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Department of Justice


Voted one of the “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government‚ in 2010, the Department of Justice and its 124,870 employees help lead the nation in ensuring the protection of all Americans while preserving their constitutional freedoms. 
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DOJhopeful  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, September 4, 2012 5:14:48 AM(UTC)

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Hate to beat a dead horse, but here it goes...

I'm 22 year-old,soon-to-be college graduate with a background of U.S. military service, an internship with a DOJ agency, absolutely no criminal history (just one noise violation), and no other real issues. But...

Quick summary: I'm hoping to start a career as a FLEO in the near future, hopefully an 1811 position, but I'll take whatever. Main agency goals: USMS, FBI, ATF.

 My problem is, I've got a couple skeletons in the closet that I can't seem to shake, and it all pertains to past drug use. I experimented with/used marijuana a handful of times in my high school days, never really cared for the stuff. Not too worried about that aspect. My primary source of anxiety is over cocaine, which I used all of ONE time. One time, about 2 years ago, that's it. It was a small amount, I was drunk, and I regret it every day.

In future FLEO job applications and potential polygraph examinations, how should I go about addressing this? I know marijuana use is usually excusable to a certain degree, but what about the cocaine? Will admitting that one time kill my chances? I'm really stressing over it, any first-hand or inside knowledge would be greatly appreciated. 
ForzaMilan  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, September 4, 2012 5:40:44 AM(UTC)

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I don't know what to tell you, every place is different and every situation is different, from what I understand. You can go over to a law enforcemement forum and ask specifically there.

For 1811, chances are you won't be able to get a spot for a good 5-7 years, and by then, you should have enough time between you and the incident. I can imagine DEA is out of the question with cocaine use, but who knows? Remember you will be competing with people who might not have any drug use at all, so why would an agency take you when they can take someone else?

If I were you, I would try with the local PDs, work there, get some experience, than you might be able to network from there to the big agencies.
 
What did DOJ say when you interned there? Was it an issue when you did your background paperwork?
ForzaMilan2012-09-04 13:46:51
DOJhopeful  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, September 4, 2012 5:53:07 AM(UTC)

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I was thinking the same thing about local PD. And surprisingly it was not an issue during the background investigation/interview, which gives me a little hope. 

ForzaMilan  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, September 4, 2012 7:05:18 AM(UTC)

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What did you do in the military?

I remember when I was doing backgrounds, I ran across a few people who have used drugs in the past etc etc. I was not involved in the adjudication process of their clearances, so I don't know how it went after I was finished with them. None of them were in LE positions btw.

 
Some agencies ask those questions in the pre screening process (especially the cocaine one). I think DEA asked that in the pre employment questionnaire. The circumstances of it, where you were, who else was with you etc could play a part on it as well. But good luck to you, whatever happens. And try to keep your nose clean, no run ins with the law, speeding tickets, hanging with the wrong crowd etc. :)
ForzaMilan2012-09-04 15:16:36
Agent555  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, September 4, 2012 7:17:53 AM(UTC)

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FBI is pretty clear: no cocaine use within the past ten years. Most, if not all, agencies will also follow this same standard for 1811 positions.
There is almost no chance of ever being hired with the DEA.
Tony  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, September 4, 2012 9:13:54 AM(UTC)
JayhawkFan

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A lot of local agencies are just as picky about the past drug use of candidates. I can tell you for a fact that the majority of agencies to which I applied (in Kansas and Missouri) would automatically disqualify you if you experimented with any drug other than marijuana. Even having tried marijuana, the most recent use could not have been any more recent than 3-5 years depending on the agency.

Keeping that in mind, the standards vary greatly between agencies throughout the country, and I am sure that there are agencies that wouldn't have a problem with your cocaine/marijuana use.

As for federal agencies and specifically 1811 positions, you will have to be bringing a great deal to the table in order for them to overlook the past drug usage. Keep in mind that they have an almost unending pool of applicants who want those jobs. A great deal of those applicants have backgrounds that are cleaner than yours and qualifications superior to yours.




jrhoads  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, September 5, 2012 2:11:57 AM(UTC)

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One point not yet addressed:

If you were in the military with an active clearance at the time of the drug use you will be disqualified from getting a TS clearance, which will likely make an 1811 slot impossible.
 
If that is not the case, wait it out and use the time to build your resume. The use itself will not lead to a clearance denial, but you will need to mitigate it with sufficient time.
Beagle1AD  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, September 5, 2012 6:03:23 AM(UTC)

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Yeah from my reading it would seem like your chance with DEA is at a ZERO percent.  I doubt the FBI will want you.

Well the agency would already know before the poly since it ask you about drug use on your SF-86.

Also I would think that CBP would avoid selecting someone with past drug use esp. cocaine. 

I know people that have done well in LE that have tried marijuana but I don't know anyone that tried cocaine but then no one would really wanna talk about that.

Good luck though, if you don't get selected you might wanna slowly work your way in by starting in a support position and then applying for LEO.


semore  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, September 5, 2012 10:07:31 AM(UTC)
cmorebut

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The Secret Service isn't that strick try there
Gray45  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, September 5, 2012 12:01:55 PM(UTC)

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cmorebut wrote:

The Secret Service isn't that strick try there


Yeah Secret Service and DEA deal a lot of prostitutes, and ATF deals with illegally shipping firearms across the border.  
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