News Release
July 01, 2008
Contact: DEA Public Affairs

DEA Marks 35th Anniversary

JUL 01 -- (WASHINGTON) - The Drug Enforcement Administration was created 35 years ago on this date by President Richard Nixon, who through an Executive Order established a single unified command to combat "an all-out global war on the drug menace." At its outset, the DEA had 1,470 Special Agents, a budget of less than $75 million, and a presence in 31 countries. Today, the DEA has 5,235 Special Agents, a budget of more than $2.4 billion and 87 foreign offices in 63 countries.

“DEA has proven for the past 35 years that we can—and are—destroying powerful drug organizations. DEA’s ability to hunt down major drug traffickers, wherever the case may lead, has been our signature. Time and again, we’ve taken down kingpins and collapsed powerful, violent drug trafficking operations that were considered untouchable. At the heart of this agency are its employees who today continue this proud tradition of excellence and the noble fight to free this nation of illegal drugs,” said DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart.

To mark the anniversary, DEA recently held a celebration at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington D.C., as well as a lecture series highlighting the four decades of accomplishments for the agency.

U.S. Senate Resolution >>