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by Peter Moskos

February 28, 2011

DEA Runs Out of Money

Don't I wish! Actually, the DEA is just out of money to help localities clean up meth labs after they're raided.

Cleaning up a meth lab costs $2,500. Last year the DEA allocated just $10 million to the cause. Obama's new budget cuts this funding. I guess when you're as lean and trim as the DEA with their annual budget of $2,602,000,000 (enough to clean more than one-million meth labs), there really is no other choice.


Anonymous said...

That $2500 figure seems awfully low. Every chemical they come across has to be lab tested and verified before it can be disposed of. The number I heard 10+ years ago in a drug class was it can easily run over $100 grand from kicking in the door through proper disposal. Interesting side note. If Local Jurisdiction kicks in the door on a location they believe is a meth lab they're stuck with the cleanup bill. DEA will gladly help, but they get all of the asset forfeiture.

I would love to know what DEA's annual budget is when you add in all the asset forfeiture. I've heard bits and pieces through the years, some of probably legend, that forfeiture is largely what drives the DEA's domestic behavior. Might explain why you never seem them in the hood, where what whole War on Drugs thingy is kind of sticky and messy.

Sgt. T

PCM said...

I was thinking that too about the dollar figure, but it may not be the complete figure. Just what the DEA was kicking in to help the local P.D.

More interesting... it has never occurred to me why I never (or rarely?) saw the DEA in the Eastern District of Baltimore.

I saw more DEA in a tailor shop in Bangkok than I saw in two years in Baltimore.

The FBI was in the hood all the time (or every few weeks) right before dawn to kick in a door (that was me out back taking cover behind a telephone pole skinnier than me). But never (or rarely) the DEA.