DEA Secretly Using NSA Eavesdropping Data For Drug Prosecutions

DEA

The phone, internet, and email data gathered by the NSA isn’t kept for terrorism investigations, but rather is secretly shared with law enforcement across the country for use in drug prosecutions and more. Prosecutors then pretend they acquired the information through other means. Reuters reveals:

A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated.

The unit of the DEA that distributes the information is called the Special Operations Division, or SOD. Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security. It was created in 1994 to combat Latin American drug cartels and has grown from several dozen employees to several hundred.

Today, much of the SOD’s work is classified, and officials asked that its precise location in Virginia not be revealed.

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  • BuzzCoastin

    serious drug dealers knew this already

    what is really amazing is
    they can’t seem to use this info to stop terrorist acts
    the media never seems to notice that
    let alone wonder why

    • Craig Bickford

      Well played sir, well played.

  • emperorreagan

    This spate of articles and attention to the NSA combined with the recent terror alert for US embassies makes me wonder something:

    Does a terrorist organization need to actually even plan an attack now, or can you just have high level operatives talk about something on channels they know are compromised and get the US to react? Is there an actual threat to embassies now or were people blowing smoke?

    I suppose they have to carry through on things frequently enough so it isn’t just crying wolf, but it would seem that intelligence & government paranoia can magnify the significance of terrorist groups far beyond what they’re actually capable of.

    Same thing for drugs, I suppose. If was a drug kingpin, I’d have my organization leak bad information so the Coast Guard & DEA are boarding boats and detaining vehicles with nothing on them, plant drugs on innocents, maybe give up an actual shipment now and then to keep them going. Everything I could do to produce so much noise that the overzealous storm troopers can’t figure out what is really going on. I’m sure some are doing that now anyway.

  • Saint Eli

    Special Operations Division or “SOD”. Thats the worst (yet strangely fitting) acronym for a government operation since the awesomely named Wikileaks Task Force (WTF) of 2011.

  • THEUNSEENofNOTISH

    Gotta love when organizations give themselves the best possible acronym sometimes. WTF SOD? policing information. But to add, based on BuzzCoastin’s comment, I do think it does catch a lot of terrorists before they even get close to acting by 1) catching them before anyone notices, so we never hear, as was at many points made known during the heights of Bush’s War on Terror and 2) Monitoring and preventing personal harassment from online terrorists simply using the internet for personal vendettas and/or private firms and abusive family interests. It sucks, it really does, but as you pointed out, our favorite people we like to protect (serious drug dealers) already knew and were ready. Just because they missed one Terrorist Attack in Boston, doesnt mean they havent stopped hundreds or thousands just by making moves to let certain types of frustrated individuals know they have to find a better way to focus their anger in less violent means.

    When thinking about that statement, consider the number of violent actions (rapes, beatings, fights, torture, chemical dosing in food and drink) that don’t have any strong legal method of stopping in the “one persons word against anothers” conundrum of legal justice. And often dont get reported for this known reason. This coming from someone who has a number of times run into that problem when suffering violent abuse by others and had to operate in such ways as to make themselves safe by putting themselves in more dangerous and even policeable situations to protect themselves from abusers.

    In addition, many times people suffering these abuses can’t even get proper therapy since there’s no legal proof of such acts and institutions can be manipulated to psychologically abuse, through misdiagnosis and mis-medicating people already suffering physical violence based on that lack of evidence.

  • The Well Dressed Man