DEA’s Dirty Agent Tells All

‘The drug war is a game. … It was a very fun game that we were playing,’ says convicted DEA agent José Irizarry.

At a glance

  • Known as the most corrupt agent in U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration history, José Irizarry pled guilty in 2020 to 19 counts of corruption after skimming millions of dollars from drug money laundering stings – but he says he didn’t do it alone.
  • Before beginning a 12-year prison sentence, Irizarry told the Associated Press that dozens of other informants, prosecutors, and federal agents also conspired with cartels to fund lavish lifestyles of expensive sports cars, fine dining, and overseas travel.
  • Irizarry claimed his colleagues picked cities for money laundering pickups based upon where they wanted to party and said he was just “another man” and he “wasn’t the mastermind.”
  • The U.S. Department of Justice has been investigating Irizarry’s claims in recent months and questioned as many as two-dozen current and former DEA agents and prosecutors accused of turning a blind eye or joining in on the flagrant abuses.

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