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What does the Drug Enforcement Agency do?

If you get involved with drugs in some way or are caught up in drug charges, does that mean the Drug Enforcement Agency is going to knock down your door? In most cases, drug charges are usually handled mostly by local or state authorities rather than federal entities. transporting drugs in and out of the country or over state lines might be cause for DEA officials to get involved. Someone being caught with a small amount of marijuana isn't usually a DEA matter. Here's a look at what the DEA does.

DEA agents work with law enforcement officials from various federal, state and local organizations to support a drug intelligence program. This program helps authorities track trends and identify large rings of criminal activity and also provides education and support for law enforcement at all levels who are dealing with drug-related crimes and activities.

The DEA also works with international organizations, including the United Nations and Interpol, helping to create and enforce programs to monitor, control and prosecute international drug crimes. Some international treaties are related to drugs, such as the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, and the DEA is tasked with helping to enforce those treaties.

Domestically, the DEA works to reduce the availability of illegal substances in the nation by blocking the import of drugs or destroying drug manufacturing processes when they are found. It also monitors legal drug processes to ensure that controlled prescription drugs are handled appropriately and in ways that minimize the potential for criminal activity related to pharmaceuticals.

It's unlikely that the DEA will knock on your door, but federal agencies do make arrests or work with local authorities on cases. If you are facing charges from any law enforcement agency for drug crimes, talk with a criminal lawyer as soon as possible to get a start on your defense.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Overview," accessed Feb. 17, 2017

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