DEA Head Stalls Coming Clean On Agency’s Aiding Of Sinaloa Cartel Drug Trafficker

DEA Head Stalls Coming Clean On Agency’s Aiding Of Sinaloa Cartel Drug Trafficker

By Corinne Murdock |

The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is making no promises on a timeline to come clean on the agency providing intelligence and resources to a known Sinaloa Cartel drug trafficker.

After avoiding any commitment to offering any self-imposed deadlines on providing records on the aid, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram told lawmakers that she could only give them “hope” and her word for answers.

“I will give you hope, and I will tell you that I will prioritize it,” said Milgram.

The exchange with Milgram occurred during Thursday’s House Judiciary GOP hearing on oversight of the DEA. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) led the hearing and the line of questioning concerning the trafficker: former Mexican secretary of public security Genaro García Luna, who was convicted of his crimes in January.

Biggs asked for a follow-up on Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) two letters sent February and June to the DEA and FBI requesting records on García Luna. Grassley requested recordings of García Luna with dates of their creation and when the DEA became aware; all reports, notes, and other documents relating to García Luna’s criminal activity; content from García Luna’s cell phone and laptop; a detailed explanation of what, when, and how the FBI and DEA knew about García Luna’s corruption and criminal activity; the vetting the FBI and DEA conducted of García Luna, and the persons responsible; and all trial transcripts and exhibits from United States v. García Luna.

“Ignoring Congressional oversight questions relating to the Sinaloa cartel and foreign corruption demonstrates a lack of commitment to bringing criminals to justice,” wrote Grassley in his June letter.

Biggs also asked for copies of the records. Milgram promised to “check on the status of the letter[s].” Biggs then requested a “self-imposed action-item deadline” for the committee, to which Milgram indicated she had no idea how long it would take for the DEA to coordinate with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on obtaining the records. 

Biggs pressed again for a timeline, to which Milgram said she could only give him “hope” for answers.

The U.S. Embassy reportedly knew of García Luna’s corruption before receiving a 2008 report filed by a Mexican police commander. The embassy informed the commander that the U.S. was already investigating García Luna. A week later, the commander was arrested and tortured; he was imprisoned for four years before being released. 

In 2010, the DEA learned from a key cartel witness that García Luna accepted money from the cartel.

García Luna remained in office until 2012, and wasn’t arrested until December 2019.

Even with ongoing investigations, the federal government provided patrol cars used to transport cocaine, as well as training and equipment for García Luna’s officers who were trafficking the cocaine.

Milgram’s hesitancy to issue a stricter timeline for the records may be related to the ongoing investigation into the administrator for allegedly not having clean hands herself.

The hearing opened with brief acknowledgement of the allegations against Milgram concerning investigations of millions of dollars in outside, no-bid contracts to hire former associates. 

The remainder of the hearing focused on DEA efforts to counter and disrupt drug trafficking.

Nearly 100,000 overdoses occurred last year. Drug overdoses, specifically fentanyl overdoses, are the leading cause of death to those aged 18-45. Chief among the increase in overdoses is fentanyl. This type of overdose accounted for 84 percent of overdose deaths in teens.

Milgram described the current drug epidemic as “nothing we’ve ever seen before” — a crisis of unprecedented proportions — and identified fentanyl as the cause. She reported the DEA has developed two counter-threat teams to defeat the primary fentanyl traffickers: the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels, both based in Mexico. 

“One drug, fentanyl, has transformed the criminal landscape,” said Milgram. “We are actively targeting every aspect of the global fentanyl supply chain.”

A mere two milligrams of fentanyl, equivalent to a few grains of salt, can be lethal. Milgram described fentanyl as cheap to make and easy to disguise as other drugs in order to drive addiction.

In April, the DEA identified the Chapitos network of the Sinaloa cartel as the pioneer and primary manufacturer and trafficker of fentanyl into the U.S. Chinese suppliers, manufacturers in Mexico, and U.S. distributors. 28 members and associates were charged; nine were taken into custody.

In May, the DEA publicized their results of Operation Last Mile: the arrest of 3,337 associates of the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels operating within the U.S. Milgram reported that they rely on social media and encrypted messaging apps for their trafficking.

In June, the DEA announced the outcome of Operation Killer Chemicals: three cases charging four Chinese chemical companies and eight Chinese nationals, four of whom are in custody, with supplying precursor chemicals and scientific knowledge of creating fentanyl. Milgram reported that these charges marked the first of their kind.

Milgram also confirmed that DEA agents are stationed along the southwest border, and in Mexican plazas. Biggs asked what DEA’s role in interdiction at ports of entry along the southwest border; Milgram clarified that the DEA focuses on the border to some degree, but noted that their work covers a global scale.

Biggs indicated that cartels have an easier time trafficking drugs across the border between ports of entry, citing his past solo trips to the border where he could drive for miles without encountering any Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents.

“Not most of it comes through ports of entry, you would agree with me that most of it comes through between ports of entry where we don’t have any personnel, we don’t have the one-on-one, we don’t have the capacity to interdict between ports of entry,” said Biggs. “I think too many times people think because we seize a lot at the ports of entry, we forget that there’s a massive, wide open border.” 

Milgram didn’t deny Biggs’ statement that most of the trafficked drugs come between ports of entry.

Watch the full hearing here:

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Rep. Andy Biggs And Freedom Caucus Oppose Debt Ceiling Raise

Rep. Andy Biggs And Freedom Caucus Oppose Debt Ceiling Raise

By Corinne Murdock |

On Tuesday, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) and the House Freedom Caucus spoke in opposition to Congress’ plan to raise the debt ceiling: the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA). 

Under the current plan, the debt ceiling would increase from $31.5 trillion to $36 trillion by 2025, with no cap in place. Without a raise in the debt limit by June 5, the government will be in default.

“Instead of estimating the actual debt ceiling that will be imposed by that date, January 1, 2025, they simply say that will be the date, there will be an unlimited cap,” said Biggs. “There won’t be a cap for 19 months of the Biden administration, and the Biden administration is probably the most profligate we’ve seen.”  

The national debt current growth rate is projected at over $4 trillion in new debt. Biggs forecasted an increase to $5 trillion by 2025. 

Biggs claimed that the version of the FRA agreed to under House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-20) would only delay, not prevent the IRS from hiring 87,000 new agents costing $71 billion. Biggs said these agents would not only be weaponized against taxpayers, but presented a significant financial burden.

Biggs further claimed that the FRA establishes Green New Deal tax credits and subsidies for the wealthy. He further criticized the PAYGO program, which would require government bureaucrats to justify how they would afford their expenditures; Biggs noted that a similar program already exists in Congress, yet that program hasn’t slowed spending. He added that Congress also already waives PAYGO provisions. 

“How come it is Republican leaders always tell us ‘next year we’ll fight hard’?” asked Biggs.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-07) also opposed the FRA, but for different reasons. Grijalva expressed opposition to the FRA in his capacity as Democratic ranking member of the Natural Resources Committee. He argued that the FRA would jeopardize the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 

Watch the full press conference here:

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY-04) criticized the Senate for attempting to corner the House into approving their version of the funding bill.

“[The Senate is] sending us a giant omnibus bill the day before the government funding runs out, and saying, ‘Pass the Senate version or the House will be responsible for the shutdown,” said Massie. 

House Republican Conference leadership backs the FRA. The chairwoman, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) claimed the FRA would stop runaway inflationary spending, rescind executive overreach, and improve everyday Americans’ financial status. 

McCarthy also characterized the FRA as a win, adding that their version eliminates COVID-19 spending, prevents $5 trillion in new tax proposals, and enacts more work requirements for welfare recipients. 

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Congress in January that the U.S. had reached its statutory debt limit and would run out of funding sometime in early June. In a follow-up letter last week, Yellen specified the expiration date as June 5. 

She disclosed that her department would fulfill over $130 billion of scheduled payments in the first two days of June, including payments to veterans as well as Social Security and Medicare recipients. Yellen added that scheduled payouts would leave the Treasury unable to satisfy all its fiscal obligations. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to