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.” Join Elizabeth L. Maurer, Curator of Education for the DEA Museum at a panel discussion with four DEA Special Agents.

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.

Agents Bios

Steve Fraga

Steve has over 33 years of Federal Law Enforcement experience working in the Continental United States and in conjunction with law enforcement counterparts in countries in South and Central America. He has spent 28 years as a Special Agent with DEA.

Steve has specialized in conducting complex criminal investigations, and has enjoyed assignments in the Los Angeles Field Division, Dallas Field Division, SOD Classified Projects Section, and SOD Bilateral Investigations Unit.

Michelle Spahn

Michelle Y. Spahn currently serves as a Supervisory Special Agent and DEA 360 Strategy Coordinator, collaborating with various local DEA offices in the field, as well as national and local partners in government, law enforcement, and partners in prevention, treatment and recovery, to implement the DEA 360 Strategy in designated cities nationwide.

Throughout her DEA career she has served in El Pas, San Diego, and Buffalo as well as Iraq and the United Arab Emirates where she oversaw all U.S. drug law enforcement efforts throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. She was also one of only two female agents to have ever been selected for the elite Foreign-Deployed Advisory Support Team (FAST).

Amador Martinez

Staff Coordinator (SC) Amador Martinez graduated from the DEA Academy in April 2000, and reported to the Los Angeles Field Division on May 1, 2000. In April 2006, he was transferred to the Cartagena Resident Office. In April 2010, Mr. Martinez was promoted to the position of Group Supervisor for Enforcement Group 1, at the Mexico City Country Office (MCCO). In August 2012, he returned to domestic operations after six and a half years in the foreign arena and was transferred back to the Los Angeles Field Division.

In September 2016, SC Martinez reported to Headquarters, where he has been assigned to the Office of Operations Management (OM), Investigative Support Section (OMS); Office of Global Enforcement (OE), Mexico, Central America and Canada Section (OGM); and Strategic Planning and Support Section (OGP).

Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Time: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET

Auditorium, DEA Headquarters
700 Army Navy Drive
Arlington, VA 22202

DEA Museum, [email protected], (202) 307-3463
Elizabeth Thompson, Visitor Services Coordinator, [email protected], (202) 307-5600

Streaming URL:

Email Questions:
During the event, email questions to [email protected].

This event is free and open to the public. Tickets available on Eventbrite »