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The Making of a Mole

Homeland Security agent Jovana Deas was a rising star at her agency, "an exemplary example to her peers," according to supervisors. She was also doing favors for family members with ties to the Sinaloa drug cartel:

"Agents are allowed to search for people in the government database only when it’s relevant to an assignment. They’re suspended if caught using the system for their own, extracurricular purposes. Each search is recorded electronically, so misuse of the system rarely goes undetected. Jovana knew the rules — she was her office’s database security officer — but she had no interest in following them. She looked up her father, Antonio. She looked up Uncle Oscar’s granddaughters, who had been arrested for carrying marijuana across the border. She used the database when she needed to confirm a relative’s birthday to buy a plane ticket so that she and her daughter could fly to Los Angeles for a special procedure at Shriners Hospital. Family was more important to her than DHS’ arbitrary rules. Jovana had an ethical flexibility informed, perhaps, by growing up in her father’s household; she seemed to believe that abusing the system was an unmentioned perk of the job. When Dana planned a trip into Arizona with a new boyfriend, Jovana checked that he wasn’t on a government watch list — she didn’t want Dana to be stopped at the port. Jovana was subtly protective of Dana — the perfect younger sister, allowing Dana to maintain the illusion of power."
PUBLISHED: June 13, 2013
LENGTH: 25 minutes (6295 words)