Tag: parallel construction

Defense lawyers will put federal government on trial

A slide from a presentation is seen about a secretive information-sharing program run by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Special Operations Division
A slide from a DEA presentation

Suppose the Drug Enforcement Agency gets some information about illegal drug activity from a confidential informant of dubious reputation and they don’t want defense attorneys grilling the poor sap on the stand.  What to do?

A series of articles recently published by Reuters reveals that since the early 1990s the DEA has employed a clever work-around.

Instead of using the actual source of the information, the DEA alerts law enforcement to pull over a particular car at a specified time and place and, sure enough, the trunk is full of powdered cocaine.

Here’s the kicker: the DEA doesn’t have to tell defense counsel how they knew to stop that particular vehicle.  In fact, they don’t even have to reveal this information to local law enforcement, the prosecutor or the judge.  Everyone is left in the dark and somehow that’s okay. (more…)