As a high-ranking U.S. anti-drug official, Richard Padilla Cramer held front-line posts in the war on Mexico’s murderous cartels. He led an office of two dozen agents in Arizona and was the attache for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Guadalajara, says the Los Angeles Times. While in Mexico, Cramer also served as a secret ally of drug lords, say federal investigators.
Cramer allegedly advised traffickers on law enforcement tactics and pulled secret files to help them identify turncoats. He charged $2,000 for a Drug Enforcement Administration document that was sent to a suspect in Miami by e-mail in August, authorities said. “Cramer was responsible for advising the [drug traffickers] how U.S. law enforcement works with warrants and record checks as well as how DEA conducts investigations to include ‘flipping subjects,’ ” or recruiting informants, a criminal complaint says. DEA agents arrested him at his Arizona home Sept. 4. A decision on an indictment in Miami is expected soon. In a dark twist on the trend of former federal officials going into private consulting, the 26-year government veteran became a full-time advisor to traffickers after retiring from ICE in 2007, the complaint says.