Former U.S. Special Agent To Barbados Faces Jail Time

Hardbeatnews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Oct. 28, 2005: A U.S. special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, who served the department’s country attache in the Barbados Office from May 1997 through November 2002, now faces jail time.

James Agee, Jr., a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of submitting false reimbursement and expenditure reports to the DEA’s Fiscal Unit.

According to Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, Agee, 43, of South Plainfield, New Jersey, committed the crime while serving as the Country Attache in the DEA’s Caribbean Field Division.

He pleaded guilty yesterday morning before U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle at the federal courthouse in Washington.

DEA prosecutors claim that during his Bridgetown, Barbados stint, Agee enlisted local police officers from various Caribbean law enforcement agencies to participate in DEA-funded drug enforcement operations in the Caribbean Field Division.

The local agencies were given DEA funds to cover any expenses associated with their participation in the DEA operations and Agee was responsible for the disbursement of that money and the maintenance of true and accurate accounts of any funds disbursed.

Before each operation began, Agee would receive from DEA a lump sum cash payment representing the total amount of operational funds to be disbursed. At the conclusion of each operation, Agee was charged with the duty of reviewing and approving the appropriate DEA reimbursement and expenditure reports, and submitting those reports, along with any supporting documentation, to the DEA Caribbean Field Division’s Fiscal Unit.

But in court papers filed yesterday, Agee admitted that from Oct. 22, 2000 through Sept. 13, 2002, he submitted fraudulent reimbursement and expenditure reports to the DEA’s Fiscal Unit.

The reports incorporated supporting payment vouchers containing the forged signatures of the local police officers. Agee admitted that over the course of three DEA Caribbean operations, he forged the local officers’ signatures on 15 separate payment vouchers. The total amount of funds that were not disbursed as a result of Agee’s conduct was between $10,000 and $30,000.

In addition to prison time, he faces a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on Jan. 18, 2006. –