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Bensinger, Peter

Peter Bensinger (1936–) was born in Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from Yale University. In 1976, following John Bartels's resignation, Bensinger became the second administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). He was nominated by former President Gerald Ford in December 9, 1975, confirmed by the Senate, and sworn in to office on February 23, 1976.

Prior to Bensinger's appointment, the DEA had emphasized statistical analysis of arrest and drug seizure totals. Bensinger shifted the focus to arresting major drug traffickers who had a large impact on the drug trade. During his tenure, heroin smuggling into the United States decreased from 7 tons to less than 4 tons a year, while heroin overdose deaths decreased by 60 percent from 1976 to 1980; however, there is ...

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