Shorter DOJ: It’s No Big Deal if DEA Agents Destroy Evidence

DOJ’s Inspector General wrote Senators Collins and Lieberman a letter summarizing its investigation into DEA Agents involved in the Secret Service sex scandal in Cartagena, Colombia.

What’s getting attention is that the DEA agents arranged a prostitute for a SS Agent. All three engaged sex workers the night in question.

But what should be getting attention is that the DEA agents, when they learned about the scope of the investigation, deleted incriminating information from their Blackberries. And DOJ–in part because it conducted compelled interviews it knew couldn’t be used in a prosecution–won’t charge them.

The OIG investigation found further that all three DEA agents had deleted data from their DEA issued Blackberry devices, and that DEA agents #1 and #2 did so after learning of the scope and nature of the OIG’s investigation. DEA agent #1 admitted to the OIG that he deleted relevant data from his Blackberry after being requested to surrender his device to the OIG. DEA agent #2 stated that he “wiped” all data from his Blackberry before providing it to the OIG, but denied that he intended to obstruct the OIG investigation. He stated that he wiped all data from his Blackberry in an effort to conceal embarrassing communications between him and his wife.

The investigation was an administrative review and all of the interviews of the DEA agents were compelled. Given all of those facts and circumstances, we did not view the matter to warrant criminal prosecution.

By compelling the interviews, the IG effectively immunized the DEA Agents, ensuring they could not be charged with obstruction. Not to mention, the Scott Bloch precedent–in which he deleted evidence and now DOJ is bending over backward to make sure he doesn’t pay any price for lying about doing so–makes it clear that DOJ will never prosecute one of its own for the kind of crime they prosecute others for all the time.

Still, let it be know that DOJ doesn’t give a shit that its DEA Agents obstruct justice and delete evidence.

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8 Responses to Shorter DOJ: It’s No Big Deal if DEA Agents Destroy Evidence

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz RT @footballzebras: It should have stayed at 2:56. Big mistake by the clock operator, and should have signaled field there was problem http…
bmaz @fordm Boy, I don't know. Just wow.
bmaz @OBEYshiba Yep. Finally starting to cool off a little.
bmaz @OBEYshiba Good to hear and good luck.
bmaz @OBEYshiba @tli330 Wow! Congrats (and condolences) on the law school thing. If you are in CT, you must follow @gideonstrumpet He's excellent
bmaz @OBEYshiba @tli330 Literally New Haven?? As in CT?
bmaz @BradMossEsq @TyreJim Interesting. I would have thought some crim given the area of specialty.
bmaz @BradMossEsq @TyreJim No crim st all??
bmaz @Johngcole Classic.
JimWhiteGNV It would appear that making the #Mets angry is not a winning strategy.
bmaz @BradMossEsq @TyreJim Naw, of course not. Why would whistleblower lawyers want to represent the most important whistleblower in history?
January 2013
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