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.