>Several of the 11 men sent home are married; two are supervisors.
>All the agents have been suspended pending investigation.
>The misconduct is believed to have occurred before the President’s arrival in Colombia for the Summit of the Americas.
>Hotel employee claimed that the men were drinking heavily.
>Five U.S. military personnel confined to quarters over the incident.
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Eleven Secret Service agents were recalled to Washington last week after nearly all of them allegedly brought prostitutes back to their rooms at a luxury hotel in Colombia.
The team was in the country to scout out the security situation ahead of President Barack Obama’s trip there for the Summit of the Americas this weekend.
But the agents – who have now been placed on leave – reportedly capped off a week of heavy drinking at the beachfront Hotel Caribe in Cartagena by cavorting with prostitutes.
The partying was exposed when one of the women caused a commotion after an agent refused to pay her. Local police and hotel security were called.
Luxury retreat: The 11 recalled Secret Service Agents were staying at the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena, Colombia
Security breach: Experts say the agents' behavior could have endangered the president, though the White House says that was never the case
Five U.S. military personnel, who were working with the Secret Service, could also be involved in misconduct and have been confined to their rooms and ordered not to have contact with others. They face possible disciplinary charges.
Rep Peter King, who was briefed on the incident, said 11 agents, many of them married, were in the team that was recalled to the U.S. – instead of 12 as originally reported – and that ‘close to’ all of them were involved.
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Mr King said he was told that anyone visiting the hotel overnight was required to leave identification at the front desk and leave the hotel by 7am.
When a woman failed to do so, it raised questions among hotel staff and police, who investigated.
They found the woman with the agent in the hotel room and a dispute arose over whether the agent should have paid her. Mr King said he was told that the agent did eventually pay the woman.
The incident was reported to the U.S. embassy, prompting further investigation.
In the field: The agents were in Colombia the week before President Obama's arrival to the Summit of the Americas
Beachfront property: The Hotel Caribe is a luxury resort that costs about $160 to $200 per night
During their week-long stay at the five-star hotel in Cartagena, the agents were seen drinking heavily, according to waiters there.
A number of the White House staff and traveling press corps were also staying at the hotel.
The White House said Mr Obama had been briefed about the incidents but would not comment on his reaction.
‘The President does have full confidence in the United States Secret Service,’ presidential spokesman Jay Carney said when asked.
Mr Carney insisted the matter was more a distraction for the media than Mr Obama. But Secret Service assistant director Paul Morrissey said in a statement: ‘We regret any distraction from the Summit of the Americas this situation has caused.’
The Washington Post reported that Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said the accusations related to at least one agent having involvement with prostitutes.
The association represents federal law enforcement officers, including the Secret Service.
President Barack Obama (blue shirt) surrounded by Secret Service agents during a visit to the Port of Tampa, Florida on his way to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia
Security: Police patrol the waters surrounding the convention centre in Cartagena where the Summit is held
Ronald Kessler, a former Post reporter and the author of a book about the Secret Service, told the newspaper that he had learned that among the agents involved, several are married.
Although prostitution is legal in parts of Colombia, the Secret Service is said to consider solicitation inappropriate behaviour for its agents.
Colombia has become known as ‘the Thailand of Latin America’ for its loose laws on prostitution and the easy availability of sex workers.
The incident threatened to overshadow Mr Obama’s economic and trade agenda at the Summit of the Americas and embarrass the U.S.
Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan would not confirm that prostitution was involved, saying, ‘The Secret Service takes all allegations of misconduct seriously.’
‘These personnel changes will not affect the comprehensive security plan that has been prepared in advance of the President’s trip,’ said Mr Donovan of the conference in the Colombian port city attended by Obama and more than 30 world leaders.
He said the allegations of misconduct were related to activity before the president’s arrival on Friday night.
Greeting: Mr Obama shakes hands with Colombia's president Juan Manuel Santos at the start of the summit
Mr Obama was attending a leaders’ dinner on Friday night at Cartagena’s historic Spanish fortress.
He was due to attend summit meetings with regional leaders on Saturday and Sunday.
Those involved had been sent back to their permanent place of duty and were being replaced by other agency personnel, Donovan said.
The matter was turned over to the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which handles the agency’s internal affairs.
On the steamy streets of Cartagena, a resort city with a teeming prostitution trade, there was condemnation for the Secret Service agents for what residents saw as abusing their station and dishonoring their country.
Edwin Yepes, a souvenir vendor, said: ‘They are supposed to come here and set an example.
We are an inferior culture, and so it’s better if they don’t come than if they damage our image of them.’
Washington Post: U.S. Secret Service agents leave Colombia over prostitution inquiry