Monday, December 2, 2019

IG Report Shows FBI Has Lost Control Of Its Source Network

The scale of the FBI program to pay informants is troubling and jaw-dropping. $42 million a year likely represents tens of thousands of criminals being paid to act as sources for the FBI.
Years ago, while I worked as a prosecutor, I received a visit from a detective in the local police department. A confidential human source (CHS) had approached him to ask for help with a felony case I recently filed. I knew who he was asking about because she so frequently appeared as a player in multiple felony cases. She had never cooperated as a potential witness in any case. The detective asked me to ease off on the prosecution.
“Why would I do that, Brad?” I asked (not his real name). Detective Brad explained that she provided valuable intel in an important case he was working. I knew better. In my position, I had oversight over prosecution of all non-victim crimes in the jurisdiction. This included all narcotics and property crimes.
“Detective, I’ve never listed you as a witness in one felony prosecution in the last year. You say you have all these CHSs, but where are the cases?” I asked. I knew some of his CHSs from cases made by other officers. They were all attractive females, including the one he was asking about. I had no idea what he was getting out of the relationships with these CHSs. But I did know he wasn’t making cases.
When law enforcement runs a confidential informant, it dances with the devil. The CHSs are typically recruited from the ranks of existing criminals. The relationship with law enforcement allows them to continue to commit crimes, in theory to maintain credibility with even more important criminal targets.
While several valuable cases rely upon such sources, the temptation for corruption can be devastating to the overall law enforcement enterprise. Cops get too close to their CHSs. Sometimes they accept gifts, drugs, even sex. The relationship can quickly deteriorate from a legitimate law enforcement exercise into a joint criminal enterprise in which the cop begins protecting and helping the criminal.
So it is no small thing that the FBI has failed to maintain controls over its confidential informant program. Indeed, the recent inspector general report, available here, shows that the program has run amuck. The FBI maintains an undisclosed number of CHSs, many of whom it has maintained a relationship with for more than five years. It pays $42 million a year to these CHSs.
Read the rest from Adam Mill HERE at The Federalist.

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