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Thursday, May 12, 2022

Former DEA Agent Sentenced to 11 Years for Accepting Bribes from Drug Trafficker

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

DEA Agent Nathan Koen became group supervisor of the Little Rock, Arkansas office in 2016.

The Office of the United States Attorney announced Wednesday that a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent was sentenced for accepting bribes from a drug trafficker. Nathan Koen, 45, now of Auburn, Illinois, was sentenced to 135 months in federal prison by United States District Judge Brian S. Miller.

According to a press release, Koen was charged by a federal grand jury in November 2019 with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, and one count of bribery of a public official. In August 2021, officials said he pleaded guilty to bribery in exchange for dismissal of the drug-related charge.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Miller found that Koen accepted bribes from a known, large-scale drug trafficker for the purpose of helping facilitate a drug conspiracy and that the conspiracy involved at least 15 to 45 kilograms of methamphetamine.

The official document stated the drug trafficker testified during the hearing and explained that he believed Koen provided was providing sensitive, law-enforcement information, which helped the trafficker avoid detection by law enforcement and run his drug organization. The drug trafficker, who is in federal custody, also stated that his organization was responsible for distributing kilogram quantities of methamphetamine cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and marijuana.

"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," United States Attorney Jonathan D. Ross said. "His greed and deception have no place in law enforcement, and we are pleased to see this case come to its rightful conclusion."

As reported by Borderland Beat, the FBI began investigating Koen, who had been working for DEA since 2002 and had transferred in 2016 to work as a group supervisor in the Little Rock DEA office from Jacksonville, Florida. FBI agents interviewed the drug trafficker who told law enforcement he had paid Koen cash for information and protection related to his drug-trafficking activities.

The complaint is largely based on alleged interactions between Koen and dealer turned informant, Francisco Benitez, between late 2016 and October 2017. Benitez was arrested in Duval County in 2012, where a jail inmate put him in touch with Koen, according to the complaint. Benítez told investigators he would pay Koen for “top cover protection,” which included running the names of Benitez’s drug associates thought DEA databases to determine whether they were “safe” for him to do business with.

Court documents said the drug trafficker told FBI agents he had been in custody on federal drug charges in 2013-2014 when another inmate told him he should contact Koen and offer to work as an informant, which he did. After his case was resolved, the informant resumed distributing large amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, and cocaine in Florida, California, Arkansas, and elsewhere, while making payments to Koen for protection.

According to authorities, the informant paid approximately $31,500 to Koen before he began cooperating with the FBI. The informant began working with the FBI, and he agreed to set up a controlled delivery of a bribe payment to Koen. Koen and the informant agreed to meet in Las Vegas on December 3, 2018.

FBI agents said they equipped the informant with $9,000 cash and multiple audio recording devices. Koen and the informant met on the sidewalk across from the Bellagio hotel and walked together to the Paris Las Vegas hotel, where they went inside a bathroom away from casino cameras. Once inside, officials said the informant placed the cash in Koen's backpack, and they left the hotel, each going in different directions.

Recordings of the encounter revealed that Koen asked the informant, "Did you make this worth it?" "The informant responded, "Come on, man, you know I always make it worth it for you." Koen responded, 'I know." Officials said Koen also advised the informant that he should get rid of all his phones and change his address because he expected a search warrant to be executed at his home soon. Koen was arrested when he returned to Arkansas later that day, and he admitted to accepting bribes from the informant.

"By protecting a drug trafficking organization and accepting bribes from a drug kingpin, former Group Supervisor Nathan Koen deceived and betrayed his brothers and sisters in the DEA," FBI Little Rock Special Agent in Charge James A. Dawson said. "His disgraceful and corrupt conduct only strengthens our resolve to continue attacking corruption at all levels. We're grateful for the strong, ongoing partnerships we share with both the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Attorney's Office."

"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. "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."

"Koen turned his back on his duty to protect the public. As a DEA Agent, Koen was tasked with investigating drug traffickers. Instead, he accepted a cash bribe and provided a known drug trafficker with sensitive law enforcement information. The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General will continue to investigate those who engage in this kind of conduct," Cloey C. Pierce, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Dallas Field Office said.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, Koen was sentenced to two years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment. The investigation was conducted by the FBI, and the case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Benecia Moore and Chris Givens.


  1. Ahem!!! well, good for the DEA proving not everybody is corrupt like that, they should clear Kiki Camarena's murder, after all it has been about 35 years, Berrellez and others still around want to talk, in court...

    1. Kiki is dead one of the killers is dead.

    2. 12:19 because of the work of Kiki Camarena, AG Bill Barr had to get presidential pardons for more than a 100 members of reagan administration given by george hw Bush, and Bill Barr let trooompf get away with his BS for about 3 years for the Uran/Contra affair, but not expressly for the drug trafficking and money laundering they stole, many other murders got cast away, like Buendia and about 30 mexican federal police officers in rancho Camino Real in Sanchez Taboada Veracruz, a contra base.

    3. Sir Hugo Chavez is dead.
      Sir Somosa is dead.
      Sir Lenin is dead.
      Sir Paul Newman is dead.
      Sir Obama is not president no more.
      Sir Sol is not a machine Gunner.

    4. 2:41 y ora a quién se la vas a mamar?


    1. Soundsike your hungry, let me hit you a BLT

  3. This idiot should spill the beans .

    1. 12:32 reddy did it,
      spill the beans made poopo

    2. Why is that whT you would do , raton

  4. Dude sold out for a measly 9 racks lmao. Should have gone fpr a bigger fish for more bribe money. Its crazy hoe little some of these ppl sell out for
    But on the other hand, could be just DEA protocol and he got caught so the DEA then played the "oh man yeah he was acting on his own and that is not what the DEA does" .. yeah.. right..
    Trip out, COs in here when they get cracked the going rate they charge is 500 a plug/phone. Which in turn sell in here for 1500-10k but most yards rn throughout Cali they run about 5k a simple Android.

    1. 9:52 the stupider the client,
      the more expensive the phone.

  5. How about usa border patrol, cbp? I can ñame you several ports of entry, where it is claimed that about half of the agents work for duro trafficking groups

    1. For reals let's get them Carlitos, you have the handcuffs ready?

    2. 11:38 NAME NAMES
      And stop bragging about your BS size or smell...

  6. Yes ok Carlitos let's get them.

  7. Órale mis putos. Muy bien hecho. Ya estamos en guerra jotitos

  8. Ese Carlitros se fumò toda la teporocha


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