HOUSTON — The Drug Enforcement Agency has been flooded with phone calls since we first reported they are looking for a Houston-area contractor to burn pot and other seized drugs.

There are special requirements for the job. The contractor must be able to incinerate various items like papers, cassette tapes, bulk marijuana, pharmaceuticals and other incidental controlled substances.

The contractor must be able to burn at least 1,000 pounds of marijuana per hour and for a minimum of eight consecutive hours per day.

While the contractor will need to do their own background checks and drug tests, the DEA says they reserve the right to conduct their own background check on the contractor’s personnel.

The DEA also requires that the contractor have their own closed-circuit cameras, and they observe the right to access the video to make sure the evidence is being properly destroyed.

The job runs from late March to Sept. 30, and the work will be required from facilities in Houston, Galveston, Beaumont, McAllen, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Laredo, Eagle Pass, Del Rio, San Antonio, Austin and Waco.

The DEA says they will provide armed agents and contractors, who are authorized by the DEA, during scheduled burns.

After we posted this, the DEA sent us this statement to post: 

"Although we appreciate local citizens’ willingness to offer their help, this is a complicated, large-scale government contract we’re required by law to bid every few years, and there are usually only a handful of companies with the necessary facilities and resources to help us dispose of this material. While it makes for an interesting headline, the truth is far more prosaic - our agents working across the Houston Division make a huge number of great cases, and as a result, we seize a tremendous amount of illegal drugs. Arranging for the save and effective destruction of these drugs is just part of the job."

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