DEA paid $850K for Amtrak passenger info that was available for free

An unnamed Amtrak secretary to a train and engine crew received $854,460 for recurrently providing passenger name records (PNR) to the DEA from 1995 to the present – information the DEA could have attained for free due to a relationship between the drug agency and the Amtrak Police Department (APD), according to an Amtrak OIG Status Report from April 1 through June 30.

In a Thursday letter to DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley called out the “improper and unnecessary use of taxpayer dollars” and sought out answers to unanswered questions, including why and how this happened, and who was involved.

The secretary acted without approval from Amtrak management or the APD, according to the status report, which adds that the secretary “chose to retire.”

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