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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Americas | International | Drug War
New Documents Shed More Light on Alleged DEA Corruption in Colombia
Names of Two of the Whistleblowers in the “Kent Memo” Are Revealed; DEA’s Former Bogotá Chief May Be Involved in Cover-Up
By Bill Conroy
Special to The Narco News Bulletin
February 22, 2006
The revelations of alleged corruption in the Bogotá, Colombia, office of the Drug Enforcement Administration that surfaced last month in a memo drafted by a U.S. government attorney have been illuminated by yet another memo obtained by Narco News.
The new memo, along with information revealed in related documents and by Narco News sources, brings to light the identities of two of the DEA whistleblowers behind the corruption allegations in the Kent memo.
The recently revealed memo put into motion a major investigation targeting one of those whistleblowers, a DEA group supervisor in Miami. The investigation effectively thwarted the supervisor’s efforts to pursue the alleged connections between narco-traffickers and DEA agents in Colombia.
On Dec. 19, 2004, Thomas M. Kent, an attorney in the wiretap unit of the U.S. Justice Department’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drugs Section (NDDS), sent off a memo to his section chief. Law enforcement sources tell Narco News that a number of other high-level officials within Justice and the DEA soon received copies of the same memo.
In the memo, Kent raised a series of corruption allegations centering on the DEA’s office in Bogotá. The memo alleges that DEA agents on the front lines of the drug war in Colombia are on drug traffickers’ payrolls, engaged in money laundering and complicit in the murders of informants who knew too much about their nefarious activities.
Kent says his claims are supported by a number of DEA agents in Florida, whom he does not name in the memo. He further alleges that elements within the DEA worked to muzzle and retaliate against those whistleblowers when they tried to expose the corruption.