Most people know that the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) is an extension of the Justice Department. They deal with all aspects of the illegal drug trade, overseas and in the United States. This is the extent of what most people know about the DEA.
The top five things you might not know about the DEA likely include …
First, it’s not old. In 1974 President Nixon started the DEA, in an effort to simplify the enforcement of drug laws. It was comprised of what once was the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement and the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control.
Second, it is a very by the numbers department. There are 21 divisions with 226 offices in the field. Globally, 66 countries have offices. Over 9,000 people are employed with the DEA and about 5,000 are Special Agents. Since its beginning, the DEA has cost taxpayers over $5 billion dollars.
Third, your primary physician has a DEA license. Anyone who prescribes or dispenses drugs needs a Drug Enforcement Administration license, this will need to be renewed every three years. If you abuse your DEA license then you could lose your license or have to pay a fine.
Fourth, they are FAST. This stands for Foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Teams, there are five elite teams. To join this group there is a difficult training and selection process that lasts eight weeks. If you are a part of the FAST team you are responsible for counter-terrorism, missions relating to counter-narcotics and direct action.
Fifth, it can be a dangerous job. There are over 80 names on the Wall of Honor at the DEA. These are names of men and women who have lost their lives while on duty. They sacrificed their lives on the job. An example would be the memorable Oklahoma City bombing. When Timothy McVeigh bombed the Murrah Federal Building five DEA members were killed.