How to Become a DEA Agent in Seattle, Washington by Meeting Requirements

DEA agents based out of the Seattle Division office play a key role in keeping drugs out of the Pacific Northwest. Operations are conducted independently as well as in partnership with other law enforcement agencies. DEA jobs and careers based out of Seattle involve participating and planning local operations as well as coordinating international sweeps. Prospective agents should be aware of the basic initial requirements and degree prerequisites for joining the competitive ranks of the DEA.

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DEA Operations in the Seattle Area

DEA Agents based out of the Seattle area raided 10 homes in Snohomish and King counties in cooperation with the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force. The operation was part of a crackdown targeting marijuana grow operations that have been increasing in Washington State as the border between British Columbia and the U.S. has become increasingly secure.

20 people were arrested in a raid led by the DEA and the Seattle Police Department. An investigation involving wiretaps traced the trafficking route of cocaine and methamphetamine from California to Washington for distribution across the state and in Canada. Throughout the investigation agents seized 11 kilograms of cocaine, 40 pounds of meth, four firearms, and over $700,000 in cash.

11 people were arrested on charges relating to the distribution of more than one kilogram of cocaine in an international operation led by the Seattle DEA. Eight of the suspects were arrested in Seattle, while one was arrested in Medellin, Colombia and extradited to Seattle. The suspects are alleged to be part of a drug ring that distributes heroin in the Seattle area imported from Colombia.

How to Become a DEA Agent

The process of becoming a DEA agent takes months and is designed to weed out candidates, leaving only those in the top qualifying percentages for ultimate consideration. Potential agents should first meet several requirements before beginning the application process, one of which involves previous education or experience. Candidates must meet one of the following:

  • Previous experience in surveillance or undercover operations, suspect arrest and apprehension, organization of evidence for a prosecutor, and experience with drug and illegal activity investigations.
  • A bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.95 GPA, or an M.A., L.L.B., or J.D.
  • A bachelor’s degree with at least three years of related experience and training in a special field such as:
    • Languages
    • IT and Information Systems
    • Military
    • Law
    • Engineering
    • Accounting
    • Auditing

The State of Washington has seven public universities and colleges that offer four-year degrees, in addition to numerous private institutions offering B.A.s in areas of specialization relevant to DEA jobs and careers.

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