In New Jersey, DEA careers are often focused on the major roadways that snake throughout the state. In particular, much of the illegal drug activity in the state originates from Interstate corridors 78 and 80, both of which run west to east, and Interstate 95, which runs from north to south.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy reported that, in 2009-2010, New Jersey was one of the top states in the nation when looking specifically at cocaine use among residents from adolescence to adulthood. In addition, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that about 7.33 percent of all New Jersey residents stated they’ve used drugs in the past.
Heroin is the top-cited drug among those entering drug treatment facilities in New Jersey (45 percent in January 2011).
Recent Major Drug Busts in New Jersey
In May 2011, a dozen men were charged as members of a drug trafficking ring that distributed heroin and PCP in an area of Jersey City. The May 2011 drug bust was carried out as a joint investigation by the New Jersey State Police, the Jersey City Police Department, the Division of Criminal Justice, and the DEA. As a result of these arrests, 35 bricks of heroin, 32 ounces of PCP, oxycodone, marijuana, two handguns, and $32,000 in cash were seized.
Other DEA arrests and convictions out of New Jersey making recent headlines include:
- January 22, 2013: A man from Essex County, New Jersey, was arrested for stealing oxycodone from a manufacturing facility.
- January 16, 2013: A drug trafficker was arrested and $4.6 million and 89 kilograms of cocaine were seized through a joint operation between the New Jersey Division of the DEA and the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey.
- January 9, 2013: A Camden, New Jersey, man admitted to conspiring to distribute 13 kilograms of cocaine.
- October 22, 2012: A Monmouth, New Jersey, doctor pled guilty to oxycodone distribution and conspiracy.
How to Become a DEA Agent in New Jersey Through Training
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has a strong presence in New Jersey, as Newark, New Jersey, is the site of a Divisional office (973-776-1100), while DEA regional offices are located in both Atlantic City (609-383-3322) and Camden (856-321-2420), and a post of duty is located in Paterson (973-357-4037).
DEA special agent candidates must meet the DEA’s post-secondary degree requirements before qualifying for DEA Academy training in Quantico, Virginia. Most DEA agents in New Jersey hold law degrees such as a J.D. or LL.B. Many also hold bachelor’s degrees in fields such as criminal justice, and meet the agency’s stringent requirements by augmenting their undergraduate degrees with job-related qualifications such as the ability to speak a language other than English.
In New Jersey, DEA jobs may range from special agents and diversion investigators to forensic scientists and intelligence research specialists. DEA special agents, in particular, must complete a rigorous and in-depth hiring process that often takes 12 months or longer to complete.
Just a few of the phases included in the hiring process for DEA agents in New Jersey include a polygraph examination, full background investigation, psychological assessment, medical assessment, written assessment, and panel interview.