The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has found drug trafficking in Springfield to be such a significant problem that it established a Resident Office in the city. DEA agents in Springfield work under the auspices of the St. Louis Division of the agency.
Springfield’s location on Interstate 44 between Oklahoma City and St. Louis has made it vulnerable to drug traffickers from these cities. These traffickers distribute wholesale quantities of drugs from California, Texas, and the southwest through Springfield to other parts of Missouri. In addition, Springfield has a significant consumer market for drugs. DEA agents in Springfield routinely bust traffickers distributing drugs from the city.
Drug Interdictions by DEA Agents in Springfield
- In December 2012, five members of a Mexican trafficking ring were charged with bringing multi-kilogram quantities of nearly pure methamphetamine to Springfield. Over a two year period, they brought over 50 grams of the drug from Arizona into Springfield. The meth was then packaged into smaller units and distributed throughout Christian, Greene, and Polk counties.
- The DEA was part of a multi-agency investigation into a $6.7 million conspiracy to distribute synthetic drugs. Three Springfield family members were indicted in November 2012 for their scheme to distribute the synthetic cannabinoid K2 through their family business.
- A Springfield man was convicted in April 2012 for his role as the main distributor in a conspiracy that brought weekly multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine into Springfield from Dallas and/or Chicago.
Learning How to Become a DEA Agent in Springfield
DEA applicants come from a variety of careers. Some have prior experience investigating drug conspiracies, while others have obtained secondary degrees. A J.D., LL.B., Master’s, or a Bachelor’s degree with a 2.95 GPA are qualifications to apply to become a DEA agent. This requirement is waived for applicants with a Bachelor’s degree who have three years of military service, experience as an accountant, engineer, information technologist, airline or ship’s captain, or who are fluent in a particular language.
Springfield residents who want to learn how to become a DEA agent should contact the St. Louis Division of the agency to find out if there are jobs available in Springfield. Additional requirements include being in excellent mental and physical health, along with having good hearing and vision.
Recruits pursue their coursework at the DEA Academy in Quantico, Virginia. In addition, they receive practical training with firearms, driving, and physical conditioning at the FBI Academy, located on the same grounds.
Addressing the Drug Problem in Springfield
The problem of drug distribution and use in Springfield is so severe that Green County was designated part of the Midwest HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) when it was created by the federal government.
Heroin – Public health and law enforcement officials have been reporting an increase in the use of heroin, both nationally and in Springfield. Heroin abuse has increased along with the trend of prescription drug abuse, since heroin is often a cheaper alternative than buying prescription painkillers from traffickers.
Methamphetamine – Mexican traffickers transport large quantities of the ice form of meth to Springfield and then distribute it throughout Missouri. This relatively pure form has been supplanting the locally produced powdered form and has increasingly penetrated the Ozarks. The association between meth sale and abuse with violence has law enforcement officials in Springfield concerned about its contribution to violent crime in the city.
Marijuana – Wholesale quantities of pot are brought into Springfield from California and the Southwest and then distributed throughout Missouri. In addition, some high-quality pot is grown locally, both in indoor and outdoor sites. Pot is the drug of choice for most of the citizens of Missouri that use illicit drugs.
Cocaine – Cocaine distribution and use is a serious problem in Springfield. Mexican traffickers bring wholesale quantities into the city for further distribution. The scale of the local use of crack is an area of concern, especially given the amount of violence that frequently correlates with the sale and abuse of the drug.