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.