May 21, 2012 7:37 PM by Matt Stafford
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department inspector general's office said Monday it is investigating possible misconduct by Drug Enforcement Administration personnel in Colombia unrelated to the Secret Service incident with prostitutes at a Cartagena hotel.
The Drug Enforcement Administration said the probe began based on information provided by the Secret Service and that the DEA is making its employees available to be interviewed by the IG's investigators.
CBS News reported that three DEA agents were under investigation for allegedly hiring prostitutes in Cartagena.
The IG said it is receiving full cooperation from the DEA and that the IG is coordinating the investigation with the Homeland Security Department's inspector general, the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service and the Secret Service.
The DEA has permanent offices in Colombia. The Bogota-based DEA regional director, who oversees the Cartagena office, did not immediately return email or cellphone messages.
In the Secret Service probe, investigators have interviewed the Colombia prostitute at the center of the affair, Dania Londono Suarez.
She said a dispute over payment led to the April 12 incident becoming public.
A dozen Secret Service officers and supervisors and 12 other U.S. military personnel have been implicated in the incident, which took place before President Barack Obama's visit to the Summit of the Americas. Eight people with the Secret Service, including two supervisors, have lost their jobs. The Secret Service is moving to permanently revoke the security clearance for one other employee, and three others have been cleared of serious wrongdoing.
Prostitution is legal in Colombia.