Posted by Wes Brooks on Mar 27, 2018
Ernest D. Strange, Jr. was appointed Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics on March 1, 2000, by Governor Ronnie Musgrove. Mr. Strange retired from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in July 1999, as the Chief of lntelligence. From 2003 to 2006, Strange served as Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Federal Air Marshall Service.
Former DEA Special Agent and Chief of MS Bureau of Narcotics
Special Agents Howard Safir (far left) and Don Strange (far right)
shown here arresting infamous Harvard psychology professor
and LSD and PCP advocate, Dr. Timothy Leary.
Mr. Strange's career in law enforcement began in 1970 when he was sworn in as a DEA Special Agent. His first assignment was in Los Angeles where he served until 1980. As a Special Agent, Mr. Strange initiated and developed criminal drug investigations directed at some of DEA's most significant traffickers, including the late Timothy Leary. Mr. Strange also conducted the investigation into the death of billionaire Howard Hughes.
In addition to his Los Angeles assignment, Mr. Strange served as a DEA Enforcement Group Supervisor in San Diego and an Assistant Special Agent in Charge in New Orleans. Mr. Strange served two tours at DEA Headquarters in Washington as a supervisor in a variety of assignments. He directed DEA's development of a strategic planning system and a crisis management program, and established guidelines for a Sensitive Activity Review Committee to provide oversight to DEA's highest classified enforcement operations. While at Headquarters, Mr. Strange supervised the DEA's chemical control operations worldwide. He also served as DEA Liaison to the Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy, where he helped to establish new High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDT A) programs and developed policies and procedures to govern the HIDT A program. Prior to becoming Chief of Intelligence, Mr. Strange served as the Program Director of a classified program, managing a budget of over $20 million and approximately 200 employees from the DEA, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Customs Service, and the Department of Defense.
Mr. Strange twice-received DEA's highest honor, the Administrator's Award for Exceptional Service, and ten Sustained Superior Performance Awards.
Mr. Strange was born in Meridian and graduated from Murrah High School in Jackson. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from The University of Southern Mississippi. Mr. Strange currently resides in Hattiesburg. He is married to former DEA Special Agent, Sherri F. Strange, who was Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas and Atlanta Field Divisions. His two sons, who also reside in Hattiesburg, are pursuing careers in law enforcement.