Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Steven S. Whipple leads the DEA’s Houston Division, which consists of 12 offices across South, Central and East Texas covering 118,000 square miles, including 645 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, and is home to a population of over 16 million. SAC Whipple establishes the investigative and enforcement priorities for the Houston Division, which incorporate complex investigations targeting transnational criminal organizations, violent gangs involved in drug trafficking, and the illicit diversion of legitimate pharmaceuticals. SAC Whipple leads a diverse staff comprised of 750 dedicated Special Agents, Diversion Investigators, Intelligence Analysts, Task Force Officers, members of the National Guard, and professional staff.
SAC Whipple began his law enforcement career with DEA in 1985 and was first assigned to the New York Division Office. While assigned to New York in the 1980s, SAC Whipple witnessed the birth of the “crack” cocaine epidemic and learned the value of targeting both the local distributor and the international syndicate that fed the epidemic. During this assignment, SAC Whipple also deployed to Operation Snowcap, a DEA-led counter-narcotics operation targeting cocaine production and transportation elements in nine Latin American countries. In 1990, SAC Whipple transferred to the El Paso District Office, where he served until 1996. During SAC Whipple’s tenure in El Paso, he was the lead case agent responsible for disrupting and dismantling the Amado Carrillo-Fuentes Drug Trafficking Organization.
In 1997, SAC Whipple was promoted to the role of Group Supervisor, leading Task Force groups in Houston and San Antonio. In 2000, SAC Whipple was transferred to the Special Operations Division at DEA Headquarters, where he served as a Staff Coordinator and Unit Chief, coordinating DEA-wide investigations targeting Mexican drug trafficking cartels. In 2002, SAC Whipple transferred to the Atlanta Division Office, where he led Task Force groups until his promotion in 2010 to Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the El Paso Division.
In 2013, SAC Whipple was appointed to the Senior Executive Service as an Associate SAC in the Houston Division. In February of 2020, he was selected as the Special Agent in Charge of the Houston Division.
Throughout his career, SAC Whipple has been recognized for his service and leadership, receiving multiple US Attorney’s Office awards, three DEA Administrator’s Awards, the U.S. Attorney General’s Award, and the Texas Narcotic Officers Association Agent of the Year.
A native Texan, SAC Whipple earned a Bachelor’s Degree in 1983 from McMurry University and a Master of Business Administration from Hardin-Simmons University in 1985.