Cheri Oz was named the Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Phoenix Field Division on December 21, 2019. SAC Oz is motivated self-starter who seeks out opportunities for diplomacy, and encourages mutual cooperation with federal, state, local, and international counterparts. During her DEA career, SAC Oz oversaw the development of numerous multi-agency investigations focusing on international and domestic organizations. She is skilled at developing an organizational culture that fosters teamwork, sets clear goals and objectives, and effectively draws on the strengths of all team members. SAC Oz learned early in her career to be effective and successful in law enforcement, and that mutual cooperation and assistance is imperative. SAC Oz is well respected by her colleagues and peers and is relied upon for her leadership, mentoring, and common sense problem solving ability.
SAC Oz began her law enforcement career in 1996, with the Phoenix Police Department (PD), where she worked, as a patrol officer Field Training Officer, and a Detective in the Organized Crime Bureau, Vice Enforcement Unit. She served with the Phoenix PD for six years.
On November 17, 2002, Cheri Oz was hired by DEA, and began working in the DEA Los Angeles Field Division, serving in various enforcement assignments to include: a general enforcement group; the Mobile Enforcement Team, which focused on local impact gangs narcotics investigations; the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Narcotics Task Force for the purpose of interdiction; and in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Group where she was responsible for directing multiple high profile domestic, and international complex conspiracy investigations.
In December 2011, SAC Oz was promoted and transferred to the DEA Miami Field Division where she supervised a HIDTA team. Immediately upon arrival, she established herself as a strong leader, ensuring the planning, coordination, and execution of operational goals were thorough, effective, and safe, while protecting DEA’s interest, her agents, and her Task Force Officers. From December 2015 to June 2017, SAC Oz was supervisor of two DEA Miami Tactical Diversion Groups.
In May 2017, SAC Oz was awarded the WAL-MART Women in Federal Law Enforcement Leadership Award. This award honors an individual who has led the way to developing an effective strategy and initiated effective partnerships. She represented DEA as the recipient recognized for outstanding leadership.
In June 2017, SAC Oz transferred to DEA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where she served as a Staff Coordinator, in the Office of Operations Management Data and Accountability Section. She immersed herself in DEA’s Threat Enforcement Prioritization Process (TEPP) contributing to identifying and prioritizing drugs threats to American communities.
In December 2018, SAC Oz was promoted to the Section Chief in DEA’s Human Resources Division, and oversaw DEA’s Special Agent Recruitment and Hiring Program. During this time she also developed a strategy to mentor, and lead civilian employees with creative and exciting team building and morale boosting practices. SAC Oz has been recognized as a leader, and has been invited to mentor Department of Justice (DOJ), and other federal government employees at several Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and Department of Labor events. SAC Oz received the DEA Adminstrators Award for innovation in recruiting and improving in DEAs hiring practices.
In April 2019 SAC Oz transferred to DEA’s Seattle Field Division (SFD) assuming the role of Assistant Special Agent in Charge where she oversaw technical operation in the SFD and enforcement operations in western Washington, Tacoma and Seattle until her promotion to SAC of DEA’s Phoenix Field Division in December 2019.
SAC Oz has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology and Law Studies with a double minor in Psychology and Sociology from Marquette University. She pursued a Masters of Education degree in Education and Leadership from Northern Arizona University.
SAC Oz is married with two children. She has three dogs, two tortoises, a guinea pig, an axolotl and goldfish.