The DEA: What Is It All About?

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You know that the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) is all about drug enforcement, but you may wonder what that really means when it comes to drug charges. If you are facing a drug charge, it is an important matter that requires your careful attention now – because a conviction can irrevocably alter the course of your life in ways that you might not have even imagined. Let’s take a closer look at the DEA’s role in the enforcement of drug laws.


The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) shares that the DEA was formed in 1973 (with the merger of several other government agencies). Since that time, the DEA has shouldered the responsibility for enforcing federal drug laws in relation to all the following:

  • The manufacture of controlled substances

  • The production of controlled substances

  • The distribution of controlled substances

The DEA addresses federal drug crimes, but because even relatively small drug deals and sales tend to cross state lines, they are often under the legal purview of the DEA.

Related Reading: Legal Implications of a Possession of a Controlled Substance Charge

The Seizure and Forfeiture of Assets

The DEA has serious power when it comes to the seizure and forfeiture of assets. If the agency believes that any of the following is true of specific assets, it can seize them (or require them to be forfeited):

  • Money earned in relation to illegal drugs

  • Money used to purchase illegal drugs

  • Money that is linked to an illegal drug trade

This speaks to considerable leeway when it comes to the DEA’s power to seize or require forfeiture of assets. (Q/A: Texas Civil Asset Forfeiture: What is It, and Why Does it Matter?)

Managing Drug Intelligence

The DEA has access to an immense amount of drug intelligence, which they use to help detect alleged criminal activity. This intelligence can come from myriad sources that include agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. When the alleged criminal activity is international, the DEA also works with foreign agencies and officials.

Assisting with the Prosecution

The DEA does not stop with their role as a law enforcement agency – they also assist in the prosecution of those charged with drug-related crimes. Their efforts can include both investigative work and case prep, and the cases involved are generally predicated on drug trafficking that crosses state or national lines. The DEA also has a hand in prosecuting the alleged crimes that involve what are commonly called drug gangs, which are organizations that are accused of using fear and intimidation tactics to maintain control over groups of people, such as their communities.

Consult with an Experienced Killeen Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If a drug charge has been levied against you, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Killeen, Texas – is a resourceful criminal defense lawyer who dedicates his practice to upholding the legal rights of clients like you – in focused pursuit of their claims’ most beneficial resolutions. To learn more about how we can also help you, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.


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