Want to make a million? Become a DEA informant

Want to make a million? Become a DEA informant
Credit: iStock

There’s an unfortunate saying on the street: Snitches get stitches.

Turns out some get paid, too, sometimes very, very well.

Consider this from a new report on major problems with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s confidential-informant program. DEA paid:

  • One source $30 million over a 30-year period, “some of it in cash payments of more than $400,000.”
  • Nine people $25 million during a five-year period, averaging $555,555 annually, for narcotics-related information and assisting law enforcement.
  • A parcel worker more than $1 million over five years, or $200,000 a year.
  • An airline employee over $600,000 in less than four years, more than $150,000 a year.

Not bad for part-time work. Of course, there’s the danger of earning the enmity of drug gangs, but apparently some think it’s worth the risk.

The report by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (IG) found serious deficiencies with the DEA’s confidential-source program, including poor oversight that “exposes the DEA to an unacceptably increased potential for waste, fraud, and abuse,” IG Michael Horowitz said.

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