A new investigative report by the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General has revealed that several agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, when stationed overseas, held sex parties organized by local drug cartels. The salacious parties reportedly included inappropriate sexual relations between agents as well as prostitutes hired by the very drug cartels that agents were assigned to investigate.
According to NBC News, the report not only revealed that 10 agents participated in the sex parties but made a concerted effort to cover them up. Though the DOJ report does not specify the region where the inappropriate activity took place, it follows a previous investigation in 2012 of DEA agents based in Cartegena, Colombia, who reportedly hired a prostitute for a Secret Service agent, which likely prompted the larger investigation. The investigation reportedly probed into the DEA, Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives and FBI and Marshals Service, specifically looking into how sexual misconduct cases are dealt with. The report found that many complaints and cases were not thoroughly investigated and often did not go through the appropriate channels of command.
According to initial allegations made by local police officers, at least three agents involved in the illegal sexual activity also received bribes from local cartel members in the form of cash, expensive gifts and even weapons. In an explanation to the accusations of engaging in prostitution, one agent admitted to it and told the DEA inspector that prostitution was a local norm and that they were frequently present in meetings between officers and cartel members.
So far, seven agents have received suspensions, ranging from two to 10 days.
President Obama released a statement on the report, saying that he “has zero tolerance for any sexual misconduct -- especially from those who have the responsibility of enforcing the law.”