DEA criticizes its capital office

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The Drug Enforcement Administration has cited its office in the nation’s capital for a “steady decline” in new cases and arrests, the Washington Post reports. Some law enforcement officials contend that the unit isn’t doing enough to target D.C.’s major violent drug gangs. Officials who want DEA to rachet up its performance now that the FBI is devoting more attention to terrorism. More than a dozen DEA agents and law enforcement officials complained that the DEA has too often avoided complicated cases “There seems to be almost a fear of ‘what if something goes wrong?’ ” one DEA agent said. R.C. Gamble, a 31-year DEA veteran who became chief of the Washington division in April 2001, said the agency is doing the best it can with the resources it has. “This office is doing a tremendous job,” said Gamble, “You’ve got so many competing priorities. The agency as a whole needs more resources.” The number of cases handled by the Washington office dropped from 676 in 2000 to 602 in 2002. Arrests fell from 2,258 in 2000 to 1,629 in 2002. Seizure of assets also declined, from $19.2 million to $17.3 million.


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