Law

Audit finds waste, law-breaking, little oversight in DEA informant program

Want to make some big-time cash?

Sign on as a confidential informant with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and its War on Drugs.

A recent audit of the DEA’s controversial Confidential Source Program found significant concerns about oversight of a government effort that paid out $237 million to informants between Oct. 1, 2010, and Sept. 30, 2015.

One Wisconsin congressman in particular is appalled at not only the potential for waste, fraud and abuse, but by the constitutional questions the program raises.

“There are people getting more money from the federal government to inform on their coworkers than they are in their regular job, which is kind of outlandish,” U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, told Wisconsin Watchdog.  “Furthermore, in order to collect information that can be used, these people to a degree may be going through packages, mail, that sort of thing, something a federal employee can’t do.”

U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz and DEA Chief of Inspections Rob Patterson recently testified to Congress about the mismanagement of the DEA’s network of 18,000 confidential sources, more than 9,000 of those who pocketed a combined $237 million in payments for information or services they provided to DEA. 

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