Because of its location as the last city just a few dozen miles from the Canadian border along the I-5 corridor, Bellingham sees a higher-than-usual amount of drug trafficking for a city of its size. It is also located between the large cities of Vancouver, BC and Seattle, which are hubs in themselves for illicit drug activity. DEA agents in Bellingham face drug-related gang activity and crooked doctors issuing prescriptions to pharmaceutical addicts, among many other challenges posed by illegal substance abuse and trafficking.
DEA Agents in Bellingham Arrest Purported “Shaman”
In a strange case, DEA agents recently arrested a Bellingham doctor and three others, including a self-proclaimed shaman, on charges related to providing referrals for an illegal hallucinogenic drug – ibogaine – as treatment for heroin addicts. The doctor reportedly told an informant working for the DEA that he would refer the informant to a shaman to help conquer a heroin addiction. The DEA recorded the “shaman” saying that as part of the ritual, the informant would take a bath in leaves, be painted white to symbolize reproduction, and then be painted red as a symbol of blood while ingesting the hallucinogenic drug.
DEA Careers in Bellingham
Learning how to become a DEA agent involves being selected by the agency after meeting specific requirements and competitively completing the application procedures. To be considered, prospective agents must qualify by meeting at least one of the following requirements:
- Previous law enforcement or drug interdiction experience, including the gathering and presentation of evidence in a courtroom, the arrest and detention of suspects, and conducting surveillance and undercover operations
- A B.A. with a GPA of at least 2.95, an M.A./M.S., an LL.B., or a J.D.
- At least three years of experience with related coursework and a B.A. in strategic subjects:
- Pilot or maritime operating license
- Foreign languages
- Nigerian dialects
- Balkan languages
Obtaining the education and training to become a competitive candidate for DEA jobs and careers is possible in Bellingham, with the location of five of Washington State’s seven public universities and colleges located within a few hundred miles. This is not including the many online and private institutions that offer degrees relevant to DEA jobs in Bellingham.
Inter-Agency Collaborations out of the Bellingham Resident Office
- Recently DEA agents based out of the Bellingham Resident Office participated in a 10-hour operation with 10 other law enforcement agencies throughout the area that netted 24 arrests of high risk offenders and gang members associated with the Crips, Bloods, Tiny Rascals, Insane Clown Posse, and Brown Pride Surenos. Charges brought against the suspects included delivery of methamphetamine. The DEA and the other law enforcement agencies wanted to send the message that violent offenders and drug dealers will not be tolerated in the local community.
- DEA agents informed the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office of a vehicle near Lynden that was suspected to be involved in narcotics trafficking from California. Deputies conducted a traffic stop at which point the vehicle sped off with two suspects inside. After crashing into a tree both men fled the scene and were soon apprehended by deputies, who determined both were in the country illegally. Their vehicle was turned over to DEA agents based out of the Bellingham Resident Office who discovered 37 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the back.