Secret Unit of DEA Gathers Information on Americans, Doesn't Tell Judges

| by Michael Allen
article imagearticle image

A secret unit of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is reportedly using an enormous telephone database, intelligence intercepts and wiretapping to criminally investigate Americans.

The Special Operations Division (SOD) distributes the confidential information to DEA agents across America. SOD is comprised of employees of the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security, notes (video below).

According to government documents obtained by Reuters, these cases rarely include U.S. security issues, but rather drugs. DEA agents are instructed not to tell anyone about SOD, including judges and prosecutors.

The government documents instruct DEA agents to recreate their own investigation, after using confidential info from SOD.

"I have never heard of anything like this at all," said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who served as a federal judge from 1994 to 2011. "It is one thing to create special rules for national security. Ordinary crime is entirely different. It sounds like they are phonying up investigations."

The Department of Justice, which oversees the DEA, declined to comment.

However, a former federal agent told Reuters: "You'd be told only, ‘Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.' And so we'd alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it."

After an arrest was made, the DEA would pretend their "investigation" began with the traffic stop, not with the information from SOD. This process is called "parallel construction."

"Parallel construction is a law enforcement technique we use every day," said an unidentified DEA official. "It's decades old, a bedrock concept."

However, the U.S. has not had the electronic level of spying available on its own citizens for decades, but only since 2001 when President Bush signed the Patriot Act and funded the NSA.

Sources: Reuters and