DEA Ripped in Audit for Lax Informant Oversight

     MANHATTAN (CN) – The Drug Enforcement Administration has “inadequate oversight” over policies allowing their informants to engage in “otherwise illegal activity” or awarding them millions in taxpayer money, a watchdog found in a scathing, 54-page audit.
      The Department of Justice’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, complained that the DEA’s stonewalling “seriously delayed” the release of his report on Tuesday, which fell more than a year after the investigation began.
     The DEA tried to prevent the auditors from viewing confidential source file reviews and delayed access to requested information and documentation “for months at a time,” the report states.
     While emphasizing that the report is only a “limited review,” the auditors reported that they “uncovered several significant issues related to the DEA’s management of its Confidential Source Program” that they plan to continue monitoring.
     The DEA has “inadequate oversight” for allowing confidential sources to “conduct Otherwise Illegal Activity,” the inspector general found.
     Auditors warned that this “could create unforeseen consequences.”
     “For instance, confidential sources may engage in illegal activity that has not been adequately considered, or may overstep their boundaries with a mistaken belief that the DEA sanctions any illegal activities in which they participate,” the report states.
     Other findings from the report highlight the DEA’s payments under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA), a law providing coverage to federal workers who were injured or died on duty.
     “Between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, it appears that the DEA paid approximately$1,034,000 for FECA benefits to 17 confidential sources or their dependents,” the audit says. “In some cases, the DEA has been paying FECA benefits since 1974, but we could not determine the total historical cost because the DEA and [Department of Labor] do not track payments to confidential sources receiving FECA benefits.”
     Though the total cost is unknown, the report says it is “clear that significant taxpayer dollars have been expended.”
     Auditors estimate that the family of only one fallen informant received more than $1.3 million in FECA payments since his death in 1989.
     One informant collected more than $500,000 in FECA payments within the two years before he had been killed in 1991, even though those payments are meant to compensate death or injury, according to the audit.
     In March, the inspector general detailed allegations that DEA agents engaged “sex parties” with prostitutes funded by the local drug cartels for several years.

%d bloggers like this: