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Legal Article - DEA Sub-Informants Entrap Friends

Dimitry Tsimberg, Esq.

Federal Judge Finds DEA Used Paid ''Sub-Informants'' to Entrap Their Friends?

 

In a stunning revelation, which may have far reaching consequences on drug cases in Southern California, it was discovered that the DEA and other local law enforcement agencies have been subsidizing an unofficial and secret drug informant "ring." Apparently, "confidential sub-informants" were paid to deliver successful drug transactions and may have entrapped people into criminal activities.

To make matters look even more sinister, the Government is refusing to produce records concerning the "ring's" functions and activities in Southern California . Consequently, a criminal indicment against 3 defendants for drug trafficking was recently thrown out by a Federal Judge. The Government denied knowing about the use of confidential "sub-informants," but the Judge found this claim to be "highly unlikely" and "repeatedly proven to be unrealiable.

As a paid informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration, Guillermo Francisco Jordan-Pollito has achieved a remarkable record of success. Over the last 10 years, according to his own testimony in Los Angeles federal court, the former Mexican police officer has earned more than $400,000 in cash helping the DEA, the FBI, the Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, and the Santa Ana Police Department put together numerous cases against suspected sellers of cocaine, methamphetamines and other illicit drugs.

There's just one thing missing from that picture. The DEA's star undercover operative used a stable of his own paid informants to assist him in setting up drug buys, a fact that was kept from defense lawyers in an undetermined number of those cases.

Incredibly, these "sub-informants" were paid only if they successfully set up a "buy," fueling charges of entrapment. The network encouraged people to contact former "school days" friends and ask them where to buy drugs, which was allegedly for their "boss." Arguably, these practices may lead an otherwise law abiding citizen to criminally aid an "old school friend" set up a drug buy, especially after repeated pressure and phone calls.

In the case at issue, there was evidence of numerous phone calls between these "sub-informants" and defendants. However, none of these set-ups were recorded, leading to "an inference that pressure was being brought to bear by the sub-informant, which could have been used to support an entrapment defense." Ronald O. Kaye, a former federal public defender now in private practice, uncovered Jordan-Pollito's use of "sub-informants" last year after combing through telephone records turned over to him by federal prosecutors in a methamphetamine-trafficking case.

U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper stated: "A law enforcement agency must not be allowed to shield itself from accountability by hiring someone outside of law enforcement who is free to violate citizens' rights."

For further information, read the Order Dismissing Indictment in the U.S. v. Alvarez case.


This post is for educational and information purposes only. It is not legal advice on any particular case, and merely a general opinion of one California lawyer. You should not rely on it without consulting a competent attorney in your area about your specific case and facts. It is not intended to, and shall not, create an attorney-client relationship. So, be happy you got some free info and use your grey matter!

 


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