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How to Become a DEA Agent in Illinois by Meeting Requirements

Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) operations in the state of Illinois are primarily focused on the Chicago area, which has one of the highest occurrences of drug related crimes in the country.

According to a report done in 2010, Chicago has the worst heroin problem in the United States, but because of gang and drug cartel operations in the area, there are also large marijuana, cocaine and prescription drug problems in the area. In the more rural areas of the state methamphetamine has become an increasingly severe problem.

Recent DEA Operations in Illinois

The following is a breakdown of some of the most high profile drug busts in the state of Illinois:

  • September 2011: A months-long investigation by the DEA, which included the use of informants and surveillance, resulted in the arrest of 11 suspects who were connected with a Mexican drug cartel. The cartel members were responsible for trafficking cocaine and heroin throughout the state and were based in Evanston.
  • June 2012: The DEA performed a bust on a drug ring that resulted in the seizure of 20 kilograms of heroin, $1.4 million in cash and a 2010 Green Bay Packers Super Bowl ring, as well as numerous illegal firearms and other stolen property. The suspects were tied to a Mexican drug cartel operating out of Chicago and Milwaukee.

Requirements for DEA Jobs in Illinois

When considering how to obtain a career in the DEA in Illinois, there are some basic requirements an applicant must meet as well as extensive training. In order to become a DEA agent, an applicant must at least one of the following in terms of work experience or education:

  • Have at least 1 year of drug enforcement experience as a law enforcement official
  • Have a Bachelor’s Degree with at least a 2.95 GPA
  • Have at least 2 years of graduate education experience or equivalent experience
  • Have an LLB or J.D. Degree
  • Possess a pilot’s license
  • Have at least 3 years experience in accounting or auditing
  • Have 3 or more years of experience with electronic theory and application
  • Have 3 or more years of experience in military leadership

If an applicant meets the above requirements, as well as the other basic application requirements, then they will be put through a series of exams and tests in order to measure their aptitude. If they pass the tests and examinations, the applicant will move onto the DEA training academy in Quantico, which is tailored to whatever position the applicant is seeking.

The jobs found with the Illinois DEA include the following:

  • Special Agent
  • Administration
  • Diversion Investigator
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Intelligence Research Specialist
  • Entry Level & Student Internships

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