Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was created in 1973 as an independent office under the U.S. Department of Justice, to enforce the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. It is the main U.S. Agency responsible for the development, planning, and evaluation of drug control strategies and programs.
U.S. legislation contains specific provisions that criminalize activities that take place outside the United States. Drug trafficking is a multidimensional criminal enterprise that knows no borders nor nationality. It has spread worldwide like cancer. To combat this international scourge, the DEA participates actively in the development and implementation of the National Drug Control Strategy. The DEA's main responsibility is the enforcement of U.S. legislation to reduce drug availability, but it also participates in programs and training to reduce demand.
Currently, the DEA has over 7,000 employees, of which 3,700 are special agents assigned in the 50 states and in 50 other countries.
In the United States, its primary responsibilities include:
- investigation, arrest and preparation for the prosecution of major violators of controlled substance laws, at interstate and international levels;
- management of the national drug intelligence program in cooperation with federal, state, local and foreign officials, to collect, analyze and disseminate strategic and operational drug intelligence information;
- asset seizure and forfeiture of products derived from, traceable to, or intended to be used for illicit drug trafficking;
- implementation of the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act which deal with the manufacture and distribution of legally produced controlled substances;
- coordination and cooperation with federal, state and local law enforcement officials on joint drug enforcement efforts, enhancing such efforts through the use of interstate and international investigations beyond local or federal resources and boundaries;
- coordination and cooperation with other federal, state and local agencies, as well as with foreign governments, in programs designed to reduce the availability of illicit drugs in U.S. markets, through such methods as crop eradication and substitution, and the training of foreign officials;
- all programs dealing with drug control, and with the administration of justice toward narcotraffickers, under the policy guidance of the Secretary of State and the U.S. Ambassador in each country;
- liaison with the United Nations, Interpol and other organizations on matters dealing with international drug control programs.
DEA in Colombia
The DEA has always had an excellent working relationship with the Colombian National Police and the Security Administration Department (DAS). In Colombia, DEA agents do not have the power to arrest nor seize drugs or assets. The DEA may gather information and collect evidence to be used in U.S. courts, or assist with information for drug seizure anywhere in the world. Special Agents provide intelligence to the National Police and DAS, and work with them to develop national and international investigations that may be used for law enforcement in Colombia and in other countries.
To carry out its mission, the DEA accepts information on any aspect of drug trafficking such as production, transportation, distribution, money laundering, or the administration and activities of criminal organizations. Anyone who wishes to offer information confidentially may send a letter to the DEA Office in the Embassy, including his/her name and telephone number, in case it is necessary to extend the investigation, or the information involves compensation or reward.
DEA Office in Colombia
Oficina de la DEA
Embajada de Estados Unidos de América
Carrera 45 # 22D-45