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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:47 PM

After Arrest, How Florida Police Sent Young Informant to Buy Drugs and the Gun That Ended Her Life



To watch the entire interview with Sarah Stillman on Democracy Now!, visit http://owl.li/hTtUe. In her George Polk Award-winning article "The Throwaways," New Yorker staff writer Sarah Stillman investigates law enforcement's unregulated use of young confidential informants in drug cases. Stillman details how police broker deals with young, untrained informants to perform high-risk operations with few legal protections in exchange for leniency -- and sometimes fatal results. Appearing on Democracy Now!, Stillman tells the story of Rachel Hoffman. After police found drugs in her apartment, Hoffman agreed to assist Florida officers in a major undercover deal involving meeting two convicted felons alone to buy two-and-a-half ounces of cocaine, 1,500 Ecstasy pills, and a semi-automatic handgun. Within days, her body was found shot five times with the gun that the police had sent her to buy.

SARAH STILLMAN: "Yeah. Well, part of what really stood out about Rachel's case is that, you know, here she was, this young woman found with some pot and, I believe, a small handful of ecstasy pills. And she was sent off ultimately to buy 1,500 ecstasy pills, a stash of cocaine and handgun from two convicted felons. Ultimately, in the midst of the sting, the police lost track of her, as often happens in these situations. She was told to go to a second location. And when she did that, ultimately, one of the men found the wires, the surveillance wires that the police had hidden in her purse, and shot her."

AMY GOODMAN: "In her purse?"

SARAH STILLMAN: "Exactly. They were hidden in her purse, which some—some police would argue was sort of against the conventional protocols of, you know, the safest place to put the wires. But they opened the purse to—essentially, to stage a robbery, to steal the money in the purse. And then she was killed."

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Reply After Arrest, How Florida Police Sent Young Informant to Buy Drugs and the Gun That Ended Her Life (Original post)
rachel1 Feb 2013 OP
wtmusic Feb 2013 #1
Smilo Feb 2013 #2
Downtown Hound Feb 2013 #3
Blue_Tires Feb 2013 #4
blackspade Feb 2013 #5
Live and Learn Feb 2013 #6
MrScorpio Feb 2013 #7

Response to rachel1 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:52 PM

1. New Yorker article

Heartbreaking. They treat these people as expendable.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/09/03/120903fa_fact_stillman

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Response to rachel1 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:18 PM

2. The war on drugs

is a waste of lives and money.

If this country would just use some commonsense there would be a lot less death and a lot of the dealers would be left without any resources.

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Response to rachel1 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:39 PM

3. So basically, the cops got this woman killed for some pot and a few ecstasy pills?

Yay cops! Fucking assholes.

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Response to rachel1 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:44 PM

4. Disposable pawns in the "war on drugs"

After several months, Mitchell went to the police station to issue an ultimatum: “If anything happens to my son, it will be on your hands.” He said that he was told not to worry; the guys Jeremy had busted were “small fries,” not the murdering type, just low-life drug runners. “But any bonehead can get a gun and shoot someone!” Mitchell recalled telling them. “It doesn’t take Pablo Escobar—it can be a guy who’s got the I.Q. of a head of lettuce.”

On December 29, 2008, Jeremy left the house after a snowstorm to buy some milk. He didn’t return. Reagan had paid an accomplice to bait or kidnap Jeremy and bring him to a nearby motor home, where he was waiting with a .22-calibre pistol. He shot Jeremy three times in the back of the head, then once, at close range, in the face.

At the trial, Reagan boasted to the judge that he had done the world a favor, by eliminating a snitch. According to a news account, he told the court, “Anybody that Jeremy knew or came into contact with would have been suffering for it,” and declared, “The good of the many outweighs the good of the few.” He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Mitchell McLean has come to see his son’s death as the result of an equally cynical and utilitarian calculation. “The cops, they get federal funding by the number of arrests they make—to get the money, you need the numbers,” he explained, alluding to, among other things, asset-forfeiture laws that allow police departments to keep a hefty portion of cash and other resources seized during drug busts. “It’s a commercial enterprise,” he went on, citing a view shared by many legal scholars and policy critics. “That’s how they pay for their vans, for their prosecutors—they get money from the war on drugs. They put zero dent in the supply. They just focus on small-town, small-time arrests.” He continued, “I understand using C.I.s to get information on who is a mid-level dealer, or to go after the big guys. That’s the information that I, as a taxpayer, would love to see them do—cases that have some significance. I still remember the big busts from the eighties and nineties, where they’d nail a heroin kingpin.”

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Response to rachel1 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:16 PM

5. These people are not informants.

They are sacrifices in the sacred 'War on Drugs'.
Disgusting.

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Response to blackspade (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:36 PM

6. +1 nt

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Response to rachel1 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:06 PM

7. Another case of why it's a great idea to avoid the police at all times nt

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