Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator Anne Milgram has appointed DEA Chicago Field Division Assistant Special Agent in Charge Sheila Lyons as the new Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Chicago Field Division. Lyons, a 30-year law enforcement professional with extensive international experience, becomes the first woman to lead the DEA’s fifth-largest field division, overseeing federal drug enforcement operations in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Lyons has earned the reputation as a subject-matter expert on undercover operations, Mexican drug trafficking organizations and Russian organized crime. She has served as a frequent liaison concerning global drug law enforcement, transnational organized crime, and intelligence matters to DEA Senior Executive Service management, multiple U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and numerous other U.S. government entities.
“It is my honor to serve the City I started my career in 30 years ago. The men and women of DEA serve communities all over the world with courage and devotion every day,” Lyons said. “I promise to lead in that same fashion.”
Lyons joined the DEA in 1992 as an Intelligence Research Analyst, before serving as a Special Agent with assignments in Mexico City, Mexico, Kabul, Afghanistan, Phoenix and Chicago.
From 2012-2015, she held the position of first Country Attaché for the newly opened DEA Sofia Bulgaria Country Office, where she championed the construction of a facility to house a DEA-led “Joint Counter Narcotics Task Force.”
From 2008-2012, she was group supervisor of two key enforcement groups in Chicago: one being the first-ever DEA tactical diversion squad in Chicago, and the other being one of the teams that identified Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s networks throughout Illinois.
Prior to serving as an Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Chicago Field Division, Lyons served in a senior advisory role as Executive Assistant to DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg and Acting Deputy Administrator Jack Riley in 2015-2016. In that role, she handled a myriad of sensitive, agency-wide issues, and completed numerous complex tasks for both agency leaders.
Lyons was raised in Hometown, Illinois, and is a graduate of Queen of Peace High School in Burbank, Illinois. She received her bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Spanish from Bradley University. She is married to husband, Greg, for 22 years, and is the proud mother to two sons.