Tags: drugs | dea | informants | workers comp | benefits | vetting

Report: DEA Gives Workers' Comp to Questionable Drug Informants

Report: DEA Gives Workers' Comp to Questionable Drug Informants
(DEA.gov)

By    |   Monday, 27 July 2015 10:03 AM

A new report has found that drug informants are often poorly vetted and some get workers' compensation benefits from the government despite questionable qualifications, The Washington Post reported.

The Justice Department watchdog found that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) did not do a thorough job of monitoring at least 240 informants, some of whom continued to carry out illegal activities and were being investigated by other authorities.

According to the Post, investigators discovered that the DEA paid more than $1 million in benefits in 2014 to 17 informants or their dependents without conducting due diligence.

The DEA used "over 240 confidential sources without rigorous review," investigators said in a report which was released last week, according to the Post. "This created a significant risk that improper relationships between government handlers and sources could be allowed to continue over many years, potentially resulting in the divulging of sensitive information or other adverse consequences for the government."

In some cases the arrangements with the agency continued for years, using informants that were involved in criminal activity, some of whom were considered high-risk.

The DEA was established to enforce the country's drug laws and root out violators. The use of informants is a primary mechanism to achieve their objectives, but the agency is supposed to keep a tight rein on them to ensure they are not conducting illegal activities.

The investigators found that the agency has been lax about following the guidelines and instead has pursued its own standards, often failing to properly vet informants, the Post reported.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz said his investigators found evidence that "raises significant concerns for one of the DEA's more significant and sensitive programs," the Post reported.

A committee with the responsibility of reviewing informants vetted each source for an average of a minute from 2003 to 2012, the inspector general found.

A spokesman for the Justice Department, Patrick Rodenbush, said officials had already ordered an extensive review of the DEA's confidential source policies.

"The review will address and revise policies related to high-level, privileged, and media-related confidential sources and put in place more stringent requirements to better assess and mitigate risk when approving" illegal activity, Rodenbush said in a statement, according to the Post.

A review is also underway as to how to deal with current recipients of workers' compensation and the agency has put a stop to future potential beneficiaries.

According to the Post, a number of "disabled" confidential sources were paid by both the DEA and the Labor Department for years.

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A new report has found that drug informants are often poorly vetted and some get workers' compensation benefits from the government despite questionable qualifications, The Washington Post reported.
drugs, dea, informants, workers comp, benefits, vetting
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2015-03-27
Monday, 27 July 2015 10:03 AM
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