As the largest city in Utah, Salt Lake City poses several challenges for DEA agents. Drug trafficking is a problem in the city nicknamed the Crossroads of the West because of just that- it is at the intersection of several major routes used by Mexican drug cartels and others. The local urban and rural populations also pose drug problems of their own, and DEA agents are constantly working to stay at least one step ahead of local drug dealers and producers looking to make a profit off the vice of addiction.
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DEA Busts in Salt Lake City
A Salt Lake City judge was recently arrested and booked into jail by DEA agents after she retrieved a package under DEA surveillance containing 338 oxycodone pills from a post office box. Her arrest marked the culmination of an investigation stretching from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas and then back to California. The DEA plays an important role investigating state and local officials suspected of criminal activity. A spokesperson noted how prescription drug abuse touches every level of society and is a significant problem in the U.S. because opiate medication is highly addictive.
Six people were charged in connection with the distribution of more than 100,000 ecstasy pills over a six-year period in the Salt Lake City area. DEA agents working with local law enforcement officials wrapped up an eight month investigation that saw the seizure of 6,000 doses of the drug, eight guns, and a car. Ecstasy is a popular drug among the young, urban population.
The DEA’s Metro Narcotics Task Force unit surrounded a Salt Lake City parking lot during a 41-pound meth deal, arresting three men and seizing the quantity of drugs. The operation involving about 20 agents was part of an investigation one year in the making targeting the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel. Agents discovered some of the methamphetamine had been sewn into a flat panel and hidden in a briefcase, providing useful insight into a new method used for drug smuggling across the border.
How to Become a DEA Special Agent
The successful acquisition of DEA jobs and careers is not easy and requires candidates to first meet several minimum requirements and then complete a very competitive application process. The initial requirements include either education, training, or both. Prospective agents can qualify by meeting at least one of the following:
- Previous experience working with drug interdiction or law enforcement that includes:
- Collection and preparation of court evidence
- Apprehension, arrest, and detention of suspects
- Undercover and surveillance operations
- A bachelor degree with at least a 2.95 GPA, a master degree, or law degrees: LL.B. or J.D.
- A bachelor degree with three years of experience and related study in a strategic area:
- Foreign languages
- Pilot’s license
- Information technology/systems
Qualifying with Education
Meeting the education requirements for DEA jobs and careers is possible in Utah, with the location of over a dozen public and private four year and higher education institutions throughout the state, and that is not including the options for online universities. More information can be found online, by checking with a school guidance councilor, or from a DEA recruiting agent.