The Justice Department conducted a review of Drug Enforcement Administration agents, and the findings are less than desirable., according to USA Today.
A general inquiry on federal agencies’ handling of of sexual misconduct and harassment reports found that seven out of ten agents reportedly attended parties in Colombia funded by drug cartels, which the agents admitted. In addition, prostitutes participated in the events, dubbed “sex parties.”
Three supervisory special agents allegedly accepted gifts from members of cartels, including money and weapons.
The agents’ actions grossly violated their security clearances, as the report explained, “Most of the sex parties occurred in government-leased quarters where agents’ laptops, BlackBerry devices and other government issued equipment were present … potentially exposing them to extortion, blackmail or coercion.”
The misconduct was never transferred to the Office of Security Programs for internal review, and the agents were only suspended for time periods between two and 10 days.
The agents also nearly jeopardized a trial involving former Colombian police officers. The officers informed the DEA about the parties, and some agents from the above report were involved in the investigation, a clear conflict.
“If these special agents had served as government witnesses at the trials of these defendants, their alleged misconduct would have had to be disclosed to defense attorneys and would likely have significantly impaired ability to testify at trial,” the report outlined.
The suspects struck plea agreements for a narcotics conspiracy case, so a trial never occurred.
An anonymous letter sent to the Office of Professional Responsibility in 2010 linked two agents to frequent visits of a brothel and payment for prostitutes. The resulting review discovered that the agents’ supervisors already knew about evidence connected to the allegations, yet they never initiated an investigation.
The Justice Department’s review of conduct from 2008 to 2012 found that, out of 26 allegations of misconduct involving prostitution, the DEA was involved in 19.
“Let there be no mistake, this is a national security threat. We need to hold them accountable, and given the clear evidence in the OIG report, they should be fired immediately,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in an official statement.
The DEA would not comment on the review.