The Auction at Graceland•Elvis Week•August 13, 2019
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/13/2019

Elvis’ respect and admiration for law enforcement led him to collect official police and sheriff badges. Elvis was often given honorary status with local agencies, but his desired holy grail was a badge from the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Enforcement, the precursor to the bureau now commonly referred to as the Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA. The story of Elvis pursuing a Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Enforcement badge from President Nixon himself is legendary, but one of his first drug enforcement agency badges is offered here. This official agent badge from the FDA Bureau of Drug Abuse Control was given to Elvis by an agent in 1970. The Bureau of Drug Abuse Control was formed in 1966 and functioned until 1968 when it merged with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics forming the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. The accounting of the offered badge is described in a certificate from the Elvis Presley Museum signed Sonny West which states, “This badge was the first federal narcotics badge given to Elvis. It was given to him by an agent in 1970. Elvis then began an effort to be an undercover agent. He succeeded in getting President Nixon to authorize his commission after a visit with the President at the White House. Sonny West was present at the White House when Elvis achieved this. Elvis then gave the badge to Sonny West.” The offered badge was likely given to Elvis after it was no longer needed by the agent because the Bureau had changed its moniker.

It was later that year, on December 2, 1970, when Elvis entered the White House and met President Nixon in the Oval Office. During this meeting, the now famous photograph of Elvis and Nixon was shot, and Elvis expressed his desire for a badge from the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs directly to Nixon who asked his assistant Egil “Bud” Krogh if he could get him a badge. Later that afternoon, Elvis had the desired badge. Just a few years later in 1973, the official war on drugs began when then President Richard Nixon signed an executive order creating the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to combat the threat of drugs that was a growing peril around the world. 

The offered gold-colored badge is enameled with a large “US” at the center and surrounded by the blue lettering “Bureau Drug Abuse Control Agent FDA” with a spread-winged eagle atop the badge. The back is stamped “303” and has an additional diamond-shaped stamping in the upper right corner of the reverse that states “24KT / KARATCLAD / HGE” The badge has a pin back that rests into a locking hook closure. This first official federal narcotics badge was the start of Elvis’ quest to achieve official recognition from the federal bureau fighting the war on drugs and was the penultimate treasure when he acquired it that pivotal year in 1970. A copy of the original sale of this badge as offered in an auction of Elvis Presley Memorabilia in 1995 is pictured for reference. The badge measures 3 by 2 1/4 inches (7.62 x 5.71 cm) and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The badge is in excellent condition overall.
1970 Elvis Presley’s U.S. FDA Drug Abuse Control Badge Gifted to Sonny West - Former Mike Moon Collection
This lot has a Reserve Price that has not been met.
Current Bidding (Reserve Not Met)
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.:
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Number Bids: 6
Auction closed on Tuesday, August 13, 2019.
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