Local January 17, 2012 | 7:50 am

Antinarcotics chief denies DEA probes local agents in Philly bust

Santo Domingo.- The National Drugs Control Agency (DNCD) on Tuesday confirmed it questions several people in connection with the 52 packages of cocaine seized in Philadelphia and shipped from Dominican Republic, but denied that the Drugs Enforcement Administration (DEA) interrogates private workers or its agent assigned to Las Americas International Airport (AILA).

“It’s true that three bags with that drug were seized, but not the version that the DEA interrogates anybody here, because neither that agency nor any other has the faculty to conduct investigations. The DEA only has faculty to advise us regarding drugs seized and to investigate in such a situation,” said DNCD president Rolando Rosado Mateo.

In a statement the official’s reaction comes in the heels of media reports that DNCD agents are being interrogated by U.S. agencies, just one day after the drug was found aboard a U.S. Airways flight in Philadelphia.

“The DNCD determined that it was the employees which provide services to U.S. Airways that made the arrangements to send the drug by changing the baggage tickers on the suitcases where the packages were found,” the official said.

Rosado added that the case led to an investigation of several workers, among them one identified as Alexander Pichardo Jiménez, being held in the DNCD, while others could be detained at any time to determine any link to the drug trafficking operation. “Officials of the DNCD, Armed Forces Intelligence (J-2) and the Airport Security Corp (CESA) head the investigation, not the DEA, as has been published in an erroneous or misleading manner.”

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