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Watchdog report faults DEA for sex parties

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal watchdog on Thursday faulted the Drug Enforcement Administration over allegations that agents attended sex parties with prostitutes while stationed overseas on government-leased property.

The sex parties are just one example of questionable behavior highlighted in a report by the Justice Department inspector general that examines the department’s handling of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations from 2009 to 2012.

It said some allegations were not fully investigated or went unreported to headquarters. It also criticized poor communication among internal affairs investigators assigned to look into the bad behavior and security officers responsible for the security clearance process.

The report describes allegations that DEA agents attended sex parties with prostitutes, funded by local drug cartels. Those claims came to light in a series of interviews with foreign police officers by DEA internal affairs investigators in 2009 and 2010. The parties were allegedly arranged over the course of several years by a foreign officer, who also alleged that several agents were provided with money, expensive gifts and weapons.

Seven agents ultimately admitted attending the parties. The DEA issued suspensions ranging from two days to 10 days, and one agent was cleared of wrongdoing. DEA is a unit of the Justice Department.