Richard Renfro | LEAP | Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

About Richard Renfro

Retired Internal Revenue Service Criminal Division Special Agent

Detroit, MI

Richard Renfro is a retired federal agent who served in the Criminal Division of the IRS for 25 years. As a financial criminal investigator and special agent, Richard planned and conducted major investigations, assisting the United States Attorney’s office in prosecutions of high-level drug traffickers, and other violations involving financial crimes and narcotics. He also served as a recruiter, trained other agents, and supervised and managed personnel.

He initially supported harsh punishments for drug traffickers, but while conducting investigations as a special agent Richard began to realize the futility of our drug laws. “By passing harsher and harsher laws that we couldn’t enforce,” he explains, “we were actually driving up the criminals’ profits and enabling them. The effective way to hurt them is to take away the majority of their profits, putting them out of business, by taxing and regulating drugs. The Treasury could actually take in more money by controlling and regulating drugs.” Through his profession as a federal agent, his personal involvement in the community, and now as a certified teacher, he has seen the devastating and debilitating effects of illegal narcotics. “Police and educators should work together to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline,” he says.

Richard holds a BA in English from the Detroit Institute of Technology and a Master of Education with honors from Marygrove College. He is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the Federal Criminal Investigator’s Association, and other educational organizations. He is has been involved in his community as a volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, the Young Men’s Christian Association, school tutoring, and Detroit Public Schools, where he was a mentor for many years. He is working on a manuscript for a book, which will detail some of his life before, during, and after his career as special agent.

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