Alumni in Focus

ILEA Day 2024 Award Winner: Ivica Šestak

Ivica Šestak

Ivica Šestak

Chief Police Inspector

Ivica Šestak's success story is a great example of the partnership with U.S. Agencies. As an alumnus of ILEA, Mr. Šestak was nominated by the DEA Office in Zagreb for the ILEA Day Award in the category of Outstanding Cooperation with the US Partners. Please read his remarkable story of a violent druf trafficking here!  

Chief Police Inspector Ivica Sestak has been an integral partner with US law enforcement, specifically the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  Inspector Sestak has assisted in numerous operational investigations into transnational organized crime individuals and syndicates.  In 2011, he attended ILEA Session #79 and has actively participated in alumni forums in 2021 and 2022.


Beginning in February 2020, DEA initiated an investigation into a violent drug trafficking organization based in Slovenia, Austria, Serbia, and Croatia.  During the investigation, DEA discovered multiple individuals were involved in trafficking ton quantities of cocaine from South America to Europe and intended to transport a large shipment of heroin to the United States.  The investigation resulted in the seizure of several tons of cocaine and over a ton of heroin by numerous foreign police counterparts around the globe.  DEA requested assistance from Inspector Sestak to assist in the investigation related to the primary suspects responsible for the seizures. Inspector Sestak coordinated several law enforcement operations in Croatia, most importantly, the arrest of two of the primary subjects. 


Following the arrests, Inspector Sestak remained engaged in the investigation by coordinating the exchange of information between the Croatian Police, DEA, Interpol, and other regional law enforcement counterparts in Slovenia and Austria. Inspector Sestak also coordinated information sharing between DEA, the Croatian prosecutor’s office, and the investigative judge in Croatia to gather important information for US prosecution.  Finally, Inspector Sestak assisted DEA in coordinating the logistics for extradition of the arrestees to the United States.   


Inspector Sestak’s efforts and cooperation have undoubtedly assisted DEA in dismantling a global criminal network. His efforts contributed to the DEA and US Embassy-Zagreb ICS Sub-objective 1.1.4 key activity – partner with Croatian counter-drug officials, including investigators and prosecutors, to build better regional cooperation against Balkan drug trafficking networks through joint operations, information sharing, and training.  In addition, the techniques her learned at the ILEA academy, participation in alumni forums, and continued commitment to collaboration with US law enforcement has strengthened the relationship with the DEA and led to several operational successes.