In November of 2012, the rise of a thriving methamphetamine drug ring was infiltrated by undercover authorities, resulting in the arrests of four individuals in the Fort Smith area. Each defendant was found guilty of distributing at least five pounds of meth during the course of a four-month investigation conducted by the Fort Smith Police Department and the DEA. During sentencing, the local judge slapped the four drug peddlers with a combined sentence totaling sixty-one years. The newsworthy judgment sent a clear message to drug criminals operating in Arkansas: Don’t mess with the DEA.
Illegal Drug Consumption & Crime in Arkansas
- According to the Arkansas Department of Human Services, in 2011, marijuana was the most widely used drug, particularly in residents between 18 to 25 years old.
- Inhalant abuse is most abundant in the young teenage demographic. In fact, in 2009, the state abuse rate (6.1%) trumped the national abuse rate (3.8%) of inhalants among 8th grade students.
- In 2008, there were 298 cocaine-related arrests while crack-related arrests soared to 739.
- Methamphetamine use in 18 to 25 year-olds statewide is the second highest percentage in the nation (4.41%).
- In 2008, there were 1,142 meth-related arrests in Arkansas. Adult (98%), white (93%), males (69%) constituted a majority of those arrested.
- Between 2007 and 2008, over 4% of adults in Arkansas admitted to unlawful use of narcotics, inhalants, prescription medications or hallucinogens within the last 30 days.
Basic Employment Requirements in Fort Smith
Depending on availability, individuals can serve the DEA by occupying jobs as diversion investigators, researchers, administrative staff members, forensic scientists, professional service providers and special agents.
Students and entry-level team members are also sought to fill miscellaneous roles. Those with professional, technical, military and/or law enforcement backgrounds may be at a higher advantage in the application process. Interested parties that want to know how to become a DEA agent in Fort Smith are encouraged to contact a local recruiter only after meeting requirements. Currently, basic requirements for employment are:
- Bachelor’s degree with minimum GPA of 2.95 or master’s, LL.B. or JD degree (degree requirement waived for those with extensive backgrounds in drug enforcement)
- Ability to prove US citizenship
- Ability to pass illegal drug test
- Ability to comply with the DEA Drug Policy
- Ability to pass a background investigation
- Ability to prove registration with the Selective Service System (if applicable)
Job Responsibilities of Special Agents in Fort Smith
Among all Fort Smith DEA jobs and careers, perhaps the most elite position is that of a special agent. Those that successfully qualify to become special agents often embark on sensitive missions that involve highly dangerous criminal elements. According to the DEA, common job duties delegated to special agents include:
- Directing complicated criminal investigations
- Driving undercover operations
- Executing financial investigations
- Accumulating critical intelligence
- Preparing incriminating evidence
- Arresting criminal drug offenders
- Confiscating illegal substances
- Testifying in a court of law
DEA Agent Training in Fort Smith
Special Agents are required to complete an eighteen-week intensive training regimen that will prepare them for fieldwork within the DEA. The course integrates both classroom theory instruction and physical application of guided techniques. Aspiring agents must receive at least an 80% passing grade on all academic examinations, successfully complete a firearms qualification test, prove shape judgment in simulated activities, and pass physical task assessments. Specific examples of training exercises and disciplines:
- Report writing
- Automated information systems
- Drug recognition
- Basic marksmanship
- Weapons safety
- Tactical shooting
- Deadly force decision-making