• 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 24, 2014

Jailed Mexican mafia snitches receive $150,000 and leniency

From the Orange County Register: Money, cable TV, food delivery: How Mexican Mafia snitches lived like kings behind bars.  Here are a few excerpts:
"As two of the most prolific jailhouse informants in Orange and Los Angeles counties, Raymond Cuevas and Jose Paredes befriended suspects in jail and collected information in more than 30 criminal cases, according to a spreadsheet assembled by prosecutors. ...For their efforts, Cuevas and Peredes received more than $150,000 from local law enforcement agencies during an 18-month period ending in March, records show.

The pair enjoyed other perks, too, including cable TV in their cells and Del Taco food delivered by officers. Cuevas and Paredes also received leniency on criminal charges that could have sent them to prison for life, according to court transcripts and other records.

Thirty-nine-year-old Cuevas, known as “Puppet,” was arrested four times for armed robbery. His last arrest was on charges of possessing a loaded weapon, a possible third strike that could have sent him to prison for life. Instead, the informant received a deal that allowed him to plead no contest in 2013; he received credit for five years already served but no prison sentence.

For several years, Cuevas was the shot-caller for Latino inmates at Los Angeles’ North County Correctional Facility, according to a ruling from the Second District Court of Appeal. On one occasion, he informed his deputy handler that he had just ordered a knife attack on another inmate as part of a jail turf war, the ruling stated. No action was taken by Los Angeles County deputies to prevent the attack, which left the inmate seriously wounded, the ruling said.  Cuevas was not prosecuted for the attack, but two inmates who carried out the order were convicted, according to the appellate ruling."