DEA Museum and Visitors Center

DEA Museum and Visitors Center The DEA Museum looks at the history behind illicit drugs in America. We are currently closed for renovation and expected to reopen in Fall of 2020.
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Operating as usual

#OnThisDay in 2004, the DEA announced the culmination of Operation Brain Drain. A joint effort with the Royal Canadian M...
09/23/2020

#OnThisDay in 2004, the DEA announced the culmination of Operation Brain Drain. A joint effort with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, this operation was specifically targeting clandestine methamphetamine laboratories in Canada. Agents and officers raided multiple sites including two illegal methamphetamine operations resulting in the seizure of 92 pounds of meth, 5 gallons of liquid meth solution, more than 3,000 pounds of precursor chemical ingredients including ephedrine pills and powder, as well as 2 kilograms of cocaine. The operation also resulted in the arrests of 90 individuals involved in the production of these drugs, including 5 major drug traffickers, and the seizure of more than $3.5 million in Canadian currency.

Renovation Update!A lot is going on in the new museum. Things are starting to take shape and look like the design drawin...
09/21/2020

Renovation Update!
A lot is going on in the new museum. Things are starting to take shape and look like the design drawings we have been looking at for months. It is so exciting to see all the vibrant colors and unique textures. Stay tuned for more renovation updates!

#OnThisDay in 2003, Karen Tandy was sworn in as the ninth Administrator of the DEA. Prior to her appointment, she was a ...
09/17/2020

#OnThisDay in 2003, Karen Tandy was sworn in as the ninth Administrator of the DEA. Prior to her appointment, she was a Department of Justice attorney and had been serving as the Dirctor of the Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces. During her Senate confirmation hearing, at which she was unanimously confirmed, Tandy established her intention to target significant drug trafficking organizations. Tandy made financial investigations a top priority in the DEA. By tracking the monetary transactions around the world, operation networks were identified that led to significant arrests and seizures. As a result of her leadership during her four years as Administrator, the DEA exceeded all previous annual asset seizure totals.

09/16/2020
Drug Enforcement Administration - DEA

Are you a college student interested in spreading the drug misuse prevention message? Increase your impact! Create a video PSA and enter it in the Red Ribbon Week Contest for a chance to win!

PSA Contest is now open!

🎒Learn more about the contest
👀Watch last year's winning video!
📹Submit your video showing the importance of preventing illicit drug use & legal drug misuse among college students.

#DEARedRibbon #DEACampus
https://www.campusdrugprevention.gov/psacontest

Last week the DEA Museum team joined up (virtually) with the exhibit design and media design teams to test the digital i...
09/14/2020

Last week the DEA Museum team joined up (virtually) with the exhibit design and media design teams to test the digital interactives for the new exhibit. It may look like we had fun (we did), but we also put a lot of consideration into usability. After making some minor adjustments, both design teams will work together again to install the interactive programs on the final hardware in the exhibit. We hope you will come and try them out when you visit our museum.

Today the nation remembers the tragedy that left America reeling. The country experienced a direct attack from a terrori...
09/11/2020

Today the nation remembers the tragedy that left America reeling. The country experienced a direct attack from a terrorist organization. What does this have to do with the DEA? Al-Qaeda, the terrorist network responsible for the attacks, was at least partly funded through the global trade of illicit narcotics. Narco-terrorism is a strategy of violence and intimidation that has been inflicted on countries all over the world by war lords and drug kingpins for centuries. The DEA works tirelessly to dismantle global drug trafficking organizations, cutting off financial and material resources to prevent terrorist acts and the importation of illicit drugs into American communities.

The design of the new exhibit includes several decorative features that complement each gallery. These gold shapes are g...
09/10/2020

The design of the new exhibit includes several decorative features that complement each gallery. These gold shapes are going to be hanging from the ceiling in the main gallery. Can you guess what the shapes represent?

Hint: How well do you know your chemistry?

09/08/2020

#OnThisDay in 2002, Carlos Castaño Gil was seen in a broadcast interview expressing a willingness to conditionally surrender to Colombian and US authorities. Castaño Gil was the Commander in Chief of the AUC (United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia), a Colombian paramilitary organization which was an active contributor to the armed conflicts that rocked the country in the late 1990s. His interview indicated that he would only surrender to authorities if he was indicted on narco-trafficking charges by the US.

#OnThisDay in 2003, Operation Double Trouble concluded with the successful impact on some of the biggest drug traffickin...
08/29/2020

#OnThisDay in 2003, Operation Double Trouble concluded with the successful impact on some of the biggest drug trafficking organizations in Colombia. The Operation led to the arrest of 55 drug traffickers and money brokers. DEA seized 36 bank accounts from 11 Colombian banks, and over $12.8 million. The Operation also involved the seizure of more than 353 kilograms of cocaine and 21 kilograms of heroin. By seizing drugs and financial assets, DEA disrupted the drug trafficking organizations and the flow of drugs to the U.S.

#OnThisDay in 1994, a DEA airplane crashed during a routine reconnaissance mission near Santa Lucia, Peru. All five spec...
08/27/2020

#OnThisDay in 1994, a DEA airplane crashed during a routine reconnaissance mission near Santa Lucia, Peru. All five special agents on board were killed. Search crews, including DEA agents, scoured the area and spotted the wreckage on the 28th but were unable to reach it due to heavy rains and limited daylight. On the 29th, teams were finally able to reach the crash site and recover the bodies. Today we remember the commitment and sacrifice made by these brave agents:
Frank Fernandez Jr.
Jay Seale
Meredith Thompson
Juan Vars
Frank Wallace Jr.

#OnThisDay in 2003, Fabio Ochoa of the Medellín Cartel was sentenced to 365 months in prison. Ochoa worked with his brot...
08/26/2020

#OnThisDay in 2003, Fabio Ochoa of the Medellín Cartel was sentenced to 365 months in prison. Ochoa worked with his brothers, Pablo Escobar, and other drug lords of Medellín, Colombia to build one of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in history. Ochoa was convicted in Miami federal court on drug conspiracy and money laundering charges based on his role in the effort to ship 30 tons of cocaine per month into the U.S from 1997 through 1999.

Renovation Update! The walls have been painted a thrilling “law enforcement” blue. Due to the Corona Virus Pandemic, the...
08/24/2020

Renovation Update! The walls have been painted a thrilling “law enforcement” blue. Due to the Corona Virus Pandemic, the installation of the exhibit panels and display cases has been delayed. We are doing everything we can to make sure that we reopen safely, with our visitors’ health in mind. We hope you will ride out the rest of this wild year with us virtually and come visit once we are able to open the doors to our brand new exhibit.

What’s in our collection? This unique opium pipe was a piece of evidence in a federal drug case in 1923. It bears a fasc...
08/22/2020

What’s in our collection? This unique opium pipe was a piece of evidence in a federal drug case in 1923. It bears a fascinating pharaonic embellishment in the shape of an Egyptian burial mask with a small red jewel. Interestingly, the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered in Egypts’ Valley of the Kings in 1922. Its discovery ignited an interest in ancient Egyptian style that seems to have found its way to this object. The pipe, along with many other objects from the 1923 case, will be displayed in the newly redesigned DEA Museum when it reopens. What was your favorite object displayed in the old exhibit?

#OnThisDay in 2001, Asa Hutchinson was sworn in as the 8th Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Before ...
08/08/2020

#OnThisDay in 2001, Asa Hutchinson was sworn in as the 8th Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Before serving for three years at DEA, he was the Arkansas State Representative and a significant part of his platform was a crackdown on illegal drugs, especially methamphetamine. During his time as the DEA Administrator he reorganized the administration to evaluate the expenditure of resources and orient the focus toward newly emerging drugs such as meth, ecstasy, and predatory drugs (aka date rape drugs). He also endeavored to increase investment in prevention and treatment programs.

The renovation of the DEA Museum is moving along and we are very excited to see what it looks like once it is all put to...
08/07/2020

The renovation of the DEA Museum is moving along and we are very excited to see what it looks like once it is all put together. We are carefully considering safety protocols for the reopening of the Museum so that visitors can enjoy our new exhibits while still protecting themselves and each other. In the meantime, check out this unique wallpaper that has been custom designed to showcase the variety of drug artifacts in our collection.

During the Summer of 1995 the DEA partnered with Colombian authorities under Colombian National Police Director General ...
08/07/2020

During the Summer of 1995 the DEA partnered with Colombian authorities under Colombian National Police Director General Rosso Serrano in efforts to dismantle the Cali cartel. Several members of the Cali leadership were arrested. #OnThisDay in 1995, Miguel Rodriguez-Orejuela was arrested during a house raid. He was discovered hiding in a secret closet in the house and was later sentenced to 21 years in prison for drug trafficking crimes.

#OnThisDay in 1974, one of the greatest tragedies in DEA history occurred. The DEA Miami Field Division office building ...
08/05/2020

#OnThisDay in 1974, one of the greatest tragedies in DEA history occurred. The DEA Miami Field Division office building collapsed. Over 125 DEA employees worked in the building which collapsed at 10:24 in the morning on August 5th due to a weakened and damaged structure under the rooftop parking lot. Dozens of people were trapped in the rubble of concrete and steel. Seven DEA employees lost their lives that day. Every year we remember:

Special Agent Nicholas Fragos
Mary Keehan, Secretary to the Acting Regional Director
Special Agent Charles Mann
Anna Mounger, Secretary
Anna Pope, Fiscal Assistant
Martha Skeels, Supervisory Clerk
Mary Sullivan, Clerk

Please join us in remembering these honored DEA employees.
https://www.dea.gov/dea-wall-honor

Photo: Recovery efforts in the aftermath of the Miami Field Office collapse.

Last week we said a bitter-sweet farewell to one of our dedicated staff members. Dianne Martin has retired after 40 year...
08/05/2020

Last week we said a bitter-sweet farewell to one of our dedicated staff members. Dianne Martin has retired after 40 years of federal government service. Dianne has been a cheerful and reliable contributor to the DEA Museum and has personalize the visitor experience for many of our guests. Every year she played a central part in organizing the DEA Memorial Service and has become very close to so many people within DEA. She will be greatly missed.



Have you met Dianne on one of your visits? Please join us in wishing her a happy and relaxing retirement.

#OnThisDay in 2005, the retrial of Michael Chia began. In 1988 he was convicted of the murders of George Montoya and Pau...
08/05/2020

#OnThisDay in 2005, the retrial of Michael Chia began. In 1988 he was convicted of the murders of George Montoya and Paul Seema. After a successful appeal, the Nineth Circuit Court overturned the original conviction and demanded retrial. The Los Angeles Field Division dedicated many resources toward assisting the prosecution of the 17 year old case. Upon hearing of Chia’s re-conviction, many within DEA felt that they had successfully achieved justice for Montoya, Seema, and their families.

Photos: Special Agents Seema (left) and Montoya (right)

During Police Week, our nation honors the brave men and women in law enforcement as we pay tribute to those who made the...
05/13/2020
DEA Museum & Visitors Center | 2020 DEA Virtual Memorial Service

During Police Week, our nation honors the brave men and women in law enforcement as we pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Unfortunately, given the current circumstances, we cannot host our traditional Memorial Service in person as originally planned. However, I encourage all of you to view the virtual tribute service here: https://deamuseum.org/news/2020-dea-virtual-memorial-service

This moving video includes a message from Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon, a beautiful tribute to TFO DelRio, and DEA’s traditional roll call. We plan to host an in-person Memorial Service event as soon as we are safely able to do so.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Museum and Visitors Center envisions itself as the preeminent federal government institution for learning about the history of drugs and drug law enforcement in the United States and the integral role that DEA and its predecessor agencies have played in that...

05/01/2020

#OnThisDay in 1971, the Controlled Substances Act went into effect. This law requires that the drugs and certain chemical substances must be categorized or "scheduled" into 5 levels based on the detailed evaluation of those substances. Substances are evaluated based on acceptable medical use and risk of abuse or dependence. Therefore, schedule 5 substances are medically useful and pose a relatively low risk of abuse or mental addiction. On the other hand, schedule 1 substances have no currently accepted medical use, pose a high risk of abuse, and are strongly addictive. Substances can change schedule through the combination of strong research and a rigorous legislative petition process.

04/30/2020

The Medellín Cartel was one of the most notorious and cruel drug trafficking organizations in history. Led by the infamous Pablo Escobar, the cartel was known for smuggling tons of cocaine from Colombia to dozens of countries around the world, but also their bold and lethal terrorist tactics. #OnThisDay in 1984, the Medellín Cartel publicly assassinated the Colombian Minister of Justice, Rodrigo Lara-Bonilla, a vocal advocate for the extradition of cocaine traffickers. Due to brave people like him, the Colombian National Police and the DEA were gradually able to dismantle the Medellín Cartel by the early 1990s.

Forensic fingerprint examiners analyze fingerprints found either at crime scenes or on other types of evidence. There ar...
04/29/2020

Forensic fingerprint examiners analyze fingerprints found either at crime scenes or on other types of evidence. There are three types of fingerprint evidence. They can collect latent fingerprints, which are natural sweat and oils left on a surface, invisible to the naked eye. Patent fingerprints are visible evidence left by fingers covered in foreign material such as ink, dirt, or blood. Lastly, plastic fingerprints are left by fingers impressed into a soft surface. DEA fingerprint examiners use magnetic fingerprint lifting powder and other chemicals to retrieve the fingerprints for analysis in the laboratory. They then used specialized software to analyze the print and run it through a database called the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). An expertly identified fingerprint can place a suspect at a crime scene or prove that they handled a piece of evidence that will be used when the case goes to court.

Digital forensic examiners are responsible for analyzing technology based evidence including retrieving data off of comp...
04/28/2020

Digital forensic examiners are responsible for analyzing technology based evidence including retrieving data off of computers and cell phones. They use various tools and techniques to dismantle digital devices, and special programs to download data. The extracted data is considered intelligence and can be used to build a case, make connections within a drug trafficking organization, and lead to critical convictions.

Forensic chemists are the folks that you often see portrayed in crime solving mystery TV shows. They use basic and advan...
04/27/2020

Forensic chemists are the folks that you often see portrayed in crime solving mystery TV shows. They use basic and advanced chemistry practices in order to analyze evidence that could come in the form of tablets, powder, liquid, or plant matter. Some of the tests that they run are based on chemical reactions while others use complicated machinery. DEA forensic chemical examiners take detailed records during every step of their testing because the success of a case rests heavily on accurate and thorough results.

The Drug Enforcement Administration employs forensic examiners responsible for providing scientific and technical suppor...
04/26/2020

The Drug Enforcement Administration employs forensic examiners responsible for providing scientific and technical support to the development of drug enforcement cases. DEA forensic examiners use the scientific process to analyze evidence, provide detailed reports, and testify in court. Their jobs differ depending on their discipline: chemistry, digital, and fingerprinting. Stay tuned this week as each daily post highlights one of these forensics disciplines! Are you interested in a career as a forensic examiner? Share which discipline you think you would enjoy the most!

Renovation Update: The frames for the ceiling have been put up inside the museum space as well as the lobby. The opening...
04/26/2020

Renovation Update: The frames for the ceiling have been put up inside the museum space as well as the lobby. The opening on the right will be the entrance to the museum gallery and the opening on the left will become the gift shop. So exciting!

04/24/2020

#PopQuiz
The Controlled Substances Act (1970) requires that drugs and certain other chemical substances be categorized or "scheduled" into 5 levels based on the detailed evaluation of those substances. What factor(s) are evaluated to determine whether a drug belongs in Schedule 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5?
A. Acceptable Medical Uses
B. Lethal Does
C. Potential for Abuse and Dependence
D. A and C
Stay tuned for the answer tomorrow!

This month is a double anniversary for the DEA's Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Before 1999, the DEA shared fac...
04/23/2020

This month is a double anniversary for the DEA's Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Before 1999, the DEA shared facilities with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in order to train each new class of Special Agents. On April 21, 1997, DEA hosted a ground breaking ceremony for the new Training Academy and two years later, on April 28, 1999, the Training Academy opened and began holding Basic Agent Training classes. Since then, the Academy has expanded to also host Basic Forensic Chemist Training and has earned Law Enforcement Training Accreditation (FLETA).

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700 Army Navy Dr
Arlington, VA
22202

We are two blocks from the Yellow/Blue Metro line Pentagon City stop.

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yes the good ole USA and my friend ROBERT LIGHTFOOT who trained many people including me.🐘🇺🇸🕵️‍♀️😭
we do the best we can.
Hi yes we need Good National Intelligence. Thankful for it.