April 17, 2019

DEA Phoenix Division partners with Air Wing to host Congressional Delegation in Arizona

Seven members of Congress visited Arizona and the DEA Yuma Resident Office to receive a briefing on the drug threat along the Southwest border, and an aerial tour of Arizona’s border with Mexico.  The delegation was greeted by Special Agents in Charge Doug Coleman (Phoenix Division) and Gary Hill (Aviation Division), and included Representatives Andy Biggs (AZ), Duncan Hunter (CA), Matt Gaetz (FL), Sean Duffy (WI), Dusty Johnson (SD), Pete Stauber (MN) and John Joyce (PA).

The delegation arrived at air hangars in Yuma, Arizona, adjacent to the Yuma International Airport.  Three helicopters, provided by DEA’s Air Wing, were stationed and utilized to provide the congressmen and staffers with a tour of the international border.  Several locations were specifically highlighted as areas frequented by traffickers with additional information provided “in flight” by Yuma Resident Agent in Charge Sam DiBianca and Nogales Assistant Special Agent in Charge Apolonio “Polo” Ruiz.

The delegation returned an hour later and were met by Special Agent in Charge Coleman at the Yuma Resident Office, where they saw recent drug seizures by agents working along the border.  The seizures included 48 pounds of fentanyl and thousands of fentanyl pills, over 70 pounds of heroin, 14 pounds of cocaine and over 50 pounds of methamphetamine. 

Special Agent in Charge Coleman provided a threat briefing, discussing the current trends in drug trafficking and DEA’s ongoing efforts to combat drug trafficking organizations.  He also briefed the members on current technological challenges affecting not only DEA’s operations, but all law enforcement operations.  The Representatives engaged in a robust question-and-answer session with SAC Coleman and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to see the work of DEA. 

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