DRCNet has thrice before reported on the case of Andrew Chambers, the Drug Enforcement Administration's tarnished supersnitch (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/124.html#scandals2and3 and http://www.drcnet.org/wol/139.html#supersnitch and http://www.drcnet.org/wol/161.html#supersnitch). The St. Louis native made a lucrative career as a narc, earning at least the $2.2 million the DEA has admitted paying him, and helping to send more than 400 people to prison since 1984. Unfortunately for Chambers, the DEA and US Attorneys around the country, he has also been outed as a serial perjurer.

Last year, after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch broke the story, then Attorney General Janet Reno ordered the DEA to suspend Chambers. Then DEA Chief of Operations Richard Fiano told the Post-Dispatch at the time that the agency was conducting an internal investigation. But the agency has refused to release the results, although it had promised to do so. Nor has it responded to written questions about the report from the Post-Dispatch, although it had promised to do so.

As of this writing, DEA officials have not responded to DRCNet requests to see the report. DRCNet has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the report with the DEA. (But don't hold your breath. Uncooperative federal agencies can take months or years to process FOIA requests, appeals of rejections take even

DRCNet has thrice before reported on the case of Andrew Chambers, the Drug Enforcement Administration's tarnished supersnitch (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/124.html#scandals2and3 and http://www.drcnet.org/wol/139.html#supersnitch and http://www.drcnet.org/wol/161.html#supersnitch). The St. Louis native made a lucrative career as a narc, earning at least the $2.2 million the DEA has admitted paying him, and helping to send more than 400 people to prison since 1984. Unfortunately for Chambers, the DEA and US Attorneys around the country, he has also been outed as a serial perjurer.

Last year, after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch broke the story, then Attorney General Janet Reno ordered the DEA to suspend Chambers. Then DEA Chief of Operations Richard Fiano told the Post-Dispatch at the time that the agency was conducting an internal investigation. But the agency has refused to release the results, although it had promised to do so. Nor has it responded to written questions about the report from the Post-Dispatch, although it had promised to do so.

As of this writing, DEA officials have not responded to DRCNet requests to see the report. DRCNet has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the report with the DEA. (But don't hold your breath. Uncooperative federal agencies can take months or years to process FOIA requests, appeals of rejections take even longer, and in many cases, when documents are finally released, they are so heavily redacted as to be practically useless.)

The report presumably contains information showing that DEA agents, senior officials and US Attorneys were aware of Chambers' mendacious ways, but continued to use him nonetheless while not revealing their knowledge of his credibility problems to defendants, their attorneys and the courts.

Now, US Attorneys in Los Angeles have settled a drug dealing case rather than reveal the investigation's results to a defense attorney. In January, they said Dave Daly deserved a life sentence for his sixth drug law violation, a PCP sale. But last month, they let him plead to one count of using a telephone in a drug transaction, and he walked out of the jail where he had spent the last three years awaiting trial.

US Attorneys and the DEA cut a deal whose primary beneficiaries, other than Daly, appear to be exposed drug agents and government prosecutors. The deal that sent Daly home had three provisions, his attorney, John Martin, told the Post-Dispatch. Daly had to give up his right to see the DEA investigation, withdraw his motion accusing the government of misconduct, and stipulate that there was no government misconduct.

Prosecutors have acknowledged that Chambers was the chief witness against Daly, that they knew of his history of lying in court, and that they failed to tell the defense.

"There were a lot of agents who knew that, and I think that's what they wanted to cover up," said Martin. "That was the price of getting Daly out of jail."

Demanding that the prosecution produce the DEA investigation "made the deal" to free his client, Martin told the Post-Dispatch. He told the St. Louis paper he believes the report will show that DEA agents repeatedly condoned perjury and will reveal government misconduct serious enough to have derailed any attempt to prosecute Daly.

Martin and Daly may never know what the DEA report says and, if the agency has its way, neither will the rest of us.

-- END --
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Issue #181, 4/13/01 Editorial: Connecting the Dots, Filling in the Background | DEA Settles Case to Keep Supersnitch Cover-Up Alive, DRCNet Files Freedom of Information Act Request for Suppressed DEA Report | Cancer Professionals Release New Pain Treatment Guidelines as NIDA Warns of Prescription Drug Addiction Danger, Patients Caught in Crossfire | Canada: Government Eases Medical Marijuana Rules | Bush's First Drug Budget: More of the Same | Higher Education Act Campaign Continues to Pick Up New Schools, Student Movement Grows | DRCNet Reaches 20,000 Subscriber Mark, Advice Sought on Possible Week Online Name Change | Movie Review: Does Blow Blow? The Banality of Dealing | Involuntary Commitment Bill Targeting Drunks and Junkies Clears Washington Legislature, Awaits Governor's Signature, "Gravely Disabled" Could Be Committed | Utah: Prison Crunch Has Sentencing Commission Considering Alternative Sentences for Drug Offenders | Australia: Kings Cross Injecting Room Passes Legal Hurdle, Opening Soon, Cannabis Cafes to Follow? | Norway: Proposed New Regulations Will Restrict Access to Methadone and Other Opiate Maintenance Programs | Media Scan: Rolling Stone, MotherJones.com, Boston Phoenix, FeedMag.com | The Reformer's Calendar
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