The DEA Paid An Amtrak Secretary $854,460 for Free Passenger Lists

The Drug Enforcement Agency paid an Amtrak secretary $854,460 over nearly 20 years to pass along passenger information that was already available to the agency, the Associated Press reported.

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The Drug Enforcement Agency reportedly paid an Amtrak secretary more than $850,000 to snoop on passengers, even though they could have had the information for free.

The Associated Press reported Monday that according to a report by Amtrak's inspector general, an unnamed secretary received $854,460 over nearly two decades to obtain confidential information that the DEA could have accessed through other law enforcement sources.

The secretary had "effectively been acting as an informant" who sold private passenger information without approval, according to the AP report.

The DEA declined to comment to the AP, and the secretary was allowed to retire rather than face disciplinary action from Amtrak.

The Amtrak inspector general, Tom Howard, concluded in his report:

We suggested policy changes and other measures to address control weaknesses that Amtrak management is considering."

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the AP on Monday that the incident "raises some serious questions about the DEA's practices and damages its credibility to cooperate with other law enforcement agencies."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.