Homicide

Mysterious death of North Dakota college student raises questions about use of drug informants

This November 2013 photo provided by Tammy Sadek shows Andrew Sadek at home near Rogers, N.D. Nearly a year after Sadek’s body was found in a river with a bullet in the head, his mother still struggles with how her shy son got mixed up in the dangerous world of illegal drugs. Tammy Sadek believes her son signed his own death warrant when he agreed to become a confidential informant for police after he was caught selling marijuana. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Tammy Sadek)

This November 2013 photo provided by Tammy Sadek shows Andrew Sadek at home near Rogers, N.D. Nearly a year after Sadek‚Äôs body was found in a river with a bullet in the head, his mother still struggles with how her shy son got mixed up in the dangerous world of illegal drugs. Tammy Sadek believes her son signed his own death warrant when he agreed to become a confidential informant for police after he was caught selling marijuana. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Tammy Sadek)  (The Associated Press)

It's been nearly a year since the body of 20-year-old North Dakota college student Andrew Sadek was found in a river, a bullet in the head. But his death is raising questions about the use of young, low-level drug offenders as confidential informants.

Sadek had been working for a regional drug task force before he died, after getting into trouble for small marijuana crimes. Mother Tammy Sadek thinks he was pressured and says drug task forces should stop using "little fish."

Investigators haven't determined how Sadek died, and a recent investigation concluded the task force acted appropriately.

But some experts say confidential informants should get more information about the risks. American Civil Liberties Union spokeswoman Jennifer Cook says informants do dangerous police work without the training.