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DEA Agent Gets 12 Years For Conspiring With Colombian Cartel

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FILE - Former DEA agent Jose Irizarry arrives at the United States Courthouse Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Irizarry, a once-standout U.S. narcotics agent who used his badge to build a lavish lifestyle of expensive cars, parties on yachts and Tiffany jewels, was sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, for conspiring to launder money with a Colombian cartel. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

(AP) — A once-standout U.S. narcotics agent who used his badge to build a lavish lifestyle of luxury cars and Tiffany jewelry has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for conspiring to launder money with a Colombian cartel. But even as Jose Irizarry admitted his crimes Thursday, he blamed colleagues in the Drug Enforcement Administration for fostering a culture of corruption that he says desensitized him to the implications of breaking the law. His attorney says in court papers that Irizarry has met with prosecutors for “endless hours” to detail the criminal activity of others. DEA did not immediately comment.

 

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