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Indian-origin lawyer named acting head of DEA by Trump administration

As deputy counsel and deputy assistant to Trump, Uttam Dhillon had been a part of the discussions that led to the firing of FBI director James Comey in May 2017.

world Updated: Jul 04, 2018 14:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Uttam Dhillon,Donald Trump,Trump Administration
US President Donald Trump (REUTERS)

Uttam Dhillon, an Indian-origin lawyer serving in the White House, has been named the acting administrator of the drug enforcement administration (DEA), the agency that combats the smuggling and use of narcotics in the US.

Dhillon has already started working on his new assignment.

“With one American dying of a drug overdose every nine minutes, there can be no doubt that we are facing the deadliest drug epidemic in our history,” US attorney general Jeff Sessions said on Monday. “The work of the drug enforcement administration is critical to fighting this crisis, and President (Donald) Trump and I are committed to continuing to give it the strong leadership it deserves. That is why I am pleased to appoint Uttam Dhillon as acting administrator.”

As deputy counsel and deputy assistant to Trump, Dhillon had been a part of the discussions that led to the firing of FBI director James Comey in May 2017.

Dhillon has had a long career battling drug traffickers and violent crime, according to the justice department. In 2006, he became the first director of the office of counternarcotics enforcement at the department of homeland security.

Prior to that, he served as an associate deputy attorney general in the justice department, in which role he headed the attorney general’s anti-gang coordination committee and led efforts to formulate policies and programs to combat violent crime and criminal gangs.

Dhillon earlier served as an assistant US attorney in California for more than six years.

First Published: Jul 04, 2018 09:01 IST