The Narcotics Rewards Program was established by Congress in 1986 as a tool to assist the U.S. Government identify and bring to justice the major violators of U.S. narcotics laws responsible for bringing hundreds of tons of illicit drugs into the United States each year.
The program gives the Secretary of State statutory authority to offer rewards of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of major narcotics traffickers who operate outside of the United States to send drugs into the U.S.
The Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs manages the program in close coordination with the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and other interested U.S. agencies.
Proposals to pay rewards are submitted to the Department of State by the chief of mission at a U.S. embassy at the behest of a U.S. law enforcement agency. Reward proposals are carefully reviewed by an interagency committee, which makes a recommendation for a reward payment to the Secretary of State. Only the Secretary of State has the authority to determine if a reward should be paid, and, in cases where there is Federal criminal jurisdiction, the Secretary must obtain the concurrence of the Attorney General.
Since the program's inception, the Department of State has paid over $62 million in rewards to individuals who came forward with information leading to the arrest or conviction of major narcotics traffickers.
The U.S. Government will ensure confidentiality to individuals who provide information on major narcotics traffickers, and, if appropriate, will relocate these individuals and their families.
Overseas, individuals wishing to provide information on major narcotics traffickers may contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. In the U.S., individuals should contact the DEA, FBI, or ICE directly. Government officers and employees are not eligible for rewards.