In March 2013, the son of the mayor of Charleston, West Virginia was arrested on charges of cocaine possession and intent to distribute. Mayor Danny Jones noted that his son, Zachary, had been a drug addict for some time and would be safer in prison than on the streets of Charleston, using and selling drugs. He had previously been arrested for heroin possession and for driving under the influence.
Earlier, in August 2012, the Charleston Daily Mail reported that eight persons in Charleston had overdosed on a new illegal drug that was first mistaken for cocaine. The drug, called AM 2201, was smoked similarly to cocaine. It was identified as a Schedule I controlled substance that was banned when synthetic drugs were made illegal by federal and state governments. Overdosing on AM 2201 could cause anxiety, increased heart rate, seizures and collapse, and eventual death.
Stories such as these prove that no one is immune from the consequences of the use of illegal drugs – even in a seemingly innocuous city such as Charleston.
Drug Routes into Charleston
According to the FBI, a major drug trafficking route into Charleston is U.S. Route 23, running from Columbus, Ohio to Charleston. U.S. Highway 119, near the Kentucky border, is also another major drug trafficking route in rural southern West Virginia. In 2005, the DEA classified West Virginia as a “user state,” because drug supply was low and drug demand high. The Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) is responsible for much of the methamphetamine and marijuana trafficking into and out of Charleston. In 2005, 171 methamphetamine labs were raided in Charleston.
Drug Market Intervention in Charleston
In February 2012, the Drug Market Intervention Program was begun in Charleston’s west side, an area o the city that sees many drug crimes. The program was started with the intention of targeting violent drug offenders to get them off the streets and into jail, while giving non-violent offenders another chance. Violent drug-related crimes in the West Side of Charleston were reduced during the first six months of the program. The Drug Market Intervention Program is a joint venture of Charleston law enforcement officials, the U.S. Attorney, and area business owners and residents looking to turn the area around.
How to Become a DEA Agent in Charleston
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s Washington, D.C. Division maintains a Resident Office in Charleston, as West Virginia falls under the jurisdiction of that division. The Special Agent Recruiter for the Washington, D.C. Division can answer questions on how to become a DEA agent in Charleston through training. This recruiter can be reached by telephone at (202) 305-8126 or 8144.
Before contacting a recruiter to inquire about Charleston DEA jobs and careers, one should possess specialized drug investigation experience or a college degree. Depending upon one’s qualifications, one may possess a bachelor’s, masters, J.D. or L.L.B. degree. One must meet other requirements in order to become a DEA agent in Charleston as well, which can be found here.