Karen Tandy Retaliates Against DEA Whistle-blower

This ugly story provides a frightening example of the sordid relationships our government maintains when conducting international narcotics investigations.

DEA Special Agent in Charge Sandalio “Sandy” Gonzalez was shown the door after submitting a memo implicating a U.S. Government informant in several murders in Mexico.

From WFAA-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth, TX:

Gonzalez began in early 2004 to question the U.S. government's role in allowing an informant to commit possible crimes, even murder. Twelve bodies had been uncovered in a small duplex in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico - a short drive from Gonzalez’s El Paso office. Gonzalez, however, became shocked when he began to review government reports, including a report saying a paid U.S. informant supervised and participated in at least one murder at the cartel-operated house.

I guess even a high-ranking DEA agent has to draw the line somewhere. But Gonzalez’s superiors in Washington, D.C. didn’t appreciate his principled stand:

Troubled by what he found, Gonzalez ultimately wrote a memo to his ICE counterpart in El Paso, and sent a copy to the Justice Department. That was the beginning of the end of his career. “It was a classic case of shooting the messenger,” Gonzalez said. Gonzalez got a bad job review from DEA Administrator Karen Tandy, his boss. And felt pressure to retire early.

A more detailed account available at The Narcosphere, is quite a read. Still, this mess has largely escaped the headlines, surely to the satisfaction of Karen Tandy and her colleagues.

It’s no secret that our government frequently hires criminals to do its dirty work in the drug war, but condoning murder is a questionable sacrifice even by the drug war’s flimsy moral standards.

Seeing Karen Tandy take a stand against whistle-blowing at DEA is alarming given her agency’s vulnerability to internal corruption. It makes you wonder what else these guys are up to when they’re not busy interfering with the democratic process.

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DEA in San Francisco

Bogotá DEA Corruption Allegations Intersect with Covert FBI, CIA Activity in Colombia
New Document Unravels More Mysteries in Kent Memo; Narco-Trafficker, Informant Drop the Dime on Suspected DEA Foul Play

By Bill Conroy
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

March 6, 2006

In the late 1990s, Luis Hernando Gómez Bustamante, one of the leaders of Colombia’s North Valley Cartel narco-trafficking syndicate, became one of the targets of a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation called Operation Cali-Man, which was overseen by a DEA supervisor in Miami named David Tinsley.

In mid January 2000, Gómez Bustamante attended a meeting in Panama to discuss possible cooperation with the DEA. According to one of Tinsley’s informants, during the course of that meeting Gómez Bustamante revealed that a high-level DEA agent in Bogotá was on the “payroll” of a corrupt Colombian National Police colonel named Danilo Gonzalez — who was eventually indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on narco-trafficking charges.

The informant, an individual named Ramon Suarez, later told DEA internal affairs investigators that the U.S. federal agent identified by Gómez Bustamante as being on the “payroll” was Javier Pena, who at the time was the assistant country attaché of the DEA Bogotá Country Office in Colombia.

Notice that one Javier Pena, second sentence up is the head of the DEA San Francisco Office. See link http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/states/newsrel/sanfran_sacbio.html

http://www.narconews.com/Issue40/article1662.html

Interesting reading

DEA sued...for abuse; Karen Tandy arrogance continues...

The DEA, at least ten agents, and Riverside County, are being sued in United States District Court...

The complaint alleges that on the morning of March 14th, 2006,

"Defendants and each of them knowingly and willingly deprived plaintiffs of the right of privacy, the right to security of the person from unreasonable and unjustified force, and bodily injury, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to due process of Law."

In a nutshell...on the premise that the Plaintiffs were illegally engaged in the traffic and/or possession of marijuana, the DEA secured a warrant and proceeded to their home in Desert Hot Springs, California, to effect a search of the premises.

In spite of the fact there was an apparent willingness on the part of the suspect and his wife to cooperate, the DEA battered down the door, and then - Mr. Silva, a man in his mid-fifties - was allegedly grabbed from behind with great force, manipulated into a deadly "bear hug", then thrust to the ground.

As a result, he suffered severe injuries.

The suit alleges further...that Mr. Silva's wife was forced to stand naked from the waist down, and bear witness to the events - which resulted in humiliation, shame, and disgrace.

Imagine that, at least ten DEA agents in the room, and not one had the decency to hand the woman a housecoat or blanket?

Frankly, this amounted to inexcusable, shocking, and reprehensible conduct - which warrants a full investigation and appropriate disciplinary action - and most certainly, monetary compensation.

The suit for money damages is brought under Bivens v. Six Unknown Fed. Narcotics Agents (1971) 403 U.S. 388 and under Title 42, United States Code, Sections 1983, 1985, 1988 to redress deprivations under Color of Law of rights, privileges and immunities secured to plaintiffs by said statutes and by the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Jurisdiction is invoked under the Bivens case and pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 1343, subsections (1) through (4) inclusive.

A source provided me with a copy of the First Amended Complaint (U.S. District Court) in the wake of the recent DEA pot busts in the Los Angeles area which resulted in a lot of negative publicity for the top Drug Enforcement Agency.

In recent weeks, press outlets have been awash with allegations of abusive conduct by agents and have openly questioned a DEA inclination towards a kind-of "reefer madness", which has subsequently resulted in harassment of patients who use medicinal marijuana and their suppliers.

In spite of the fact California voters approved a measure (Bill 215) allowing for compassionate use of Marijuana for medicinal purposes, the DEA has been cracking down on the local suppliers, alleging that their outlets are engaging in conduct which amounts to the:

"...illegal sale of an illicit drug which is outlawed by the Federal Government."

Granted, recently the U.S. Supreme Court upheld its prior ruling that Marijuana be deemed a banned substance without any recognizable medicinal qualities; but, the truth remains...there is a conflict between State and Federal Laws which is crying out for redress.

Essentially, an all-out turf war has broken out in California - with providers, patients, and doctors twisting in the fray!

Notwithstanding the conflict between State and Federal Laws, there remains the question of the heinous conduct of DEA officers.

When I attended a protest in front of the Governor's Los Angeles office this past month, I listened sadly as citizens recalled incidents where doors had been battered, homes trashed, and bodies physically injured - due to the overzealous, careless disregard for rights, and the laws of the State of California - by the FEDS.
(Medical Marijuana Rally; Post, 10/11/07)

With great fervor, the DEA has been busting local medical marijuana suppliers in the Los Angeles area; surprisingly, in spite of public protest, there has not been any intervention from the Governor or State Officials.

The conduct of the DEA has been despicable.

And, they are prone to retaliate against those who stand up to them, or protest.

A case in point...

At the protest on October 11th, protesters at the rally lamented to the press - and anyone within earshot - about the abusive conduct of DEA Officers.

Although there was no "visible" evidence of DEA presence at the protest, it is apparent from what transpired later in the evening that day, that agents must have been among the crowd undercover.

After a woman distributed hand fliers inviting protesters to an after-party at the Healing Arts Center to celebrate the success of the rally - in a matter of hours - the DEA organized a posse, then sprang into action.

That evening, the DEA busted the center, and confiscated cash and paperwork, in spite of the fact no drugs (specifically marijuana) were located.

Clearly, it was a retaliatory act, to punish the protesters who spoke out against their Machiavellian tactics!

Can't U.S. Citizens protest in the streets of America about relevant social, legal, and political issues, without the threat of retaliation?

Increasingly, it has been revealed that DEA methods - breaking down doors, destroying personal property, smashing human bodies - and asking questions later - has not amounted to isolated acts of violence or random rights' violations...but rather, the ongoing modus operandi for the Agency.

In view of the fact the lawsuit mentioned here arose out of incidents last year, it is quite obvious that the recent atrocities were not due to an oversight, nor did they arise out of a frustrated attempt to deal with an uncertain climate caused by confusion or misunderstanding over the marijuana laws - especially as they relate to the California landscape.

In the case of Mr. Silva, it should be noted, he uses medical marijuana to alleviate pain from degenerative disk disease and nerve damage.

The complaint states, defendants should have known,

"...or reasonably known that unreasonable force was being used against the Plaintiffs as they willfully and knowingly failed to intevene, interfere with, or try to stop or prevent the use of such excessive force."

Pursuant to local law, Mr. Mintz - attorney of record for the Plaintiffs - filed a claim for damages with Riverside County.

As of this date, City officials have not responded.

However, said inaction is not considered out-of-the norm, nor does it amount to any negligent act in-and-of itself, according to Mr. Mintz.

As of this date, there has not been any response from the DEA, either.

According to the attorney of record, the defendants have thirty days to answer the complaint, and it has not passed.

I contacted the DEA Media Relations Department and asked that they provide a statement for the record.

Within a couple of hours, Special Agent Casey L. McEnry, e-mailed me a communication, requesting additional information pertaining to the pending case.

When I zipped off the details, within seconds, he dutifully responded...noting that the Los Angeles office had jurisdiction over the proceedings.

I located the local DEA website and clicked on a link for the Head Administrator.

When Ms. Karen Tandy's photo and promotional materials popped up on the screen, my intuitive response was "negative".

For some inexplicable reason, the still small voice inside of me, said,

"This is not a nice person".

My suspicions were verified a short time later.

When I did a search on DEA retaliation, a couple of articles popped up on screen, reporting that Ms. Karen Tandy had been accused of "retaliating" against a DEA employee under her charge for whistle-blowing.

According to the reports, Sandalio (Sandy) Gonzalez, the Agent in question, wrote a memo to an ICE counterpart in El Paso alleging Agent abuse and misconduct, with copy to the Justice Department.

That was the beginning of the end of his career, he lamented.

“It was a classic case of shooting the messenger,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez got a bad job review from DEA Administrator Karen Tandy, his boss.

And felt pressure to retire early.

Since then, he challenged and overturned the job review.

But the lack of investigation into the government’s actions, he said, has been a “black-eye on law enforcement.”

"It's an insult to every hard-working law enforcement officer to have the government act in this manner," Gonzalez said.

The article was written by Byron Harris and Mark Smith at WFAA-TV.

In view of Ms. Tandy's spurious background, I wanted a paper trail and full documentation.

So, I drafted a letter to Tandy, noted that I was writing an article on the Silva matter, and offered up the opportunity to state the DEA's position on the matter.

In spite of the fact I gave a deadline for responding - as of this date - Ms. Tandy has failed to follow through or give me the professional courtesy of a reply.

Something to hide, Ms. Tandy???

When the Federal Bureau of Investigation was recently accused of abuse of the Patriot Act, at least they apologized to the victims, and summarily paid damages. (Patriot Act; Post, 10/22/07)

Here, the DEA continues to thumb its nose at Justice and the American people.

High time they were cut off at the legs, don't you think?

More later...
Julian Ayrs
www.ijulian.blogspot.com

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