(NEW YORK) — Secret Service agents who were allegedly hiring prostitutes while on a presidential visit to Colombia are now under investigation for possible drug use.
ABC News has learned that Secret Service investigators are probing reports from a Cartagena, Colombia, hotel worker who said he saw a line of white powder, which he believed to be cocaine, on a table in a Secret Service agent’s room. The hotel worker told the New York Post he responded to clean up the room after there was a dispute between a Secret Service agent and a prostitute over payment.
“When I went upstairs I walked into a messy room. The room was littered with two whiskey bottles — and a line of white powder, I believed to be cocaine, was on top of a round glass table in the room,” the staffer told the Post.
According to Rep. Peter King of New York, who was briefed by the Secret Service, the agency is taking the hotel worker’s allegations seriously.
“This is one of the things the Secret Service is investigating,” King told ABC. “Agents are randomly tested for drugs. I know the director will take further action if more information on this becomes available.”
The Secret Service declined to comment on the records, but sources familiar with the investigation say inspectors in Colombia have yet to be told that information directly. However, sources said the agency will follow up anyway and question agents who travelled to Colombia about possible drug use.
According the New York Post story, the hotel worker described a chaotic, morning-after scene in the hotel lobby, with the prostitute screaming in the lobby that she had not been paid.
The worker said, “The agent was supposed to pay her a [bar] fine on top of the pay rate for her sexual services, but he didn’t.”
The worker explained that visitors to area strip clubs are expected to pay a fee to the club, and then pay the woman directly for any sexual services.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire