DEA Agents Engaged in Serious Misconduct—and Nothing Else Happened

It's as hard to fire bad federal agents as it is bad police officers.


"Justice" is for them to dish out, not take.

Remember when those Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents had wild sex parties on government-leased property complete with sex workers hired by the very Colombian drug cartels the DEA was supposed to be fighting? It was such a big scandal that it forced DEA chief Michele Leonhart to resign.

You would think that would have led to a whole bunch of mass firings. Or rather, you would if you had never paid attention to what actually happens to law enforcement officers accused of misconduct. No, there weren't a bunch of terminations, which was actually helped drive that controversy forward in the first place. It turns out that the DEA, much like law enforcement agencies across the country, has a very poor record of getting rid of employees who engage in misconduct. USA Today looked at their numbers:

Of the 50 employees the DEA's Board of Professional Conduct recommended be fired following misconduct investigations opened since 2010, only 13 were actually terminated, the records show. And the drug agency was forced to take some of them back after a federal appeals board intervened.

In one case listed on an internal log, the review board recommended that an employee be fired for "distribution of drugs," but a human resources official in charge of meting out discipline imposed a 14-day suspension instead. The log shows officials also opted not to fire employees who falsified official records, had an "improper association with a criminal element" or misused government vehicles, sometimes after drinking.

"If we conducted an investigation, and an employee actually got terminated, I was surprised," said Carl Pike, a former DEA internal affairs investigator. "I was truly, truly surprised. Like, wow, the system actually got this guy."

Here's a description of what a guy did that actually got him fired from the DEA, but then the federal Merit Systems Protections Board, which oversees termination appeals, intervened:

It ruled another agent could not be fired after he accidentally fired his gun during a foot chase, then threw away the spent shell casing and told an investigator that the shooting never happened.

Read more here.

NEXT: FBI Releases Crime Report for 2014; Violent Crime and Property Crime Both Down

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    1. Someone actually got fired. That is shocking. Shocking indeed.

    2. The government union crooks are so strong, that almost no government employee can ever be fired. Even if they commit murder on the job, they are above the law. Yet, private citizens can be sued or imprisoned for jay walking.

  1. I got an idea. Tell the DEA that ISIS has a dime bag of weed and ship all 11,000 of those moral midgets over there to hunt it down.

    1. Don’t forget to send a truckload of depends with them, no need to turn the ME into a bigger craphole than it already is.

    2. NASA probes have detected the faint odor of marijuana on Pluto.

      1. Ok, but are there hookers on Pluto too? DEA agents ain’t go nowhere ‘less they be mad sluts up ins.

        1. If we say Rentboy is operating on Pluto, maybe DHS will mount a mission to the outer planets too.

    3. Excellent. Send some Columbian prostitutes over there as well so the Secret Service will get in on the action.

  2. People who are unable to experience the full negative consequences of their actions act badly? Maybe we could see if this applies to financial firms who make poor hedging decisions or insurance companies who have guaranteed earnings.

  3. We have all accidentally fired our weapons, am I right, fellas? BRO TALK.

    1. Crusty juggler is a smuggler!!!

  4. It takes a thug to catch a thug.

    1. It takes a slug to catch a crazy area rug that was chasing after a big bug. After shooting it, you felt bad and gave it a hug, pet it and gave it’s tassels a tug. Just as you though everything was snug………IT SHOWED ITS TEETH AND BIT OFF YOUR UGLY MUG!!

      1. And yet your Juggler/Smuggler you just left out there.

        I expect better.

  5. Heroes. Thin blue line. Split second decision. Right to go home safe. Feared for his life. Public service. War on cops. Hater. Derp.

    1. They heard you, they’re mad, and they’re coming to ravage you for crossing that thin blue line.

  6. We really need to drop this “agent” and “special agent” bullshit with these people. They are freak’n government employees and nothing more.

    1. Let’s get rid of the military ranks first, then other nonsense like the state police “barracks”.

      1. With the private production of defense…..folks can get rid of all these bullshit titles.

  7. This passive-tense discussion of government problems is the Libertarian equivalent of the “police-involved shooting” dance newspapers do to avoid ever saying a police officer killed someone. I just don’t get it. “DEA Agents Engaged in Serious Misconduct– and Nothing Else Happened.”

    Not “And They Were Never Arrested.” Not “And Their Boss Didn’t Fire Them.” Not “And the DEA Board of Professional Conduct Let Them Off the Hook.” Not “And the Merit Systems Protection Board Kept Them in Their Jobs.” You can point to specific things that should have happened to them, and identify why those things did not happen and who or what is responsible for that.

    Is Michele Leonhart correct (as quoted in the article) in saying that federal law prohibits firing misbehaving DEA employees unless they’re convicted of a crime? If so, then all this vague hand-wringing about how “Nothing Happened” to them is pointless– and misleading!– the problem is that law, and we should change it. Which law is it? What needs to happen to change it?

    If she isn’t correct, why did Congress let her get away with lying?

    Complaining generally about unspecified justice not happening isn’t speaking truth to power or holding the government’s feet to the fire– it’s just clickbait. Do better.

    1. I see you’re new here…

      “And nothing else happened” is a Hit&Run; in-joke. It comes from a cop apologist in the comments section a few years back who would link news stories where police supposedly didn’t act badly and end it with “AND NOTHING ELSE HAPPENED”.

      The counter of course was to highlight stories where cops got away with committing serious crimes and then end the post with “AND NOTHING ELSE HAPPENED.”

      Hence the title.

  8. lol, US politics, best politics money can buy lol.

  9. Police are held in such disregard almost entirely because they refuse to police their own no matter how foul the actions of the bad cops.

  10. Bureaucracies and bureaucrats usually manage to take care of themselves, in case you hadn’t noticed.

  11. Shocked!

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