US Drug Enforcement Administration agents have admitted attending orgies with prostitutes they should have known were hired by a drug cartel, the Justice Department has revealed.
According to a broad report commissioned into the behaviour of federal agents, seven of 10 officers who were accused of taking part in the parties confessed and were disciplined.
The 138-page Justice Department report, revealed on Thursday, does not say where the parties took place, but the Washington Post cited an official identifying the location as Colombia.
There, a local police officer working with US colleagues sent to help fight the war on drugs ‘arranged “sex parties” with prostitutes funded by the local drug cartels for these DEA agents at their government-leased quarters, over a period of several years’.
‘Although some of the DEA agents participating in these parties denied it, the information in the case file suggested they should have known the prostitutes in attendance were paid with cartel funds,’ it said.
It said local police told investigators that they provided protection for the agents’ weapons and other belongings during the parties.
The local police alleged that at least three supervisory agents of the DEA received money, gifts and weapons from drug cartel members in addition to the services of prostitutes.
Officers who were found to have taken part in the orgies received suspensions from duty of between two and 10 days.
The probe was launched after a scandal in which US Secret Service agents hired prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia ahead of a visit by President Barack Obama for a Summit of the Americas in April 2012.
That case involved two dozen agents and military personnel deployed in Cartagena to prepare for Obama’s visit.