BISMARCK, N.D. (CN) – A bill to protect confidential police informants in North Dakota has recently received overwhelming support in the state’s legislature.
House Bill 1221, known as “Andrew’s Law,” was approved by the Senate following a 44-1 vote on Tuesday. It passed the House 92-0 in February. The proposed legislation is now on its way to Gov. Doug Burgum’s office to be signed into law.
The bill, which requires law enforcement to attend special training and provide protective measures for confidential informants, was spurred by the discovery of 20-year-old Andrew Sadek’s body in the Red River in June 2014. The North Dakota College of Science student’s backpack was full of rocks, and he had suffered a small-caliber gunshot wound to the head.
Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Weber had recruited Sadek – for whom the bill is named – to be a confidential informant after he was arrested for selling 3.3 grams of marijuana in 2013.
Andrew’s parents, Tammy and John Sadek, sued Richland County and Weber for the wrongful death of their son.
According to the Bismarck Tribune, the autopsy following Sadek’s death was inconclusive, but Sadek’s parents claim their son was murdered because he was an informant.
Sadek agreed to become a confidential informant for the Southeast Multi-County Agency drug task force in exchange for a reduced sentence for his own drug charges.
The bill also bars anyone under the age of 15 from becoming a confidential informant for police and disallows campus police from using confidential informants.
Despite the bill’s ban on the use of confidential informants by college police, the bill does not “preclude a student from providing confidential information to college or university police,” according to the text of the bill.
Representative Rick Becker, who introduced the bill, and Gov. Burgum did not respond to requests for comment.