Report: DEA agents partied with cartel-provided sex workers

According to a report released by the Justice Department’s inspector general, several Drug Enforcement Administration agents allegedly attended “sex parties” with sex workers hired by local drug cartels overseas over a period of several years. Three agents also are alleged to have received money, expensive gifts, and weapons from Colombian cartels.

Seven out of the ten agents identified in the report as being involved in the sex parties admitted to having been in attendance and received suspensions of two to ten days.

The 97-page report, which focuses on sexual harassment and misconduct in the DEA, FBI, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, was conducted after U.S. Secret Service agents were mired in a drunken scandal involving the solicitation of escorts in Cartagena ahead of a 2012 visit by President Obama.

The report also found the DEA, FBI, and U.S. Marshals frequently “do not fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment by their agents despite significant evidence it has occurred.” In total, there were 26 incidents in which DEA agents, including an assitant regional director, allegedly solicited sex workers.

The DEA inspector’s office told the Justice Department that “prostitution is considered a part of the local culture” and is “allowed in certain areas,” called “tolerance zones,” according to the report.

The Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (who has had no shortage of reasons to be upset recently) isn’t buying it.

“Let there be no mistake this is a national security threat. While the vast majority of employees do quality work, the bad apples highlighted in the report taint their service. We need to hold them accountable and, given the clear evidence in the OIG report, they should be fired immediately,” Chaffetz said. “The gross misconduct of DEA agents follows a disturbing pattern of risky and improper behavior afflicting Homeland Security and the Department of Justice.”

Party’s over, guys.

[Washington Post | LA Times]