WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in Colombia were taking part in alleged "sex parties" with prostitutes funded by drug cartels years earlier than previously known, U.S. lawmakers said on Tuesday.
Several DEA agents were taking part in these parties in Bogota as early as 2001, said a summary of a DEA report released by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform at a hearing on the misconduct.
"This new internal report describes not one or two isolated incidents, but literally dozens of parties with prostitutes," Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings said at the hearing, where lawmakers grilled DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart.
The hearing came on the heels of a separate, March 26 report by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General that described similar allegations between 2005 and 2008.
That report said 10 agents - an assistant regional director and nine special agents - had alleged sex parties on government-leased property and used taxpayer money to pay for the prostitutes. After investigation, seven of the agents admitted attending the parties and were suspended for between two and 10 days, the earlier report said.
(Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Andrew Hay)