A rather disreputable source, Buzzfeed News, says

The DEA is limited by statute to enforcing drug-related federal crimes. But on Sunday, Timothy Shea, a former US attorney and close confidant of Barr's who was named acting administrator of the DEA last month, received approval from Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer to go beyond the agency’s mandate “to perform other law enforcement duties” that Barr may “deem appropriate.”

So far, the only other mentions of this I can find cite Buzzfeed News as their source.

But my question(s) are: If this statute exists, where is it? and is it legal for such an approval to be given by anyone other than Congress? I was unable to find such a limitation in in Title 21.


The statute creating the DEA is 87 Stat. 1091, transmitted to Congress by Nixon under the provisions of 5 USC Ch. 9. This reorganization transfers functions "which relate to the suppression of illicit traffic in narcotics, dangerous drugs, or marihuana" from Treasury to the Attorney General (but still allows Treasury to continue to keep drugs out of the US). This reorganization created the DEA as an agency under Justice (sec. 4), but it says nothing about what this agency is allowed to investigate/enforce.

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