Investigators looking into the recent Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia have interviewed some of the Colombian prostitutes who allegedly met with agents last week before President Barack Obama's trip to Cartagena, Colombia, ABC reported.
A woman caught up in the scandal, as well as two of the 11 agents who are being investigated, have been identified.
According to the New York Daily News, the woman is Dania Suarez, a 24-year-old mother of a 9-year-old boy. The paper released photos of Suarez on Thursday.
The agents have been identified as David Chaney, a supervisor who was allowed to retire, and Greg Stokes, a supervisor who was removed with cause. Stokes has 30 days to appeal the decision.
Chaney is also under heavy scrutiny for comments he made on Facebook about checking out former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Reports are that 11 Secret Service agents and about 10 military personnel allegedly hired prostitutes before Obama arrived in Colombia for the Summit of the Americas meeting. Prostitution is legal in Colombia, but the U.S. military code makes it a crime for members of the armed forces to patronize prostitutes.
The woman told the New York Times earlier this week that she makes her living as an escort. She said she got into an argument with an agent at the Hotel Caribe because he offered to pay her $30 for services that, according to her, he had previously agreed to pay $800 for. The argument escalated and Colombian police got involved. That altercation has led to the full-blown scandal now making headlines across the world.
So far, three Secret Service agents have lost their jobs, and lawmakers believe more will be forced out in coming days. The other eight agents who are under investigation remain on administrative leave and have been stripped of their security clearances. The military is still investigating the allegations.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who sits on the Homeland Security committee, has said that Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan told her that 20 or 21 women foreign nationals were brought to the hotel where the U.S. agents and military personnel were staying.
The Military Times reported that the military personnel suspected of misconduct were in Colombia supporting the Secret Service. They were not providing direct security to the president. According to published reports, the personnel involved come from every branch of the military.
NPR has reported that five Army Special Forces soldiers and two Navy SEALs were also involved.
Laura is a U.S. politics reporter for the International Business Times. She was always fascinated by the BBC World News each morning on the radio in Jamaica. That, and a love...