According to the United States Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) formed in 1973 after several government agencies merged into one. Since that time, the DEA has been responsible for enforcing this nation’s drug laws regarding the manufacture, production, and/or distribution of controlled substances. This guide explains a few of the many actions the DEA can take when pursuing people alleged to have committed drug offenses.
Seizure and forfeiture of assets
Current laws allow the DEA to seize money associated with illegal drug trade. This includes money earned because of an illegal drug, or money that will purchase illegal drugs. The DEA can also demand the forfeiture of money if they link it to an illegal drug trade.
Management of drug intelligence programs
The DEA detects criminal wrongdoing via drug intelligence. They collect and analyze this information with the help of many other governmental agencies, including state, local, and federal agencies. The DEA also cooperates with foreign officials when drug crimes involve other nations.
Assisting with the prosecution of individuals accused of drug crimes
In addition to their capacity as law enforcement, the DEA also takes part in the prosecution of those alleged to have committed drug offenses. Their efforts, which include investigating and preparing cases, typically focus on offenders involved in interstate or international drug trafficking. They also assist with the prosecution of “drug gangs” or organizations alleged to use fear and intimidation to maintain control over communities.
Enforcement of Controlled Substances Act
Legal controlled substances can also be the subject of DEA actions. For example, if a person manufactures, distributes, or dispenses a legal drug, such as an opiate, but violates other laws in the process, they are in violation of certain portions of the Controlled Substances Act.