The Dark Side of FBI Informants: A Lucrative but Dangerous Job

  In the United States, informants are a mysterious group with a large body and a wide range of businesses. They can disturb the Congress, kidnap the governor, lure snakes out of their holes, and destroy drug dens. Every adventure is a deal with a clearly marked price.
  The temptation of huge profits
  Hamad was once a prisoner who was imprisoned for assisting in drug production. After his release, he was developed into an informant for the FBI. He was paid $380,000 for leading a counterterrorism operation in Southern California.
  There are many informants like Hamad among the people. The informant Naseem Khan was paid $230,000 after the anti-terrorist attack in Lodi, California; Informants from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were paid a cumulative $4.9 million.
  There is a nearly 200-page “Secret Informant Guide” within the FBI, which describes the specific payment methods of the agency to informants in different situations, including direct payments before and after the trial, and through compensation payments, confiscated assets are Pro rata payment, etc.
  It stipulates that informants may be eligible to receive 25% of the net worth of forfeited assets, up to a maximum of $500,000 per asset. Since the cases often involve planes, boats, cars and real estate, this is undoubtedly a huge profit for the informants.
  In addition to countering terrorism, the FBI also needs to deal with crimes related to drugs, theft, cybercrime, violent gangs, national infrastructure protection, and civil rights. The informants distributed in all walks of life can just help the FBI conduct sensitive investigations. They range from working for businesses involved in criminal activity to individuals with specific access rights and professional status.
  Walking on the tip of a knife
  Not everyone can choose to become an informant voluntarily, and they can still get away with a golden ten thousand taels.
  The criminology education website explains the functions of FBI informants, and there is a sentence in it that says, “From the moment you become an informant, your life may be changed forever.”
  Often, informants do not disclose their identities to family and friends. They did not receive rigorous vocational training like police school graduates, but they had to accept a dangerous working environment.
  There are also many young people who are invited to become informants because of breaking the law. Florida attorney Anse Block has taken over similar cases.
  Anse Bullock was employed by the family of a student named Rachel. Rachel had just graduated from college and was found in possession of large quantities of marijuana, Valium and MDMA. This was her second arrest for marijuana use. Later, the local police told her that if she did not act as an informant, she could face four years in prison.
  Rachel chose this seemingly win-win path. A few weeks later she was sent to work on a secret deal. It was her first informant assignment and would be one of the largest drug deals in Tallahassee’s recent history, including 1,500 ecstasy pills, an ounce and a half of cocaine and a gun.
  Rachel took the $13,000 in cash the police gave her, put the wiretapping device in her purse, and drove alone to the park to meet the drug dealer. In theory, she would be under surveillance by about 20 police officers, but then the drug dealer temporarily changed the location of the transaction and Rachel drove away from the surveillance area.
  Unfortunately, the bug hidden in the wallet was discovered by drug dealers, who shot Rachel 5 times and threw her body into a ditch.
  After Rachel’s death, Anse Bullock sued the city of Tallahassee, seeking $2.8 million in compensation for Rachel’s parents. The tragedy has turned Anse Bullock into an advocate calling for deeper protections for confidential informants.
  But the reality is that the investigative agency does not have the obligation and energy to fully guarantee the safety of every informant. Even if they are able to escape unscathed, those informants who have gone deep into the tiger’s den are always afraid of the disaster that may come at any time and the eyes in the hidden corners of the street.
  Crisis of Confidence
  In fact, since its establishment in 1936, the FBI has developed a series of norms on the cultivation and protection of informants. For example, after the case is closed, the agents can no longer communicate with the informant. Typically, informants can remain anonymous and are not required to testify in court, and the FBI allows informants to accept payments under pseudonyms. But the effect was not satisfactory, and a new round of crisis of confidence was rolled up.
  On the one hand, when the evidence provided by the confidential informant becomes the only clue of the case, the transparency of the entire litigation will be affected. If the evidence is not fully recorded and cross-checked, the evidence may face invalidity; on the other hand, the informant With diverse identities and mixed fish and dragons, it is difficult for them to accept strict legitimacy evaluation in the process of carrying out their tasks.
  Due to the special nature of their work, many informants are authorized to “crime” under official permission in exchange for more valuable clues. Some informants even use their informant identities to engage in illegal activities without supervision or permission.
  In 2013, an informant named Allen Des Dunes in Louisiana was shot and killed by FBI agents. Des Dunes, 37, who had been reporting daily to the Bureau of Investigation on the progress of the operation, broke an agreement before he was shot dead.
  Investigators found thousands of dollars worth of heroin in Alan Dess’ dune vehicle, according to details shown in the agreement, and eventually let him out of prison. The problem is, no one has been able to verify whether he was still dealing drugs while providing information on drug trafficking.
  ”There’s no absolute trust. When they tell you something, you have to remind yourself, ‘They’re probably lying,'” said former drug investigator O’Brien. What to do, where to go, who to hang out with, and make sure they don’t take information from you and pass it on to the bad guys.” “Deal with them and
  remember that nothing is sacred,” O’Brien concluded.

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