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How to Become a DEA Agent in Chicago, Illinois by Meeting Requirements

The Mexican drug cartels continue to play a major role on the illegal drug activity plaguing Chicago. In particular, Chicago remains a distribution hub for the Mexican cartels, along with Los Angeles, Houston, and Atlanta. According to recent statistics, there are now between 40,000 and 60,000 documented gang members in Chicago alone; many of whom serve as drug runners for the Mexican cartels.

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Law enforcement officials in Chicago have seen drug activity move from an inner-city problem to one that is now infiltrating the suburbs of Chicagoland. From cocaine and heroin to prescription drugs, the DEA is facing the challenge of stopping the flow of drugs into the city, as well as the suburbs.

High Profile DEA Cases Leading to Major Busts in Chicago

Just some of the recent headlines that speak to the drug problem in Chicago include:

  • January 2013: The DEA, along with the Chicago Heights Police Department, arrested three individuals and seized cocaine, heroin, weapons (including an AK-47 assault rifle), and a vehicle. The arrests were part of an investigation that began in April 2012. Just some of the charges the individuals are facing include: possession with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin; armed violence; and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.
  • September 2012: The DEA reported that 39 individuals from two area drug trafficking organizations were facing federal narcotics charges. These arrests originated from an investigation led by the DEA and FBI, as well as several federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The drug bust yielded about 2.5 kilograms of cocaine, nearly $177,000 in cash, and a number of guns. This investigation was part of a larger, year-long investigation, which resulted in the seizure 10 kilograms of marijuana, 13 kilograms of cocaine, and 1.5 kilograms of heroin. It also brought the total number of arrests on drug trafficking offenses in a three-week span to about 100.
  • June 2012: Nineteen individuals in Chicago were charged with federal narcotics offenses for playing a role in two organizations that supplied and distributed powder and crack cocaine. This investigation was led by the DEA with the help of the Chicago Police Department. The result of this bust led to the seizure of crack cocaine, powder cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
  • January 2012: A retired Chicago police officer, along with four other individuals were convicted, following a two-month trail, of cocaine distribution

How to Become a DEA Agent in Chicago by Meeting Requirements

Individuals interested in learning how to become a DEA agent in Chicago should first learn of this agency’s minimum requirements for employment. In particular, all candidates for Chicago DEA jobs must:

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Be between the ages of 21 and 36
  • Meet education and/or experience requirements

Individuals interested in Chicago-based DEA careers who do not possess any former experience must possess a college education. In particular, individuals must, at a minimum, hold a bachelor’s degree (with a GPA of 2.9 or better), although many individuals seeking DEA jobs in Chicago hold master’s degrees, JD degrees, or LLB degrees, all of which have no minimum GPA requirements.

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