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Michele Marie Leonhart -- Department of Justice
Deputy Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration

Ms. Leonhart was unanimously confirmed as the Deputy Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration by the U.S. Senate on March 8, 2004, following her nomination by President George W. Bush. Special Agent Michele M. Leonhart graduated from college in Minnesota with a B.S. in Criminal Justice in 1978. Upon graduation, she pursued her career goal to be a police officer, joining the Baltimore Police Department. Special Agent Leonhart graduated from the Baltimore Police Academy and performed patrol functions in the Northwest District of Baltimore. Interested in a career in federal narcotics law enforcement, Special Agent Leonhart applied for a position with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and was hired as a DEA Special Agent in late 1980. She selected Minneapolis as her first duty station, where she worked for five years. During that time, Special Agent Leonhart routinely posed as an undercover agent in numerous federal drug investigations, and initiated and coordinated numerous complex conspiracy investigations. The drug traffickers she arrested varied from millionaires to street dealers. With mobility a requirement of the job, Special Agent Leonhart was transferred to the DEA St. Louis Field Division in 1986 where she became the Special Agent Recruiter. As a result of her outstanding casework in Minnesota, and her administrative talents in St. Louis, Special Agent Leonhart was promoted to a Group Supervisor position in the DEA San Diego Field Division in early 1988. After a short assignment as the Intelligence Supervisor, she took over command of an enforcement group for five years. Special Agent Leonhart was featured in a documentary filmed by the BBC in 1991. Her enforcement group conducted numerous investigations to include international smuggling cases. The most notorious of her Group’s investigations was the investigation of a major Bolivia-based cocaine cartel that resulted in the arrest and conviction of cartel leader Jorge Roca-Suarez, co-defendants, and the seizure of over $14 million in assets. Special Agent Leonhart was awarded the DEA Administrator’s Award in 1993 for her distinguished service as a Supervisor. In 1993, Special Agent Leonhart was transferred to DEA Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, where she served as an OPR (Internal Affairs) Inspector. In 1994, Special Agent Leonhart was again promoted and served on DEA’s Career Board until her assignment as Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Division in 1995. In 1996, she was promoted to the ranks of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and was assigned oversight of DEA’s Special Agent Recruitment Program at DEA Headquarters. Special Agent Leonhart was appointed in 1997 as the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of DEA’s San Francisco Field Division, where she served until her appointment in September 1998 as the SAC of DEA’s Los Angeles Field Division. In that capacity, she commanded DEA offices and enforcement operations in the Los Angeles area, as well as Nevada, Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan. Ms. Leonhart is married and has two sons.

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