Over more than 16 years, an informant paid by the Justice Department helped the DEA in at least 280 drug cases. Starting in 1984, the man participated in investigations in 31 U.S. cities that led to hundreds of arrests and sent many people to prison. His work was highly profitable. The government paid him millions of dollars for his work. In the late 1990s, it was discovered that the informant had given false testimony under oath in 16 prosecutions. Defense lawyers had accused the man of a perjury in many cases, but the government continued to pay him for his services. Once the perjury was proven, the Drug Enforcement Administration finally deactivated him in 2000. Despite the pattern of lying, the DEA has chosen to re-hire the man.

A long-standing history of perjury has not been enough to stop the government from employing this man as an informant. It is once again paying him large sums of money and using his work to send people to prison. Among the lies the man told on the stand was that he paid taxes on some of the money paid to him for his services. He did not pay those taxes. Despite eventually admitting in court that he had lied and failed to pay taxes, the informant was never charged with perjury or tax evasion.

The use of a known perjurer to gather evidence and provide testimony in criminal trials is shocking. That the head of the DEA has a long-standing connection to the informant raises difficult questions about the integrity of drug cases all over the nation.

Source: USA Today, “DEA reactivates controversial fired informant,” by Dennis Wagner, 5 June 2013

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