DEA 'Sex Parties' Funded by Drug Cartels, IG Report Says

PHOTO: A sign with a DEA badge marks the entrance to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Museum in Arlington, Va., Aug. 8, 2013.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
A sign with a DEA badge marks the entrance to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Museum in Arlington, Va., Aug. 8, 2013.

Senior Drug Enforcement Administration agents working overseas allegedly participated in “sex parties” with prostitutes funded by drug cartels, according to a newly-released Department of Justice Inspector General report on the handling of sexual misconduct allegations by law enforcement agencies.

The conduct occurred over a period of years, according to the report. In addition to soliciting prostitutes, the foreign officers interviewed for the report allege three DEA supervisory special agents were “provided money, expensive gifts, and weapons from drug cartel members."

Some DEA agents who participated in the parties denied knowing about cartel involvement, but the IG report says “information in the case files suggested they should have known the prostitutes in attendance were paid with cartel funds.”

The sex parties occurred in government leased living quarters where “agents’ laptops, BlackBerry devices and other government-issued equipment were present,” posing a security risk and “potentially exposing them to extortion, blackmail, or coercion.”

In another instance, two DEA special agents allegedly solicited prostitutes for a farewell party for a senior DEA official.

That official, an acting assistant regional director, allegedly had “sexual relations with prostitutes” and there were “allegations operational funds were used to pay for the party and the prostitutes,” according to the report.

The report also alleges that one prostitute was assaulted by someone associated with DEA supervisors following a payment dispute. The report was critical of DEA’s treatment of allegations of sexual misconduct, often dealing with incidents as local management issues and not reporting information up the chain of command.

The report also looked at allegations of misconduct against the U.S. Marshals Service, ATF and the FBI.

One case of alleged sexual harassment involved an FBI “Supervisory Management and Program Analyst’s repeated unprofessional behavior, including cornering his subordinates in their cubicles and displaying the size of his genitals by tightening his pants,” the report details. Subordinates of that employee endured his conduct for 3 years before it was reported to headquarters. The analyst was eventually suspended, demoted and reassigned to another office.

The Department of Justice said in a statement that it is working “with the law enforcement components to ensure a zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment and misconduct is enforced and that incidents are properly reported."