What not to ask a DEA agent.

The DEA other wise known as the Drug Enforcement Agency is an organization in the United States which was founded during the Nixon Presidency in 1973. Their job is to diminish the manufacturing and sale of controlled substances by means of gathering intelligence, analyzing the information, and determining where to take down a potential drug lord. One local DEA agent came to speak at Colorado Mesa University for the Criminal Justice Club where I had volunteered to write my first ever newspaper article for the school newspaper, The Criterion. During the presentation, the DEA agent explained the day to day job opportunities for students who are interested in a future career as part of the DEA. A lot of the images and things shown in the video could have been summarized by looking at DEA agent Hank Schrader who is a character on the hit AMC television series, Breaking Bad. The agents entire presentation honestly had little to no depth and could have been explained much more simpler by comparing it to what we already see on movies and television shows. The only thing that I did learn was that during the government shutdown, major government bureaucracies were forced to lay agents and employees off due to budget cuts. I guess that’s one way our government is attempting to dig our country out of our incredibly deep debt. After the presentation I asked Agent Jim Schant if he could spare some time so i could ask him a few questions for the school newspaper. He accepted but not without some hesitation, for the following twenty to thirty minutes were hopefully going to make him feel very uncomfortable. I wanted to fully understand what it was exactly that they did to the Mexican cartel as well as citizens within our borders to invade our privacy by listening and reading our conversations.

How to have a reputation of having a plan to over throw the government by asking the right, or wrong, questions:

I notice that you have a Black Berry and I do not know anyone who still uses a Black Berry, can you comment on that? Most people who work for the government use Black Berry’s. 

Do you guys hack into peoples Facebook accounts, twitters, emails, text messages, or snapchats in order to gather intelligence? I can’t comment on how we gather intelligence, but we do not hack.

Are you carrying? Yes. Can i ask where? No.

After not getting much information out of the agent, I decided to ask something that may have crossed a line or two, in order to get a reaction out of him.

If I told you I had cocaine in my pocket what would you do? I wouldn’t believe you. 

Though I did notice he started to get uncomfortable and asked why I hadn’t been taking any notes. I replied with I’ve got it all in my head. To which he notified me that I had ten more minutes with him. For the following ten minutes I tried to figure out how much of the NSA’s Prism or Big Brother Theory is real by trying to figure out how much technologic privacy they “hack” through. Eventually he let me know; Anything you do online or on a technologic device, we could see.

After the interview I let him know that I respected everything that he does in order to keep the town of Grand Junction safe from controlled substances. We walked out of the room in the same direction though I was following him and he awkwardly tried to avoided me by taking a different exit. When I walked out of the building he was already outside and was now following me, since we were headed to the same parking lot. I hollered at him and said, “You got to stop following me man.” He very nervously asked what I had said to which I replied, “It was just a joke, take it easy.”

The angle that i was asked to write this article on was not one that I agreed with ethically or morally though I needed to try  since I had volunteered to write it. My article was not accepted by the editor so I decided to write about my experience here to let the world know what really happened and why I now have been called a conspiracist and apparently have a plan to overthrow the government. In the end I can say that the DEA agent, Jim Schant, was the shadiest person I have ever had the pleasure of talking to. Shadier than any drug dealer, alcoholic, or mentally unstable person I have ever encountered. I do not believe that what the government does is ethical nor do I believe they respect the people’s privacy. The following week the head of The Criterion  had a talk with me to let me know that I did not conduct a professional interview and that the agent had complained to the newspaper with a claim that I had a plan to over throw the government. Call me a conspiracist, but my experiences are real. They Are Watching, THEY KNOW.


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