Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officers participated in “sex parties” with prostitutes hired by drug cartels while on assignment in Colombia, according to allegations in a new report.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) report, a review of sexual misconduct allegations at several law enforcement agencies, cited widespread missteps at the agencies, including the failure of supervisors to report misconduct, inadequate guidelines for handling some behavior and a resistance to cooperating with DOJ requests.
The “sex parties” in particular were listed as an example of weak security operations at the DEA. Some of the DEA officers may have received expensive gifts from the drug cartel, the report found. Ten DEA officers admitted that they had attended the parties and were suspended for a period that ranged from 2 to 10 days. Despite the punishment, the officers did not have to undergo a review of their security clearance, according to the report.
The report also said that agencies need to clarify rules on whether officers can patronize prostitutes in countries where the practice is legal or tolerated.
“When employees of law enforcement components commit sexual misconduct or sexual harassment…it affects the component’s reputation, undermines its credibility, and potentially compromises the government’s efforts in prosecutions,” the report reads.
The DEA referred questions on Thursday to the Justice Department.
DOJ commissioned the investigation in 2012 in response to allegations regarding DEA officers’ use of prostitutes. At the time, Secret Service officers were also under fire for similar behavior.