DEA Drug Conviction Desperation leads to Improper Drug Informant Use

The “Audit of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Management and Oversight of its Confidential Source Program” summarizes the DEA’s use of drug informants and the allocation of funds used for the program. The report highlights the misuse of government spending on informants and the danger that the government puts citizens in to run this program. The purpose of the Congress hearing held on Monday, November 28, 2016 was to provide oversight on the DEA’s management of its Confidential Source program, the changes it has made to the program, and its response to the Department of Justice’s recommendations. Some of the key findings includes that between October of 2010 and September of 2015, the DEA had over 18,000 confidential sources amongst its domestic offices, and over 9,000 of them were receiving approximately $237 million in payments. It was also found that the DEA carelessly uses these informants to gain information, as in one case, a confidential source, who previously provided false testimony in trials and depositions, was reactivated as a source. The Department of Justice was extremely critical, especially when finding that the DEA may have paid about $9.4 million to more than 800 deactivated sources between fiscal years 2011 and 2015. The gross expenditures given to these sources called for attention, as Intelligence Division paid more than $30 million to sources who provided narcotics-related information and contributed to law enforcement operations. $25 million of that $30 million went to just 9 individuals. Additionally, cash payments of more than $400,000 were given to a source over a 30-year time span, totaling $30 million. The Audit summarizes the Department of Justice’s findings on the DEA’s failure to comply with the Attorney General guidelines of informants. 

The Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Justice is a highly reputable source for information, given that its responsibility and purpose is to uphold the laws and institutions within the American government. It investigates and conducts audits, inspections, and reviews of the Department of Justice to find misconduct and fraudulent activity. In this audit, the Office of Inspector General performs its job in uncovering the inefficacy and abuse of the DEA’s Confidential Source program.



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