Once-standout DEA agent says he conspired with drug cartel

TAMPA, Fla. — A once-standout U.S. narcotics agent admitted Monday to conspiring to launder money with the same Colombian cartel he was sworn to fight — one of the most egregious betrayals of the badge in the history of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The disgraced agent, Jose I. Irizarry, pleaded guilty to 19 federal counts, including bank fraud and having diverted millions of dollars in drug proceeds from DEA control.

The prosecution was not only an embarrassment for the DEA but…

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