Jeff Wendling introduced Frank Sorianello, who is the chief of the San Antonio office of the Drug Enforcement Agency.
 
 
Frank explained that the DEA is a single mission agency, and that mission is to enforce the drug laws of the United States. Worldwide, the DEA has 91 offices in 70 countries, and the staff varies from 2 to 40 persons in the various offices. They partner with local county sheriff offices and city police departments to enforce the laws.  Because 65-70% of violent crimes have drugs involved in some way, there is obviously cause for concern.
 
The priorities for the San Antonio DEA office are the trans-national criminal organizations (cartels) and gang related activity. However, a growing crisis is the counterfeit pills that are on the market that mimic Oxycontin and Hydrocodone. When people are dependent on the prescription drug versions, and are unable to continue getting them, they often turn to the black market for these drugs. Unfortunately, some of the counterfeit versions of these drugs can be toxic, and thousands of people a year die in the US from overdose.
 
Methamphetamine abuse is perhaps the #1 drug issue, and 90% of it comes from Mexico. It often is smuggled in liquid form and then is converted to solid form by local meth labs in the US. There is also a lot of marijuana smuggling into Texas that comes from Colorado and other states where it is legal. Marijuana is significantly stronger than it was a number of years ago, with the THC content approaching 30%, compared to 3% in the past.
 
For those interested in the DEA for employment, agents coming into the field are usually at least in their late twenties. The agency likes applicants to have a college degree, and prefer military or police department experience. Since following the money is a big part of the DEA's investigations, a background in finance or cyber security is also advantageous.
 
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