Thirteen new Maine Drug Enforcement Agents have been sworn into office bringing the drug agency’s personnel number to its largest level in 25 years. 

MDEA

(ABOVE: With Governor LePage and MDEA Director Roy McKinney looking on, Public Safety Commissioner John Morris administers the oath of office to thirteen new state drug agents.)

The new agents were sworn in Monday at the Maine Department of Public Safety and have been assigned to seven of MDEA’s regional task force offices.

The funding for the new agents was approved by Governor LePage and the Maine Legislature, which increased MDEA’s authorized strength to 53 agents. The new agents Monday bring the total number of MDEA agents to 52, with the last remaining vacancy expected to be filled in the next four to six weeks.

MDEA Director Roy McKinney said the last time there were over 50 drug agents in Maine was in 1991. The thirteen new agents come from five county sheriff’s offices, seven police departments and the U.S. Border Patrol. McKinney said the support from sheriffs and police chiefs to assign their personnel to MDEA has been gratifying as the drug agency continues to deal with Maine’s increased drug problem.

McKinney said the new agents, who are not being named, have been assigned to the following MDEA Task Force Offices: York County – 2 agents, Cumberland County – 3 agents, Rockland– 1 agent, Augusta – 3 agents, Bangor – 1 agent, Ellsworth – 1 agent, and Aroostook County - 2 agents.

Public Safety Commissioner John Morris said:

The new agents come at a time when Maine has seen a record number of overdose deaths, heroin arrests and meth lab responses.  The support from the Governor and the Legislature has made the new drug agents a reality and they begin work immediately."