On June 27, 2014, the body of 20-year-old Andrew Sadek, a promising electrical student at the North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) in Wahpeton, North Dakota, was pulled from the Red River bordering North Dakota and Minnesota.

Missing for two months, the young man was found shot in the head, wearing a backpack filled with rocks.

The grisly death of a college student in one of the safest towns in the state did not lead to a sweeping investigation. In fact, police immediately said they did not suspect foul play.

Such a supposition strains credulity as it is, but what would be slowly revealed over the following months is that Andrew had been working as a confidential informant for the police, and that his school knew that authorities were busting its students and using them as bait to catch drug dealers.

From : youtube.com

Andrew can be seen being “turned” in a video here. He did not consult a lawyer or even his parents (he was 20) before walking into that interrogation room.

Another “luckier” student was harassed by police.  He was told that if he did not wear a wire and entrap his friends, he would face 30 years in jail. He chose to walk out of the police interrogation and demand a lawyer. He ended up with 18 months probation.

Police might take advantage of a person’s vulnerability.

Many people find themselves in trouble and are faced with hardcore police tactics to recruit them for “The War on Drugs”. In most cases the C.I. is someone who could use drug counseling and intervention. Unethical police might ignore the pain and weakness of the person and ask them to perform risky things like “wearing a wire” or actually buying and selling drugs to entrap their friends or acquaintances.

If you or someone you care about is coerced by law enforcement officers to “turn on their dealer” or “help the police get evidence” in exchange for not being prosecuted, have them call (843)249-2252. We strongly urge you to consider the entirety of your situation from another perspective. Remember that is the job of the police to make arrests, not to look out for your interests.

South Carolina lawmakers are considering a bill that would not allow LEOs and prosecutors to use people who are in the court system as CIs. This would keep folks who might be charged with a minor offense to feel pressured to turn in other (even if the others are innocent) just to get out of the charges they face.

A Bill has been introduced stating:

A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IS PROHIBITED FROM USING ANY PARTICIPANT IN A DRUG COURT PROCEEDING AS A CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT.

Should this bill become law it would make it harder for police to pressure those accused of a crime to cooperate.

While we don’t think all police are unscrupulous we must recognize that the system rewards them for more arrests. It’s much easier to have a vulnerable person turn in others that it is to catch people who might be in the privacy of their own home.

Should police use “Confidential Informants”?