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A Former Drug Agency Official Faces Charges Of Stealing Funds

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A former senior official in the Drug Enforcement Administration's New
York office is expected to be charged this week with stealing more
than $150,000 from the agency's funds used to pay informants and other
incidental expenses, according to a law enforcement official.

The former official, Kevin Tamez, who resigned several months ago as a
result of the investigation, first came under scrutiny last year and
was suspended in March. Mr. Tamez, 50, held the position of associate
special agent in charge of the New York office. He is expected to be
charged with as many as 200 counts of theft and related charges, the
official said.

In some cases, Mr. Tamez sent junior agents to withdraw between $1,000
and $3,000 from the accounts, indicating it was for investigative
purposes, the official said. An indictment brought in federal court in
Manhattan charging Mr. Tamez is expected to be unsealed sometime this
week, the official said.

Mr. Tamez, reached yesterday at his home in Mount Laurel, N.J., said,
"I have no comment."

Mr. Tamaz, who served as the office's associate special agent in
charge, will be one of the highest-ranking officials in the drug
agency to face criminal charges for actions committed as part of his
duties, the official said. The New York field division of the Drug
Enforcement Administration is the agency's largest office in the country.

Michael Kulstad, a spokesman for the United States attorney for the
Southern District of New York, had no comment yesterday. A spokesman
for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington said last night
that he had no information on the case.

Pubdate: Sun, 14 Dec 2003
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2003 The New York Times Company
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: Breaking News, World News & Multimedia