Rhode Island is home to two DEA offices, which are located in the capital of Providence and in the city of New Bedford. Both of the regional offices are under the jurisdiction of the New England division of the DEA, which has its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts.
Among the many challenges DEA agents face in Rhode Island is the fact that the state has the highest rate of drug abuse among youths (ages 12 to 18,) and has one of the fastest growing prescription drug abuse rates in the entire country, according to a 2011 publication by the Center for Disease Control (CDC.) On top of that, the state of Rhode Island has a poor rating when it comes to access to rehabilitation facilities for its residents.
The following is a list of some of the most recent DEA investigations and busts in Rhode Island, and what kind of work applicants for DEA jobs in the state can expect to perform:
- January 2011: The Rhode Island DEA performed the largest cocaine bust in the history of the state. The entire load seized was 65 kilos of cocaine, as well as more than $1.2 million in cash. The DEA received an anonymous tip about cocaine trafficking coming into Rhode Island from Mexican drug cartels in California and Utah.
- May 2012: Eleven suspects were arrested as part of a multi-state drug bust that involved trafficking heroin into the state of Rhode Island. The suspects were all connected to a Dominican drug ring that had ties to drug cartels in Mexico.The items seized included 3 kilos of heroin, 200 grams of cocaine, $450,000 in cash, high-end jewelry, 5 firearms and 12 vehicles that were used to transport the drugs along the corridor that goes up the Eastern Seaboard.
DEA Opportunities in Rhode Island
Applicants looking for a position with the Rhode Island DEA must first decide which job they would want with the agency. Jobs with the Rhode Island DEA include the following:
- Special Agent
- Forensic Scientist
- Intelligence Research Specialist
- Diversion Investigator
After determining which position an applicant would want with the DEA, the next steps in learning how to become a DEA agent involves meeting the basic requirements. When it comes to how to become a DEA agent in Rhode Island, there are a series of tests and examinations an applicant must finish first. Along with the basic requirements, there are also a series of experience and education requirements, including some of the following:
- Have at least 1 year of law enforcement experience involving drug investigations OR
- Have a Bachelor’s Degree with at least a 2.95 GPA OR
- Have 3 or more years of accounting or auditing experience OR
- Have 3 or more years of experience in a leadership position with the military
Then there is extensive training at an academy.