• SNITCHING: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice
  • U.S. Attorney General's Guidelines on the FBI's Use of Confidential Human Sources
  • Sarah Stillman, The Throwaways, The New Yorker (2012) (article on the use of juvenile informants)

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Infamous "fake-drug scandal" informant re-convicted in Dallas

In 2001 in Dallas, Channel 8 TV and the Dallas Morning News revealed how a ring of police and their paid narcotics informants planted fake drugs (gypsum) on innocent Latino immigrants in order to inflate department drug bust statistics. Many of those innocent victims were deported before the scam was discovered. Now the main informant in that ring--Enrique Martinez Alonso--has been convicted again, this time for counterfeiting. See this post from GritsforBreakfast for an overview; here's the story from the Dallas News. This story is a classic example of how snitches can leverage cooperation to avoid punishment for ongoing serious crimes. Not only did the six informants led by Alonso earn $440,000 for their roles in the fake drug scandal, but Alonso's subsequent criminal sentences were drastically reduced because of his cooperation with authorities--he served five years before being deported in 2007, while his brother received a 20-year sentence. As Grits points out:
Enrique was always portrayed by the media and officialdom as the main informant working with Delapaz (and the seven other officers who allegedly faked field tests claiming Alonso's drugs were real), so it's somewhat shocking to learn he received a sentence only 25% of his brother's. That's a steep discount for his second stint as an informant - this time against his co-conspirators and police "handlers." This fellow keeps being compensated for snitching on others - by Dallas police, by the feds - even when he appears to be at the center of the criminal activity in question.