The use of informants has always been a bane to the enforcement of the War on Drugs in the United States. Informants seeking to help themselves often serve up questionable unvetted “intel” that results in major injustice to those later investigated and arrested on less than accurate information. Lives are destroyed.
After a country wide scandal involving crimes committed by so called FBI informants, U.S. Representative Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA) has introduced important new legislation that would require federal investigative agencies to report their informants’ serious crimes to Congress. H.R. 3228,
If passed – and it should be – The Confidential Informant Accountability Act, would require the FBI, the DEA, Secret Service, ICE and ATF to report every six months to Congress all “serious crimes” committed by their informants, whether or not those crimes were authorized.
“Serious crime” is defined as any serious violent felony, any serious drug crime, or any crime of racketeering, bribery, child pornography, obstruction of justice, or perjury. The bill prohibits the disclosure of informant names, control numbers, or any other personal information that might permit them to be identified. Under the U.S. Attorney General’s Guidelines, the FBI is already required to disclose its informants’ crimes to federal prosecutors.