Interstate 95 spans the length of Maine and is a common drug trafficking route, so DEA agents in the state have their work cut out for them. The state’s 228 miles of coastline and 3478 miles of shoreline also provide easy access for maritime traffickers.
Fighting the Drug Trade in Main with DEA Interdiction Efforts
Pharmaceuticals and prescription drug abuse pose a large problem for DEA agents in Maine. Maine’s Public Safety Commissioner blamed the increase in prescription drug abuse for the state’s 5.4 percent rise in crime from 2010 to 2011. This represents the largest increase in crime in Maine since 1975.
As the result of a six month investigation, in April 2013, the Maine DEA arrested two Florida residents for trafficking Oxycodone in the Hancock County area of Maine. In that county, Maine DEA agents say, one 30 mg Oxycodone tablet sells for $50 on the street. The value of the drugs seized by the Maine DEA in this operation totaled $16,000.
March 2013 also saw the sentencing of an Augusta priest for smuggling Suboxone into Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset in October 2012. The priest will serve 45 days in jail and one year of probation and community service following his release.
Another major concern for Maine DEA agents are “bath salts,” also known as synthetic cathinones. In March 2013, DEA agents in Maine arrested a Presque Isle man for accepting two packages containing 400 grams of bath salts. These drugs commonly originate in China, Maine DEA agents say.
What it takes to Become a DEA Agent in Maine
Becoming a DEA agent in Maine by meeting the agency’s requirements is not an easy task, but can be quite rewarding for those who are up to the challenge. To be considered for DEA Academy training, applicants must have experience in drug investigations and a college degree. The standard requirement is a J.D. or LL.B degree, or a bachelor’s degree along with an additional qualifying feature such as foreign language fluency or a pilot’s license.
Maine’s DEA is part of the New England Division of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. For those who are interested in learning how to become a DEA agent in Maine, the division has set up a handy eligibility quiz on its website that covers the basic requirements. Of course, becoming a DEA agent in Maine also requires formal academy training even for prospective agents that meet all these requirements.
The Maine DEA has established a Facebook page in its ongoing attempts to network with and disseminate information to the public. Recent drug busts and DEA operations within the state are noted here.
The recruitment office for the New England Division of the DEA is located in Boston, Massachusetts at JFK Federal Building on Sudbury Street. The contact number for the Boston Division office is (617) 557-2100. Maine’s regional offices can be reached at the Post of Duty Office in Bangor by calling (207) 262-4666, and at the Portland Resident Office by calling (207) 780-3331.
Law Enforcement Partnerships with the Main DEA
In addition to DEA agents, various law enforcement agencies across Maine work with the Maine DEA in investigating and apprehending criminals. These law enforcement agencies have officers assigned to work directly with the Maine DEA, and include (but are not limited to):
- Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office
- Bangor Police Department
- Maine State Police
- Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department
- Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office
- Presque Isle Police Department