One of the most corrupt notorious agents in the history of the Drug Enforcement Administration says he was one of many who scammed millions and partyed like the criminals they were trying to catch. .
Jose Irizarry, whose 12-year federal prison sentence begins this week, says Related press in San Juan, Puerto Rico, that he was going down and named several former colleagues who he said were at least as bad as he was. Irizarry, 48, is quoted as saying: “We have the freedom to do whatever we want. “We will make money where we want to go. And once we get there, it’s about drinking and girls.
He claimed that federal agents, prosecutors and informants all worked together to defraud the US government and raise money to trap Colombian cartels in what he called is the “unwinnable war”.
“The DEA knows this and the agents know this,” Irizarry said. “There are too many drugs leaving Colombia. And there’s a lot of money. We know we don’t make a difference.”
Irizarry, who pleaded guilty to 19 counts of conspiracy to launder money, honest service wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft in 2020, said that at a certain point Among the closest members of his team, there is “minimal concern” or efforts to build cases to prevent cocaine and opioids from flooding the United States.
“The drug war is a game,” he told the AP. “It’s a very interesting game we’re playing.”
Former agents and team members called Irizarry’s account “fictional,” including George Zoumberos, one of his former partners in the Miami-based Team 4. Zoumberos and Irizarry traveled the world investigating gang-related money laundering, and Irizarry accused his former partner of serious corruption, telling the AP he had “free access” ” with the so-called “commission fund” in the business. Irizarry claims Zoumberos and others exploited those funds and created names in DEA reports to justify personal spending, which often included trips to find prostitutes and watching football matches. Real Madrid stone.
Zoumberos, who was arrested for alleged sexual assault in Madrid, denies the allegation. He resigned after the DEA stripped him of his gun, badge and security clearance for refusing to comply with the grand jury investigation, instead pleading for Fifth Amendment rights.
Irizarry will have to serve his sentence, but he said he felt vindicated after the US Justice Department began trying to corroborate his accusations, despite previously calling him I’m a rogue agent. According to the AP, the federal government has questioned more than two dozen current and former agents and prosecutors identified by Irizarry. Among those questioned are three current federal prosecutors, including one whom the AP only describes as having appeared on “The Bachelorette.” Irizarry’s confessions triggered an investigation into the force, which included 4,600 agents.
“Irizarry betrayed her oath of service and instead used her position to further the criminal activities of a violent drug cartel while enriching herself,” Sub-Agent Brian Payne of the IRS Criminal Investigative Service said at the time of sentencing. “While his actions represent a serious breach of public trust, they do not reflect the majority of agents who serve with honor and integrity. The IRS-CI will take all necessary steps to weed out those who fall into temptation and blatantly abuse their power.”
In addition to the more than 12 years in prison, Irizarry also had to pay $11,233 in restitution and confiscate a diamond ring and a luxury sports car.