The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s District Office for Nebraska is located in Omaha, which is considered one of the four primary drug markets in the Midwest. This is due to its large size and proximity to major national highway routes. The intersection of Interstates 80 and 29 in the city provides easy access to national drug markets in the southwestern states and California, along with the major consumer market of Kansas City.
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Mexican traffickers bring highly pure drugs into Omaha, where they are distributed to neighboring states such as Iowa and South Dakota. In addition, large quantities of drugs are sold within Omaha. The city’s key status as a point for the shipment of drugs has led the DEA to focus its efforts in Omaha. DEA agents frequently work closely with members of other agencies to produce busts of high level dealers in Omaha.
- As the result of a joint investigation involving the DEA, a resident of Omaha was sentenced to ten years in jail in September 2012 for his role in distributing pounds of methamphetamine.
- A 2012 undercover investigation led DEA and FBI agents to identify seven individuals involved in supplying multiple ounce quantities of methamphetamine to gang members in South Omaha.
- A multi-agency effort involving the DEA led to the December 2011 dismantling of a major ring that was supplying large quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine to Omaha. The purity of the drugs suggested that they were coming directly from original sources in Mexico or the Southwest U.S.
What it Takes to Become a DEA Agent in Omaha
Individuals can become DEA agents by following a number of different career paths. Obtaining a J.D., Master’s, or LL.B. degree will qualify individuals to apply for jobs with the DEA. In addition, having a Bachelor’s degree with a 2.95 GPA is another qualification. There is no minimum GPA requirement for those with three or more years of experience as an accountant, information technologist, engineer, fluency in one of a number of foreign languages, ship or airline pilot, or experience in the military. Having previous experience investigating drug conspiracies is another way to become qualified to join the DEA.
Omaha residents who seek careers with the DEA should contact the St. Louis Division to see if positions are available in the city. Having excellent physical and mental health are additional requirements. This includes having good vision and hearing.
Recruits obtain their formal training at the DEA and FBI Academies located in Quantico, Virginia. Coursework takes place at the DEA Academy, while training such as learning to use firearms, drive defensively and in pursuit, and getting in excellent physical shape takes place at the FBI Academy.
Addressing the Drug Problem in Omaha
The use of the Omaha metropolitan area as a regional distribution center for illicit drugs led the federal government to include both Douglas and Sarpy Counties as part of the Midwest HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) that was created in 1998.
Methamphetamine – Mexican traffickers bring pounds of ice meth into Omaha and ship it to areas throughout the Midwest. A significant quantity of the drug stays in Omaha, where it has contributed to an increase in violence. Nebraska has very high rates of abuse of meth. Stimulants, particularly meth, were the primary drugs that led to treatment in 2010..
Cocaine – Traffickers bring large quantities of cocaine from Mexico and the southwestern U.S to Omaha. The drug is both shipped to neighboring states and used throughout the city. Crack houses are a particular problem in West Omaha.
Marijuana – Pot is both brought into Omaha by large scale traffickers and also grown locally. The abuse of a pot is a significant problem in the city.