Former DEA agent sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison

“Today’s sentencing reflects DEA’s commitment to hold accountable any DEA employee who abuses the trust of the American people by violating their oath as a federal law enforcement officer.”

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After pleading guilty to accepting bribes from a drug trafficker, a former Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) supervisory agent was recently sentenced to 135 months in federal prison.

Between 2016 and 2018, DEA Group Supervisor Nathan Koen received approximately $31,500 in bribes from a drug trafficker known as “Paco” in exchange for providing sensitive, law-enforcement information, which helped the trafficker avoid detection by law enforcement. Paco later testified that his organization was responsible for distributing kilogram quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and marijuana in Florida, California, and Arkansas while making payments to Koen for protection.

After Paco began working as an informant for the FBI, he met Koen in Las Vegas on December 3, 2018. According to recordings of the encounter, Paco paid $9,000 to Koen after receiving information that a search warrant would be executed at his home soon.

Koen was arrested when he returned to Arkansas later that day. He admitted to accepting bribes from the informant.

Koen was initially charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, and one count of bribery of a public official. In August 2021, he pleaded guilty to bribery in exchange for dismissal of the drug-related charge.

On Wednesday, Koen was sentenced to 135 months in federal prison. In addition, U.S. District Judge Brian S. Miller also sentenced Koen to two years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment.

“This defendant’s actions are a disgrace to the thousands of dedicated law enforcement officers who work with integrity every day to protect and serve our communities,” stated United States Attorney Jonathan D. Ross. “His greed and deception have no place in law enforcement, and we are pleased to see this case come to its rightful conclusion.”

“By protecting a drug trafficking organization and accepting bribes from a drug kingpin, former Group Supervisor Nathan Koen deceived and betrayed his brothers and sisters in the DEA,” FBI Little Rock Special Agent in Charge James A. Dawson said. “His disgraceful and corrupt conduct only strengthens our resolve to continue attacking corruption at all levels.”

“Today’s sentencing reflects DEA’s commitment to hold accountable any DEA employee who abuses the trust of the American people by violating their oath as a federal law enforcement officer,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a press release. “Nathan Koen put himself ahead of the principles he swore to protect.”

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