our report reflects the findings and conclusions we reached based on the information made available to us.”

The report was a part of a wider probe into sexual misconduct and harassment allegations that have been leveled against the FBI, the ATF, the DEA, and the US Marshals Service and included additional reports of inappropriate sexual relationships and conduct by officials at the ATF and US Marshals Service. Investigators also found that DEA, ATF, and FBI officials sometimes chose not to investigate or report allegations of misconduct.

Interestingly, a DEA official told Inspector General Horowitz that DEA agents are sometimes allowed to solicit prostitutes while stationed overseas. The report noted that, according to DEA policy, “prostitution is considered part of the local culture and is tolerated in certain areas called ‘tolerance zones.’”

DEA and ATF officials denied Politico‘s requests for a comment on the matter.

IG Report: ATF Scraps Drone Program After Wasting $600K on Broken Drones

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, referred to colloquially as the ATF, is a prohibition-era law enforcement division charged with investigating crimes related to the trade of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives, despite the fact that three of those categories now pertain to clearly-legal products. According to a report by the Department of Justice‘s inspector general, the ATF took cues from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency and attempted to get in on the surveillance-of-US-citizens business, but gave up after the drones it ordered from contractors at a cost of $600,000 failed to meet advertised technical capabilities, rendering them useless for surveillance missions.

The inspector general’s report stated, “ATF officials told us that they acquired these [unmanned aircraft systems] to provide video surveillance that could integrate with other surveillance platforms and equipment already in use… ATF officials reported that ATF never flew its UAS in support of its operations because TOB testing and pilot training revealed a series of technological limitations with the UAS models it had acquired. In particular, ATF determined the real-time battery capability for one UAS model lasted for only about 20 minutes even though the manufacturer specified its flight time was 45 minutes. ATF determined that the other two models of UAS acquired also were unreliable or unsuitable for surveillance. One UAS program manager told us ATF found that one of its smaller UAS models, which cost nearly $90,000, was too difficult to use reliably in operations. Furthermore, the TOB discovered that a gas-powered UAS model, which cost approximately $315,000 and was specified to fly for up to 2 hours, was never operable due to multiple technical defects.”

The Washington Times notes that the drone program was subsequently scrapped. However, this did not stop the ATF from spending $15,000 more on five additional drones following the cancellation of the program. Those drones were used “to conduct one brief UAS flight in July 2014 to document the aftermath of a Louisiana apartment fire that resulted in the deaths of three residents” before “[ATF officials] became aware that they were required to obtain an FAA COA before operating UAS” leading them to ground “their UAS until they obtained further clarification and guidance on deployment requirements.” The inspector general said that “[ATF] should have communicated its decision to suspend UAS activities across the entire agency” to avoid wasting the additional $15,000 on five more useless drones.

The inspector general concluded, “Although the OIG did not specifically audit ATF’s UAS contracts, we are troubled that the process ATF used to purchase these UAS resulted in ATF spending approximately $600,000 on UAS models it ultimately determined to have significant mechanical and technical problems that rendered them unsuitable to deploy in support of ATF operations. Therefore, we recommend that ATF direct responsible officials to perform a thorough needs analysis regarding the potential UAS capabilities it requires that ensures the best approaches to procure UAS prior to restarting future UAS acquisition activity.”

The report also pointed out the fact that the FBI has used drones in 13 different missions so far, “including search-and-rescue operations, kidnappings, fugitive manhunts, national security missions and anti-drug trafficking interdictions.”