How to Become a DEA Agent in Tennessee by Meeting Requirements

More than one out of every 12 Tennessee residents report having used illegal drugs in the past month. In a recent year Tennessee ranked first among all states for the abuse of pain medication by people over 26 years old, and among the top ten worst states in other categories such as use of illegal drugs other than marijuana by people 12 years of age and older.

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The DEA in Tennessee has its work cut out for it, faced with the challenge of everything from intercepting trafficked drugs from Mexico as it transits the highways, to the scourge of rural meth labs, to the designer drugs and bath salts found in the metro areas of Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville.

The DEA has offices at locations throughout Tennessee, which house most of the drug enforcement jobs in the state. Field offices can be found in:

  • Johnson City
  • Jackson
  • Chattanooga
  • Nashville
  • Memphis
  • Knoxville

Tennessee DEA Careers

Tennessee DEA jobs will place the prospective agent in a position to work with other local law enforcement officials in operations and investigations that can last anywhere from a week to years. A career with the DEA includes undercover operations, surveillance, the planning and execution of drug raids, and many other scenarios of law enforcement. Some recent events include:

  • The arrest of 10 individuals on charges related to drug trafficking, money laundering, and firearms violations. This was the culmination of an investigation conducted over several months that saw the 10 suspects travel to Florida and the Eastern District of Tennessee to distribute oxycodone. The investigation was a joint effort carried out by the DEA and the Hamblen, Claiborne, Hawkins, Grainger, and Hancock counties.
  •  The DEA recently arrested two people in the small rural town of Mountain City on charges of conspiracy to manufacture more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. Agents were alerted to these suspects thanks to an investigation beginning in 2008 that has already netted 11 others.
  • DEA agents recently intercepted a courier carrying 7 kilograms of cocaine at the Nashville International Airport. Agents decided to go undercover and complete the delivery of the cocaine themselves. They successfully discovered and arrested the buyer, who was found to be carrying a gun and a badge identifying him to be a Rutherford County sheriff’s deputy, who unfortunately was corrupt.
  • DEA agents and the Knoxville Police Department, in an operation lasting over two years, recently arrested 29 people based on evidence obtained by wiretap on charges relating to drug trafficking of cocaine, Hydrocodone, and marijuana. Agents seized 12 vehicles, several firearms, and $70,000 cash.

How to Become a DEA Agent in Tennessee

Those wanting to apply for DEA jobs in Tennessee should make sure they meet the proper education requirements. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum qualification, and applicants are preferred to have:

  • Either an L.L.B. or J.D. law degree
  • A master’s degree in a relevant field such as:
    • IT
    • Accounting
    • Auditing
    • Foreign languages
    • Engineering

Training to become a DEA agent in Tennessee is intensive and rigorous. Prospective agents will begin with an 18-week basic training academy followed by additional training in:

  • Surveillance
  • Undercover operations
  • Firearms, including shoulder-fired weapons and marksmanship
  • Self-defense
  • Drug raid planning and execution

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