Who We Are and What We Do: Professional and Technical Support

Take a peek into the inner workings of the Drug Enforcement Administration in our 2019 lecture series “Who We Are and What We Do.” Elizabeth L. Maurer, Curator of Education for the DEA Museum, moderates a panel discussion with members of DEA Professional and Administrative Support: Dana Weiser, Financial Systems Section Unit Chief; Bruce Hill, Investigative Technology Specialist; and Eric Hergenroeder, Senior Attorney.

DEA is comprised of various jobs going beyond Operations, Intelligence, Diversion, and Forensics. There are many more jobs behind the scenes requiring a vast diversity of skill sets. In this panel discussion, we will be featuring individuals from Finance, Congressional & Public Affairs, Special Technologies, and Chief Counsel. These team members work side by side to ensure that DEA runs smoothly and effectively in its mission to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States. DEA’s administrative and support personnel perform functions and operations that are the backbone to the goal of combating domestic and global drug trafficking. Professional and Technical Support staff responsibilities range from planning and executing financial programs to analyzing the legal implications in policy decisions to community outreach and much more.

Who We Are and What We Do: Diversion Control

Take a peek into the inner workings of the Drug Enforcement Administration in our 2019 lecture series “Who We Are and What We Do.” Elizabeth L. Maurer, Curator of Education for the DEA Museum moderates a panel discussion with three members of DEA Diversion Control: Justin Wood, Justin Brown, and Donetta Spears.

Diversion Investigators enforce the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and the Chemical Diversion and Trafficking Act (CDTA) regarding the manufacture, distribution and dispensing of legally produced controlled substances and listed chemicals. They prevent diversion of controlled substances and listed chemicals into the illicit market, while ensuring an adequate uninterrupted supply of pharmaceutical controlled substances and listed chemicals to meet the legitimate medical, commercial and scientific needs of the public.

In a time when the opioid crisis is front and center in our minds and media, it is critical to know who is working for our safety in the world of pharmaceutical drugs. Many problems associated with drug abuse are the result of legitimately made controlled substances being diverted from their lawful purpose into illicit drug traffic. Under federal law, all businesses that import, export, manufacture, or distribute controlled substances; all health professionals licensed to dispense, administer, or prescribe them; and all pharmacies authorized to fill prescriptions must register with the DEA. Diversion investigations involve, but are not limited to, physicians who sell prescriptions to drug dealers or abusers; pharmacists who falsify records and subsequently sell the drugs; employees who steal from inventory and falsify orders to cover illicit sales; prescription forgers; and individuals who commit armed robbery of pharmacies and drug distributors.

Read the transcript »

Who We Are and What We Do: Special Agents

Take a peek into the inner workings of the Drug Enforcement Administration in our 2019 lecture series “Who We Are and What We Do.” Elizabeth L. Maurer, Curator of Education for the DEA Museum moderates a panel discussion with four DEA Special Agents: Steve Fraga, Michelle Y. Spahn, and Amador Martinez.

Special Agents are on the front line for drug law enforcement in America and around the world. DEA’s goal is to eliminate illegal drug distribution, prosecute traffickers and destroy the financial infrastructure of these organizations. As the federal government’s premier drug law enforcement agency, our mission has never been so important. Agents are prepared for innumerable tasks including facilitating informant contacts, making drug arrests, community outreach, and international diplomacy.

Special Agents must maintain many skills to perform in less than ideal and often high pressure situations. While in the field, agents may investigate and help prosecute major violators of controlled substance laws, and partner with federal, state, local, and foreign officials in managing drug intelligence programs. Agents are often identified as the people who arrest and search subjects and seize assets connected to illicit drug trafficking, but they are also responsible for collecting and preparing evidence and performing other judicial functions. DEA Special Agents have a long-standing history in combating the critical problems of drug trafficking.

Who We Are and What We Do: Forensics

Take a peek into the inner workings of the Drug Enforcement Administration in our 2019 lecture series “Who We Are and What We Do.” Elizabeth L. Maurer, Curator of Education for the DEA Museum moderates a panel discussion with members of the Forensics staff from around the country: Jonathan Duffy, Forensic Chemist; Jill Mossman, Digital Forensic Examiner; and Anna Zadow, Fingerprint Specialist.

The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Forensic Sciences is to provide quality scientific, technical, and administrative support to the law enforcement and intelligence communities and to the criminal justice system at large, to assist with the enforcement of controlled substance laws and regulations of the United States. There are three different disciplines within the Forensic Sciences division: Chemistry, Fingerprints, and Digital Evidence.

Chemistry

Forensic Chemists analyze evidence for the presence of controlled substances using state-of-the-art instrumentation, provide expert testimony in courts of law, support DEA Special Agents and Diversion Investigators in their criminal and regulatory investigations, and develop intelligence data used to determine trends in local and international drug trafficking.

Fingerprints

Fingerprint Specialists use state-of-the-art examination techniques for development and comparisons of latent prints, support DEA Special Agents in their investigations, assist with clandestine laboratory investigations, provide testimony in Federal, state, and local courts of law, and conduct training for DEA Forensic Chemists and law enforcement officials.

Digital Evidence

Digital Forensic Examiners recover and analyze digital evidence, provide expert testimony in courts of law, provide investigative support to law enforcement, and conduct training to law enforcement personnel.

Read the transcript »

Who We Are and What We Do: Intelligence

Take a peek into the inner workings of the Drug Enforcement Administration in our 2019 lecture series “Who We Are and What We Do.” Elizabeth L. Maurer, Curator of Education for the DEA Museum moderates a panel discussion with four members of the Intelligence staff stationed at Headquarters. Aaron Hurwitz, Intelligence Research Specialist; Kia M. Pratt, Intelligence Staff Coordinator; Carrie N. Thompson, Executive Assistant to the Chief of Intelligence; and William N. Trull, Intelligence Research Specialist lend their expertise and discuss their respective roles in the Intelligence Division of the DEA. Together, they have over 40 years of experience with the DEA. The panelists discuss how they came to work at the DEA, their current roles in the agency, and their day to day activities on the job.

Since its establishment in 1973, the DEA, in coordination with other federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement organizations has been responsible for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of drug-related intelligence. The role of intelligence in drug law enforcement is critical. The DEA Intelligence Program helps initiate new investigations of major drug organizations, strengthens ongoing cases and subsequent prosecutions, develops information that leads to seizures and arrests, and provides policy makers with drug trend information upon which programmatic decisions can be based.

The DEA’s Intelligence Program has grown significantly since its inception. From only a handful of Intelligence Analysts (I/A) in the domestic offices and Headquarters in 1973, to over 700 I/As worldwide today. DEA’s intelligence program encompasses a wide variety of investigative and strategic intelligence assignments spanning the globe.