Tag Archives: DEA

See No Evil: The Case of Alfred Anaya

A fascinating article about a compartment maker who was sentenced 24 years in jail.

On November 18, as Anaya drove his Ford F-350 through a Home Depot parking lot, he noticed a dark sedan that seemed to be shadowing him in an adjacent aisle. He thought the car might belong to friends. But when the sedan stopped in front of him, the men who got out were strangers to Anaya. They identified themselves as DEA agents and ordered him out of his truck. “You know why we’re here,” one agent said to Anaya, who was bewildered to be in handcuffs for the first time in his life. “Your compartments.”

The agents took Anaya to the DEA’s office in downtown Los Angeles, where they questioned him at length. Anaya spoke freely about his traps, estimating that he had built 15 over the past year. He even boasted about his perfectionism, stressing that he was always careful to conceal his wire harnesses.

The agents told Anaya that he could avoid any potential legal complications by doing them a big favor: They wanted him to outfit his clients’ cars with GPS trackers and miniature cameras, so the DEA could build cases against suspected traffickers. They told him to take a few days to mull over the offer, then they released him from custody.

The next day, a dazed Anaya drove to his father’s grave to meditate on the choice before him. The epiphany he had while kneeling by the headstone wasn’t comforting. “I had a feeling that no matter what decision I made, something bad was going to happen,” Anaya says. “But I couldn’t do anything that would put my family in danger.” And while he felt he could handle jail time, he worried that any trafficker big enough to interest the DEA would have no compunctions about killing his children, nieces, and nephews. That made the decision clear.

It’s an interesting read about technology, ethics of the DEA (go to jail or have you and your family killed), and about a guy who was either clueless or a drug conspirator (you decide… I think he was both).  Best thing I read this week by far.