The DEA, or Drug Enforcement Agency, is responsible for the enforcement of federal drug laws, and it works relentlessly to keep drugs off the street. Although the agency operates a federal task force, it can also collaborate in state investigations. Here are 6 statistics about DEA investigations that may alarm you, if you or someone you love faces drug related criminal charges.
- Nearly 30,000 defendants were tried in narcotics related crimes in 2010.
Every few years, the U.S. district attorney's office releases results of federal crime data and prosecution. In the last report, the office noted nearly 15,000 cases were filed against 27, 997 defendants. To put that figure in some perspective, that's equivalent to the approximate population of a mid-size town.
- Of those 27,997 cases, 25,218 resulted in convictions.
If you face a federal drug offense, statistically speaking, the odds are very high that you're not going to walk. The DEA boasts a conviction rate of narcotics offenders of 92%. If you're caught in the DEA's crosshairs, you stand a significant chance of serving some jail time.
- Drug-related penalties are steep.
Federal law doesn't take drug offenses lightly. Convicted offenders of federal drug crimes face serious jail time in maximum security facilities. 90% of those convicted serve jail time, and 70% of those who do go to jail serve sentences greater than 5 years.
- Anyone can be affected.
The DEA does thorough work and goes after more than "crime lords" and seasoned drug dealers. Anyone can be targeted by a serious investigation, and "normal people" go to jail routinely. In fact, two of the DEA's most recent high profile convictions involved doctors found to be illegally distributing and prescribing potent painkillers.
- DEA investigations are well-oiled machines.
The DEA conducted 10,000 meth lab raids across the United States in 2014. Oklahoma alone saw over 200 such raids.
- The President himself is actively involved in fighting drug crimes.
President Obama has taken an active, aggressive role in helping the DEA fight the war on drugs. Last fiscal year, he allocated over $133 million dollars in resources dedicated to capturing those who make and distribute illicit substances.
- The war on drugs has helped massively increase our nation's prison population, disproportionally affecting African Americans in particular.
Writing in The Atlantic last year, author Ta-Nehisi Coates explored some mind-bending statistics: "From the mid-1970s to the mid-'80s, America's incarceration rate doubled, from about 150 people per 100,000 to about 300 per 100,000. From the mid-'80s to the mid-'90s, it doubled again. By 2007, it had reached a historic high of 767 people per 100,000, before registering a modest decline to 707 people per 100,000 in 2012. In absolute terms, America's prison and jail population from 1970 until today has increased sevenfold, from some 300,000 people to 2.2 million. The United States now accounts for less than 5 percent of the world's inhabitants--and about 25 percent of its incarcerated inhabitants. In 2000, one in 10 black males between the ages of 20 and 40 was incarcerated--10 times the rate of their white peers. In 2010, a third of all black male high-school dropouts between the ages of 20 and 39 were imprisoned, compared with only 13 percent of their white peers." The DEA fights all drug sales on American soil, no matter how trivial the offense may seem. In Oklahoma, even growing your own marijuana can lead to a DEA investigation. If you're caught with drugs on your person, or if you are found guilty of distributing illicit substances to others, the odds are not in your favor. Drug offenses carry harsh penalties, from jail time to exorbitant fines. Use these sobering statistics to make the best choices possible, and avoid grievous consequences that can follow you for a lifetime. If you or someone you love stands accused of a drug crime or faces a DEA investigation, call our experienced criminal defense team for help.