Ex-DEA agent pleads guilty to 19 federal counts in jaw-dropping corruption case

"Corruption and betrayal of the American people — the very people we stand to protect — have no place at DEA, and neither does Mr. Irizarry," Acting DEA Administrator Timothy J. Shea said.

Updated: September 15, 2020 - 12:45pm

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Former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Jose I. Irizarry, who previously was lauded by superiors before becoming entangled in a corruption case, pleaded guilty to 19 federal counts on Monday.

Prosecutors said that the former government worker submitted false reports, and directed DEA workers to send money meant for undercover stings into accounts that he had control over or that were connected to his wife and co-conspirators, according to the Associated Press.

Prosecutors accused Irizarry of divulging law enforcement information to co-conspirators, including a Colombian official and an individual allegedly involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.

Money obtained through the illegal activities funded purchases of luxury items, including a $767,000 house in Cartagena and a $30,000 Tiffany ring.

"Corruption and betrayal of the American people — the very people we stand to protect — have no place at DEA, and neither does Mr. Irizarry," Acting DEA Administrator Timothy J. Shea said.