The DEA enforces federal laws and regulations related to the growth, production, or distribution of controlled substances. In addition, the DEA seeks to reduce the supply of and demand for illicit drugs, both domestically and internationally. The DEA has approximately 9,900 employees staffing its 21 division offices in the United States and 83 foreign offices in 63 countries.
During this reporting period, the OIG received 311 complaints involving the DEA. The most common allegations made against DEA employees included official misconduct, waste and mismanagement, and theft. The majority of the complaints were considered management issues and were provided to the DEA for its review and appropriate action.
During this reporting period, the OIG opened 10 and referred 13 allegations to the DEA’s OPR for action or investigation. At the close of the reporting period, the OIG had 15 open cases of alleged misconduct against DEA employees. The most common allegations were official misconduct; force, abuse, and rights violations; fraud; and theft.
Adoptive Seizure Process
The OIG is examining the DEA’s process for adopting seizures from state and local law enforcement agencies under the Department’s Asset Forfeiture Program. State and local law enforcement agencies can seize property forfeited to them under state laws or they may transfer the property to a federal agency, such as the DEA, for forfeiture under federal laws. Seizures made by state and local law enforcement agencies that are accepted by a federal agency for processing under federal laws are known as “adoptive” seizures.
The OIG is conducting an audit of the DEA’s management of aviation operations. The audit will assess the management of DEA aviation operations and evaluate whether the use of official aircraft is appropriate and necessary to support official business operations. A similar but separate audit is being conducted of the FBI’s management of aviation operations.
In addition to examining how the DEA allocates and assesses personnel resources within its established priorities, the OIG is examining the allocation and utilization of DEA personnel on narcotics-related investigations and the number and types of drug investigations handled by the DEA.