Brought to Justice: Operation Leyenda

October 29, 2013

Operation Leyenda was the effort to bring to justice those responsible for the kidnapping, torture, and murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. Panelists share their recollections and insight into this complex investigation, what it meant to DEA at the time, and lessons learned. This “ripped from the headlines” topic follows the recent early release from Mexican prison of one of the principle architects of the Camarena abduction, drug trafficker Rafael Caro Quintero. Panelists include Former Administrator Jack Lawn, who led DEA during Operation Leyenda, retired Special Agent Jack Taylor, the Inspector in Charge of the Camarena case in Los Angeles, and journalist Elaine Shannon whose research into the Camarena case resulted in the book Desperados, the basis of the NBC TV miniseries Drug Wars: the Camarena Story.

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DEA 40th Anniversary Programs: Four Decades of DEA

July 31, 2013

A panel of DEA Administrators, representing the forty years of the agency’s history, gather for a discussion moderated by NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams. The forum focuses on the evolution of drug law enforcement, threats that DEA has tackled in the past, and those it faces in the future.

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40 Years on the Front Lines

July 16, 2013

Moderated by current DEA Chief of Operations James Capra, an esteemed panel of past DEA Operations leaders discusses the evolution of DEA enforcement operations as well as highlights from some of the biggest cases that DEA has worked over the past four decades. Their insights and experiences from the front lines present a fascinating look back at forty years of federal drug law enforcement and allow us to truly appreciate some of the great moments in DEA’s history.

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Building on Past Experience: Making the Case for DEA

March 7, 2013

This presentation highlights the history of the challenges DEA overcame as it made the case for a stand-alone agency for drug law enforcement. Four times in our history, serious proposals were made to have DEA merged into the FBI. Retired DEA Assistant Administrator David Westrate leads the discussion with former DEA Administrators, including Peter Bensinger, Francis “Bud” Mullen, and Robert Bonner; retired Deputy Administrator Steve Greene; and former and current DEA employees involved in those efforts. The panelists recall how DEA made the case each time, and what lessons still apply today.

Trade-Based Money Laundering: The Next Frontier

February 28, 2013

John Cassara, former intelligence officer and Treasury Special Agent, gives an overview of trade-based money laundering and value transfer. He defines the term, briefly discusses the magnitude of the problem, and explains many of the methodologies involved. Trade-based value transfer is the common denominator in most underground financial systems including the black market peso exchange, hawala, and fei-chein. Cassara gives examples of narcotics related trade-based money laundering and explains why examining value transfer is the “next frontier” in international money laundering enforcement.

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