The specter of a low-level offenders accused of a crime being allowed to
continue their operations in anticipation of being able to catch a drug
kingpin became a reality in a greater number of cases in 2012. The FBI
recently reported that it allowed nearly 6,000 law violations by informants.
This number was an increase compared to the number of similar infractions
reported in 2011.
The FBI contends that these actions are not ideal, but they are helpful
criminalorganizations. The sanctioned crimes are described as Tier I and Tier II
activities. Both are described as actions that would be considered misdemeanor
or felony offenses under federal or state law, but Tier II offenses are
authorized by a senior FBI field manager.
This story is important because of the many low level offenders who are
threatened with criminal penalties in exchange for testimony or information
on higher level offenders. This can lead to a suspect getting into further
difficulties with law enforcement and “keeps them indebted”
to the government. When a suspect decides to stop helping the government,
he or she could face severe criminal consequences.
The FBI reports that it has allowed accused criminals to continue their
activities in exchange for information for more than a decade. It is reported
that other federal law enforcement agencies (i.e. the Drug Enforcement
Agency) do not follow this process.
Because of this, it is important to have the advice of an experienced criminal
defense attorney at the outset of an investigation (or arrest) so that
an accused is not coerced into providing testimony because of the threat
of further prosecution.
Source: RT.com, “FBI allowed even more crimes in 2012 than in previous year,” December 27, 2013