Robert Bonner

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Person.png Robert Bonner   WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Robert Bonner.jpg
BornRobert Cleve Bonner
Wichita, Kansas, USA
Alma materGeorgetown University Law School, University of Maryland, College Park
A former DEA head who charged the CIA with importing cocaine into USA.

Employment.png Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration

In office
August 16, 1990 - October 31, 1993
Appointed byGeorge H. W. Bush
Publicly accused the CIA of cocaine importation just after leaving the job.

Employment.png Commissioner U.S. Customs and Border Protection

In office
September 10, 2001 - November 30, 2005

Employment.png Commissioner U.S. Customs Service

In office
September 10, 2001 - March 1, 2003

Employment.png Commissioner United States Customs Service

In office
September 10, 2001 - March 1, 2003

Robert Bonner is an American judge who in 1993, just after quitting as Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration publicly charged the CIA with involvement in importing cocaine without notifying the DEA.[1]


In the 1980s, Robert Bonner has a narcotics division which was looking into cocaine trafficking and its connections to the Contras. Darrell MacIntyre was on the LA staff until he was found dead in December 1986, which was ruled a suicide.

On February 28, 1989, Bonner was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to be a federal judge for California's Central District, to a seat vacated by Pamela Ann Rymer. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 18, 1989, and received commission on May 24, 1989.

DEA Administrator

On May 11, 1990, US President George H. W. Bush nominated Bonner to be Administrator of the DEA. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 27, 1990, and sworn in as the DEA's fifth Administrator on August 13, 1990. Bonner served as Administrator from August 16, 1990, to October 31, 1993. Bonner signed the DEA's 1992 political denial of the legitimacy of medical cannabis, incorrectly stating that "no responsible physician could conclude that marijuana is safe and effective for medical use", although since that time thousands of physicians have exactly that. His ruling has caused thousands of patients to be arrested, prosecuted and jailed since that time.

In November 1993, just after leaving his post at the DEA, Judge Bonner appeared on 60 Minutes[1] and criticized the CIA for permitting a drug shipment of one ton of pure cocaine to be smuggled into the U.S. without first notifying and securing the approval of the DEA.[2]

United States Customs Service Commissioner

On June 24, 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Judge Bonner as Commissioner of the United States Customs Service, later known as U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He announced his resignation from that position on September 28, 2005, having served four years which included the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the transfer of the Customs Service to that department. He retired on November 25, 2005.[3]

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner

He is now (again) a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. In 2006 he was hired by Representative Jerry Lewis, who has been linked to an investigation being conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice (see Jerry Lewis - Lowery lobbying firm controversy). On August 12, 2007, he was named by the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee as a member of the campaign's "Immigration Advisory Board".[4]

Homeland Security Advisory Council

On June 4, 2009, Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano appointed him to the Homeland Security Advisory Council's Southwest Border Task Force. He is currently the Senior Principal of Sentinel, a Washington, D.C.-based homeland security consulting firm.

Bonner is the co-chair of a private task force on U.S.‑Mexico border issues that has called for a federal ban on many semi-automatic firearms.[5]