$86M gov’t counter-narcotics plane still sitting in storage


WASHINGTON (AP) — A specialized plane at the Drug Enforcement Administration to fly missions in Afghanistan that has cost taxpayers $86 million has remained grounded in Delaware for seven years.

The Justice Department inspector general issued a scathing audit Wednesday, spurred by a July 2014 whistleblower’s report.

The program, part of an agreement with the Department of Defense, was supposed to be completed in December 2012. But investigators say it has been plagued by missteps costing the agencies four times the initial estimated cost.

The report states it’s unlikely the plane will ever fly in Afghanistan because the DEA has since ceased aviation operations there.

The DEA says that it agrees it “can and should provide better oversight of its operational funding” and is reviewing its policies and procedures.