National Security

DEA Loses Track Of Captured Drug Smuggler Transporting 114 Pounds Of Fentanyl

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Bronson Winslow Contributor
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The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has lost track of a captured drug mule after failing to properly surveil him while he worked as an informant, according to NBC News.

David Maldonado was arrested in June for transporting 114 pounds of fentanyl in Colorado and later agreed to assist investigators in finding other traffickers in South Bend, Indiana, where the drugs were headed, NBC News reported. On the way to the deal, Maldonado was able to locate and remove the GPS tracker from his car, losing the DEA agents in pursuit.

Though Maldonado is now at large, the DEA said that it still has the 114 pounds of fentanyl that were confiscated.

“Those drugs have remained in law enforcement’s possession ever since,” a DEA official said, according to NBC News. (RELATED: Fentanyl May Be Killing Even More Americans Than Previously Known — Here’s Why)

The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) was credited with arresting Maldonado and cooperated with the DEA to set up the operation that would lead to his escape, NBC News reported. However, following his escape, the CSP reported that the “debacle” was the DEA’s fault.

“DEA was working with us and they made a deal with the driver. He ran on them after they worked the case, and that was their debacle,” Master Trooper Gary Cutler said, according to NBC News.

The DEA should have provided additional surveillance for the team following Maldonado during the operation, retired DEA consultant Maria Haberfeld told NBC News, describing the operation as a “fiasco.”

A logo reading DEA Special Agent is pictured in the Office of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on May 29, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

A logo reading DEA Special Agent is pictured in the Office of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on May 29, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

The DEA is “relentlessly” working to find Maldonado and any other “individuals that were involved in the trafficking of the seized fentanyl,” a DEA official said, according to NBC News.

The DEA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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