Since the rise of cocaine use in the United States in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Florida has been on the frontline in the War on Drugs. The appeal of Florida for drug smugglers is quite simple:
- The string of more than 100 islands that make up the Florida Keys are very difficult to monitor
- Florida’s proximity to the smuggling hub of Cuba
- The presence of a high-concentration of drug cartel members, gang members and other major narcotic distributors
Combined, these factors create the perfect storm for drug smuggling.
Yet, cocaine is not the only drug in town, as marijuana, methamphetamine, pharmaceuticals and heroin are also part of the drug smuggling operations that move product from South America through Florida, and into the United States. Needless to say, Florida is prime real estate for drug smugglers and dealers and it is the job of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to disrupt those efforts.
Florida DEA District and Field Offices
The main DEA field office in Florida is located in Miami, the epicenter of drug activity in the state, as well as one of he major distribution hubs for the entire Southern half of the United States.
Outside of Miami, there are a series of district offices where many of Florida’s DEA jobs are based. The offices are located in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach. There are also smaller resident offices in Pensacola, Panama City, Tallahassee, Gainesville, Port St. Lucie and Homestead. There are also two post of duty locations in Titusville and Key West.
DEA Operations in Florida
In Florida, DEA jobs are demanding, but come with the satisfaction of frequent busts. DEA agents in Florida often devote their careers to:
- Monitoring illegal air traffic
- Identifying and destroying drug labs
- Busting up money laundering schemes
- Monitoring waterways popular with drug traffickers
One of the most recent high-profile DEA operations in Florida involved the probing of a series of Walgreen’s stores throughout the state. The Walgreen’s are being investigated on accusations that their drug prescription policies are too lax and that they may be knowingly accepting fake and or forged prescriptions from prescription drug abusers.
How to Get a DEA Job in Florida
Becoming a DEA agent in Florida means meeting the agency’s national requirements. To be eligible for DEA Academy training as a special agent, applicants must have:
Bachelor’s degree with 2.95 GPA
Master’s or law degree
Experience in drug investigations
A bachelor’s degree and an additional qualification as specified by the DEA. Any one of the following can count as an additional eligibility qualification for bachelor’s degree holders:
- Foreign language fluency
- Maritime license or documented experience
- Pilot’s license
- Experience with electronic theory and application
- Accounting and auditing experience (24 semester hours specific to auditing or accounting required)
- Military leadership experience
Candidates with a bachelor’s and a 2.95 GPA, a master’s degree, a J.D. or LL.B degree do not need any of these additional qualifiers.