Law Enforcement: Snitches Gone Bad

Just last week, Drug War Chronicle reviewed Ethan Brown's "Snitch: Informants, Cooperators, and the Corruption of Justice," which tells the story of the corruption and misdeeds fostered by federal drugs laws that virtually impel people who've been arrested to find others to inform on in order to avoid prison time themselves. We don't know if it's synchronicity or what, but in the week since then, bad snitch stories seem to be popping up all over. Here are three we've spotted in the past few days:

In Twin Falls, Idaho, a man charged in a Twin Falls murder was working as an informant for the Blaine County Narcotics Enforcement Team. John Henry McElhiney of Hailey is charged with killing an 18-year-old Twin Falls man in September. In response to press inquiries, the Blaine County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that McElhiney worked drug cases for the drug squad. The office stopped short of calling him a "confidential informant," however, instead referring to him as a "cooperative individual." It is unclear from local press accounts whether McElhiney became a snitch for money, to avoid prison time himself, or for some other reason. It is also unclear whether his assistance actually led to any other arrests. He awaits trial on the murder charge.

In Seattle, a "cooperating witness" pleaded guilty last Friday to framing people for drug sales offenses. Snitch Tina Rivard, 40, had been arrested in May for forging prescriptions, but instead of charging her, agents with the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force offered her a deal: leniency in exchange for helping to build cases against prescription drug dealers. Rivard helped in one case, but in a second, she framed a 21-year-old man on Oxycontin dealing charges by undermining the task force's "controlled buy" system. Although agents would punch the suspect's phone number into Rivard's phone, she would then secretly hit speed-dial and instead call a friend posing as the suspect. He would then make incriminating statements and set up drug deals. Rivard also faked a drug buy from the suspect under the agents' noses, having her friend actually bring the drugs she claimed to have bought. The 21-year-old was indicted and faced up to 20 years in prison, but Rivard eventually admitted she had set him up. Now the indictment against him has been dropped, and she faces 20 years.

In Cleveland, Ohio, an informant for the DEA has been convicted of framing innocent people and getting them sent to prison. Informant Jerrell Bray staged drug deals with friends while investigators watched, but gave investigators the names of people not involved in the deals, then testified or gave sworn statements saying that the innocent people were the drug dealers. Bray managed to set up four people, including a woman who had refused to date him, while working under DEA agent Lee Lucas. It is unclear whether Lucas or other law enforcement personnel knew what Bray was up to, but a federal grand jury will meet next month to investigate obstruction of justice, perjury, and weapons charges against Bray "and others." Bray was sentenced to 15 years in prison on perjury and deprivation of civil rights charges, a sentence that will run concurrently with state time for shooting a man in a drug-related robbery.

Ironically, Bray can gain a sentence cut on the federal time if he "cooperates fully." When will they learn?

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And they often refer to the

And they often refer to the drug users as "scumbags." These snitches are the bottom of the barrell...

Rats

The "Concerned Citizen" that ratted me was saving his ass from Grand Larson as well as other charges. (I was growing a plant.) He ratted others as well. Much of what he said was made up or exaggerated. That just don't matter anymore. Must be hard to live while watching your back all the time. It's a dirty game that smacks of Nazi tactics.

www.pissedoffpothead.com

snitchs

it never ceaces to amaze me what some of these people will do to frame others for there misdeeds and try to put basicly law abiding citizens behind bars to save there own sorry asses

scumbags saving their sorry asses, indeed

What never ceases to amaze me is that so many people blame only the snitch -- it's the cops who encourage the sorry scumbags; threatening them and twisting their words; it's the cops who listen to gossip, because that's the only way to enforce laws against victimless activities.

I'm in no way excusing snitches; what's worse, though, a scumbag lying to save his/her own skin or a law enforcement officer lying to further his/her own career?

DEA

The DEA perpetuates reefer madness lies because it is job secuity for them. They like to threaten the scumbags because it is an easy meal ticket for them. They don't care if informants that committed real crimes get off easy, as long as they can keep their fat asses in their useless "jobs".

www.pissedoffpothead.com

it just occurred to me

In my case, through three drug raids, 4 years on probation, one illegal probation search, 6 months in jail and a year in treatment, the original informant is the ONE person who told the truth -- she did, indeed, see me in possession of a useable, saleable amount of meth on the weekend in question.

Not that I don't hope she rots in hell, but save the hottest parts for the sorry-assed cops, lawyers, judges, probation officers and counselors who have no integrity.

snitches &c

Oh those "confidential sources" . We 've had our own trials and tribulations.Thankfully we had a judge honest and courageous (hyperbole perhaps,but it sure felt that way) enough to see the search warrant was bogus.We thought it was a little fishy when local dope fiends I hadn't spoken to in years started showing up at our door to see if we could "help (them) out" And then, of course, our trash went missing. But sure, as "scummy" as it is to snitch I can't help but agree that it's the cops that are creating the problem. Get someone desparate and scared enough, swing all kinds of crazy time in front of them, (women are especially easy 'cause you just threaten to call Child Services) And they'll serve up their Grandma.

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