The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) maintains a significant presence in Tulsa, with a Resident Office being located in the city. It operates under the auspices of the Dallas Division of the agency.
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Drug Interdictions by DEA Agents in Tulsa
Both national and international drug trafficking operations are active in Tulsa. The city is both a transshipment point for drugs and a site for the sale of drugs to local users. Route 44 traverses Tulsa, making it easy to bring drugs into the city from the West Coast and to expedite their shipment to Chicago and the East coast. The DEA has made it a priority to interrupt these operations and has made some highly significant busts in Tulsa.
- The DEA worked with other federal, state, and local authorities to bring down an international trafficking ring operating in Tulsa that trafficked in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of methamphetamine. The April 2013 arrests of more than 30 people ranged from upper level distributors to suspected users.
- A DEA investigation that started with a traffic stop led to the December 2012 arrest of a Tulsa businessman for possessing over $300,000 worth of methamphetamine from Mexico that was destined for local distribution.
- Tulsa was one of the locations for a series of thirty arrests of people involved in trafficking narcotics from California to Oklahoma. The DEA was part of a multi-organizational investigation that culminated in the April 2012 arrests.
What it Takes to Become a DEA Agent in Tulsa
Individuals who wish to join the DEA can do so by having a number of different types of careers. One way to become qualified to apply is to have previous law enforcement experience in drug investigations. Another is to obtain a secondary education. Having a J.D., LL.B., Master’s, or a Bachelor’s degree with a 2.95 GPA is a qualification to join the agency. The GPA requirement is waived for those who have three years of experience as an accountant, engineer, information technologist, ship or airline pilot, or being fluent in any one of a number of different languages.
Tulsa residents who want to learn how to become a DEA agent should contact the Dallas Division of the agency to find out if jobs are available in Tulsa. Additional requirements include being in excellent mental and physical health, along with having good vision and hearing.
The formal training of recruits takes place at the DEA Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Academic studies take place at this academy. In addition, the FBI Academy on the same grounds is the site of more practical training, such as becoming proficient with firearms, learning pursuit and defensive driving, and being trained in how to stay in excellent physical condition.
Addressing the Drug Problem in Tulsa
The drug problem in Tulsa involves both the large scale trafficking of drugs and a significant amount of local narcotics usage. This situation is considered a threat to national security and led the federal government to designate Tulsa County as part of the Northern Texas HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) in 1998. This has facilitated multi-agency operations that have been successful in terminating major drug operations in Tulsa.
Methamphetamine – Tulsa suffers both from the wholesale importation of ice meth from Mexico and an upswing in meth labs that produce local powdered meth. Mexican ice meth fetched a wholesale price of up to $11,000 a pound in 2010, and multi-pound quantities are shipped into Tulsa.
Locally produced meth is being generated in increasing amounts in Oklahoma. The Tulsa Police Department seized over seven times as many meth labs in 2009 as they did in 2008. This situation is particularly dire, since almost all of the meth labs intercepted in Oklahoma were using the highly volatile one-pot method of making meth. Tulsa’s fire department reported an increasing number of fires related in meth labs in 2010 as compared to 2009. An additional problem with the increasing amount of meth in the area has been an upswing in violence related to the sale and use of the drug.
Prescription Drugs – The situation in Tulsa contributes to the trend of prescription drug abuse in Oklahoma, which has the highest rate of deaths from overdoses in the country. Most of the overdose deaths in Tulsa County in 2010 were attributed to oxycodone and hydrocodone. The drugs are obtained throughout pain management clinics in Oklahoma or are transported up from the Dallas/Forth Worth area.