The Office of the Inspector General released an audit of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s management and oversight of its confidential source program. The report contains a lot of useful information about the way the DEA confidential source program is supposed to work and provides counsel with potentially fruitful avenues of cross examination and specific Brady requests. The report is critical, concluding that the DEA’s confidential source policies were not in full compliance with the Attorney General’s guidelines regarding the use of confidential informants and that the DEA’s management and oversight of its confidential source program “required significant improvement.” Among other conclusions, the report notes:
- the DEA actually directs the action of “limited use” sources who are supposed to be acting without direction;
- the DEA continued to pay some sources who have been deactivated, including a source who was deactivated for making false statements to a prosecutor;
- DEA agents fail to document all source activity because they hope to minimize the exposure of the source, which “could increase the risk that some information relating to sources may not be available to prosecutors when needed in legal proceedings”; and
- DEA agents authorize their sources using and paying “sub-sources” without any controls or policies governing their use, a practice that “increases the chance that individuals may be conducting unauthorized illegal activity on the DEA’s behalf.
You can access the report here.