The Washington Post
March 30, 1997

The illegal drug problems in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area are similar to those found in many parts of the country with relatively small gangs of local entrepreneurs selling their goods to their hungry customers. But the area is unusual because at the federal level three semi-autonomous U.S. Attorneys -- one in the District of Columbia, one in Maryland and one in the Eastern District of Virginia -- direct the enforcement efforts of the investigative agencies. To examine whether the federal government had developed a well coordinated enforcement effort for the region, reporter Brooke Masters examined Justice Department data obtained by TRAC that focused on the Drug Enforcement Administration. The information indicated that even within this relatively small area the DEA's record was highly erratic. The median sentence for individuals convicted as a result of DEA investigations, for example, ranged from a high of ten years in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, seven years in Maryland and a low of six years in the District of Columbia. Masters' article was published on March 30, 1997.

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