Former DEA agent sentenced to 135 months for taking bribes

May 11, 2022, 3:10 AM | Updated: 4:00 pm

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A former Drug Enforcement Administration agent who admitted to taking thousands of dollars in bribes from a drug trafficker was sentenced Wednesday to more than 11 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Brian Miller sentenced Nathan Koen, who pleaded guilty last year to one count of bribery, to 135 months in prison and two years of supervised release.

“This defendant’s actions are a disgrace to the thousands of dedicated law enforcement officers who work with integrity every day to protect and serve our communities,” U.S. Attorney Jonathan D. Ross said in a statement after the hearing.

Federal prosecutors said that Koen, who began working for the DEA in 2002, accepted the bribes in exchange for providing sensitive information that allowed the drug trafficker to avoid detection by law enforcement and run his drug organization. The FBI in 2018 began investigating Koen, who had transferred from Jacksonville, Florida to Little Rock, Arkansas, in 2016.

“Today’s sentencing reflects DEA’s commitment to hold accountable any DEA employee who abuses the trust of the American people by violating their oath as a federal law enforcement officer,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a statement released by prosecutors. “Nathan Koen put himself ahead of the principles he swore to protect. I commend our federal law enforcement partners who investigated this case and the U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted it.”

The drug trafficker had paid $31,500 to Koen before he began cooperating with the FBI, prosecutors said. Koen was arrested after prosecutors said the FBI recorded him accepting a $9,000 bribe from the trafficker inside a Las Vegas casino.

Blake Hendrix, an attorney for Koen, said he planned to appeal the sentence.

Koen’s sentencing follows a number of embarrassing cases of serious misconduct in recent years that have rocked the U.S.’ premier narcotics law enforcement agency.

Jose Irizarry, a once standout agent in Colombia and Miami, was sentenced in December to more than 12 years in federal prison after adopting the lavish lifestyle of the criminal informants he was supposed to be supervising but instead helped launder money from undercover operations. Prior to being locked away, Irizarry lashed out against his fellow agents, blaming the DEA for fostering a culture of corruption and gift taking that he said desensitized him to the implications of violating the law.

Irizarry’s accusations, some of which were detailed in a scathing Inspector General report, prompted the DEA’s new administrator, Ann Milgram, to order an outside review of the agency’s foreign operations, which is ongoing.

Another longtime agent, Chad Scott, was also sentenced last year to more than 13 years behind bars for stealing money from suspects, falsifying government records and committing perjury. A federal narcotics agent in Chicago also pleaded guilty to supplying firearms to a drug trafficker known for slaughtering his rivals, while a Colombian police captain who headed a vetted unit that works closely with the DEA was charged with selling evidence and information to key targets of U.S. investigations.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


climate change...

Associated Press

2 lawsuits blame utility for eastern Washington fire that killed man and burned hundreds of homes

Two lawsuits have been filed against an electric utility for allegedly sparking a fire in eastern Washington that killed a man and burned approximately 240 homes.

18 hours ago

Seattle non-profits...

Associated Press

Oregon man convicted of murder in fatal shooting of sheriff’s deputy in Washington state

A jury has convicted an Oregon man of murder in the fatal shooting of a sheriff’s deputy in Washington state.

2 days ago

Image: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to a crowd during a campaign rally on Monday, Sept...

Associated Press

Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire

A judge ruled Tuesday that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House.

2 days ago

FILE - The Amazon logo is displayed, Sept. 6, 2012, in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon's profitable clo...

Haleluya Hadero, Associated Press

Amazon sued by FTC and 17 states over allegations it inflates online prices and overcharges sellers

The FTC filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon on Tuesday, alleging the e-commerce behemoth uses its position in the marketplace to inflate prices

3 days ago

KYIV, UKRAINE - 2022/09/03: A man looks at an image generated based on the stories of displaced chi...

Associated Press

Tech companies try to take AI image generators mainstream with better protections against misuse

Artificial intelligence tools that can conjure whimsical artwork or realistic-looking images from written commands started wowing the public last year. But most people don't actually use them at work or home.

3 days ago

Image: Actor David McCallum attends an event for "NCIS" during the 2009 Monte Carlo Television Fest...

Associated Press

David McCallum, star of hit series ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ and ‘NCIS,’ dies at 90

Actor David McCallum, who was the eccentric medical examiner in the popular "NCIS," has died. He was 90.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Former DEA agent sentenced to 135 months for taking bribes