Agents working abroad for the Drug Enforcement Administration allegedly attended and participated in drug cartel-funded “sex parties,” according to a new report released Thursday by the Department of Justice’s inspector general.
“We were particularly troubled by multiple allegations involving several DEA special agents participating in ‘sex parties’ with prostitutes while working in an overseas office,” the report reads.
The report says this type of agent misconduct took place for “several years” while some of the agents who participated held top-secret clearances, opening them up to potential extortion and coercion.
“Many of these agents were alleged to have engaged in this high-risk sexual behavior while at their government-leased quarters, raising the possibility that DEA equipment and information also may have been compromised as a result of the agents’ conduct,” the report says.
It adds: “The fact that most of the ‘sex parties’ occurred in government-leased quarters where agents’ laptops, BlackBerry devices, and other government-issued equipment were present created potential security risks for the DEA and for the agents who participated in the parties, potentially exposing them to extortion, blackmail, or coercion.”
Two agents under investigation also told investigators that a supervising officer “frequented a prostitution establishment while in their overseas assignment and often took agents serving on temporary duty to this establishment and facilitated sexual encounters there.”
The damning report was part of an investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general’s office into allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct in four agencies — the DEA, FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Marshals Service.
Seven DEA agents admitted to attending the parties, according to the report. Their punishments: a two- to 10-day suspension.
Some of the DEA agents who participated in the alleged “sex parties” denied knowing that the prostitutes were paid with cartel funds when they attended, according to the report. But the report concludes that they “should have known.”
“The foreign officers further alleged that in addition to soliciting prostitutes, three DEA SSAs [Supervisory Special Agents] in particular were provided money, expensive gifts, and weapons from drug cartel members,” the report says.
The report says the FBI and DEA did not fully cooperate with the inspector general’s office’s investigation, and that the DEA withheld certain information during the investigation.
In one particular open case involving sexual misconduct, the report says the DEA stonewalled investigators and refused to hand over all information relating to the case until “several months” after it was requested. The inspector general’s office said its investigation was “unnecessarily delayed” by the general non-compliance.
Brett LoGiurato is the senior national political correspondent at Fusion, where he covers all things 2016. He'll give you everything you need to know about politics, with a healthy side of puns.