DEA Los Angeles Special Agent in Charge David J. Downing to retire on May 31
LOS ANGELES – After 24 years of dedicated service to the United States, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) David J. Downing III of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Los Angeles Division will retire on May 31.
“This decision was not an easy one,“ said SAC Downing. “But it’s time.”
Mr. Downing has led the approximately 500 employees and contractors – including 300 special agents – of the Los Angeles Division since 2017. As the top official of the Los Angeles Division, Mr. Downing led drug law enforcement efforts in the counties surrounding Los Angeles, the states of Nevada, Hawaii, and the U.S. Territories of Guam and Saipan.
Mr. Downing came to Los Angeles in October 2015 as a Deputy Special Agent in Charge before being promoted to the top job in May 2017.
“I am so proud to have worked for the premier law enforcement agency in the world,” said SAC Downing.
Prior to his service in Los Angeles, Mr. Downing entered on duty with the DEA in 1995 as a member of Basic Agent Class 95. After graduating the academy in Quantico, Virginia, Mr. Downing served in various roles within DEA in locations such as Houston, Little Rock, the Office of Professional Responsibility in Dallas, Atlanta, and an overseas tour in the Bahamas. Mr. Downing has held the following titles: Special agent, group supervisor, inspector, resident agent in charge, assistant special agent in charge, deputy special agent in charge, and special agent in charge.
“Dave has been an extraordinary colleague, and we will miss the leadership he brought to one of our key law enforcement partners,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. “As the leader of one of the largest DEA offices in the nation, Dave has overseen significant and lasting successes in the fights against international drug trafficking organizations and the spread of opioid narcotics.”
After retirement, Mr. Downing plans to settle in Georgia and spend more time with his family.
“This has been an amazing journey. I’m so humbled and grateful to have served with some of the finest men and women in any walk of life. I will miss the DEA. This was not a career for me, it was a calling.”
Special Agent in Charge Downing made it a priority to improve community partnerships as well as relationships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. In addition, he led the Los Angeles Division through many successes, including two major diversion initiatives that significantly reduced opioid overdoses, the naming of Los Angeles as a 360 Pilot Project for opioid reduction and education, the indictment of Nemesio Oseguera-Cervantes, the leader of the most ruthless drug cartel in Mexico, and the formation of the Fusion Opioid HIDTA Task Force. But his most lasting legacy will be diversifying the Los Angeles Division. SAC Downing will leave a division where nearly 50 percent of all supervisors are either female or minority.
“This is what I’m most proud of,” said Mr. Downing. “Making DEA Los Angeles a more diverse workplace - reflective of the community we serve.”
Following SAC Downing’s retirement, DEA Headquarters in Washington D.C. will name his successor.
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