DEA Using Informant Fired for Perjury

The use of confidential informants is a system prone to massive abuse, especially when there’s a big financial incentive for them to lie in order to get paid. USA Today reports that the DEA is now using an informant again who was previously blacklisted because he had lied in numerous cases.

A government informant who was terminated by the Justice Department years ago amid accusations of serial perjury has been reactivated and is working an undercover drug case with DEA agents in Phoenix, prompting allegations of government misconduct by a defense lawyer in a pending case.

Andrew Chambers Jr., once labeled in court records as “the highest-paid snitch in DEA history,” gave false testimony under oath in at least 16 criminal prosecutions nationwide before he was exposed in the late 1990s, according to U.S. District Court filings.

Chambers was an informant from 1984 to 2000 for the Drug Enforcement Administration and other federal agencies in at least 280 cases. The sting operations, which sent dozens of suspects to prison, took place in 31 cities across the nation…

The DEA conducted an internal probe in 2000 documenting Chambers’ dishonesty after defense lawyers and the media criticized the pattern of perjury and a lack of federal oversight. The Republic has obtained a copy of the 157-page Management Review, which says the DEA deactivated Chambers indefinitely as a confidential source on Feb. 2, 2000…

“The DEA rehired Mr. Chambers, is using him in investigations all over the country, is again paying him exorbitant amounts of money and refuses to provide discovery about what he’s up to,” Morgan wrote in a petition under consideration by U.S. District Judge Stephen McNamee. “If Chambers were nothing more than a run-of-the-mill criminal, that would be one thing. But both Chambers and his defenders in the DEA brag that he is a con man extraordinaire.”

In his previous career as a professional snitch, he was paid some $4 million by the DEA, the FBI and other federal agencies. Just another reason why our criminal justice system needs to be torn down and rebuilt from the bottom up.

About Ed Brayton

After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and the Thom Hartmann Show, and is almost certain that he is the only person ever to make fun of Chuck Norris on C-SPAN.

  • EricJ

    Just another reason why our criminal justice system needs to be torn down and rebuilt from the bottom up

    …along with out broken our patents & copyright system and broken healthcare system and broken…

  • psweet

    Wait – they’re describing him as an “informant” who worked on 280 cases, and is still working on a bunch of others? Sounds more like an undercover agent that they couldn’t legally hire any other way.

  • d.c.wilson

    Undercover agents don’t get paid $4 million.

  • theschwa

    Good. Another indicator that the economy is rebounding. Out-of-work informants getting back to work!

  • Modusoperandi

    Privatization and Meritocracy? Huzzah!

  • llewelly

    ” But both Chambers and his defenders in the DEA brag that he is a con man extraordinaire”

    In other words, they are paying him because he is good at conning people. Who do they pay him to con? Judges and juries? Well, it is not always working. The citizens? Definitely working.

  • cry4turtles

    I’m a crappy liar, but for 4 million $, I could learn. Where do I send my resume?