How to Become a DEA Agent in South Carolina by Meeting Requirements

In South Carolina, DEA jobs place agents in a variety of environments, including everything from interdiction efforts along the coast, to raids on meth labs in rural farmland, to organized busts targeting drug kingpins in the heart of the city. In South Carolina, DEA agents are fighting a war on drugs. This involves everything from breaking up smuggling routes from Mexico to stings on local citizens illegally selling their prescription drugs. In South Carolina, DEA careers are spent keeping the Palmetto State free from the vice and crime wrought by illegal drugs.

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Recent DEA Actions in South Carolina

In South Carolina, DEA agents work around the clock to investigate and raid criminal organizations that circumvent laws prohibiting the transport, possession, use, and sale of illegal drugs, as well as the misuse of prescription drugs. Some examples of recent actions taken by the DEA in South Carolina include the following:

  • In the Midlands area of South Carolina DEA agents recently arrested seven people associated with a marijuana and cocaine trafficking ring stretching all the way back to Mexico. Before being busted, this organization moved an estimated 8,000 pounds of contraband a year.
  • In Beaufort, DEA agents recently arrested 18 individuals they accused of conspiring to distribute and sell prescription drugs, specifically oxycodone and cocaine. The charges could potentially mean 20-30 years in prison.
  • Recently, DEA agents in South Carolina concluded “Operation Black Gold Rush,” focusing on an international network of black-tar heroin smuggling. This milestone operation included over 137 individual arrests, 46 pounds of seized heroin, and the involvement of agents spread across 23 separate U.S. cities.
  • Greenville police and sheriff’s department officers recently arrested four people in connection with a DEA 16-month-long operation leading all the way back to Tijuana, Mexico. Two of the suspects in the case were arrested at the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport when they were found in possession of $142,000 in their carry-on baggage.

DEA Special Agent Requirements

At the heart of eligibility requirements for DEA jobs is education and experience. To be considered for DEA Academy training, prospective agents must earn a college degree and gain some experience in drug investigations. The standard degree requirement is a J.D. or LL.B, or a bachelor’s degree augmented with additional qualifiers such as foreign language proficiency or a pilot’s license.

Becoming a DEA agent in South Carolina involves formal training that includes:

  • Basic training
    • Drug recognition
    • Defensive Tactics
  • Firearms training
    • Marksmanship
    • Tactical shooting
    • Shoulder-fired weapons
  • Practical applications training
    • Surveillance
    • Undercover operations
  • Tactical training
    • Self-defense
    • Drug raids
  • Legal training
  • Intelligence training

Prospective agents who meet all eligibility requirements can check out any one of the field offices throughout the state to learn how to become a DEA agent in South Carolina:

  • Beaufort
  • Charleston
  • Columbia
  • Florence
  • Greenville

Intra-Agency Collaborations in South Carolina

Often times, South Carolina DEA jobs require agents to work in partnerships with other law enforcement agencies. An example of this is seen in the formation of North Charleston’s Special Operations Bureau, which represents the collaborative efforts of local law enforcement agents, the ATF and the DEA. These agents recently made an arrest of 19 people involved in the large-scale distribution of crack-cocaine throughout South Carolina following an eight-month cooperative investigation among seven law enforcement agencies.

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