Two suspected drug dealers have just had their charges dropped after the Sheriff’s department decided that the confidential informant who was crucial to the case was unreliable. As reported by The News Tribune, Pierce County sheriff’s office (Washington state) decided that the case against the two men could not stand as the confidential informant‘s testimony had come under question.
It’s a pity that the Sheriff’s department hadn’t established the informant’s reliability before arresting the two men. As a result of their u-turn, the credibility of the law enforcement agency has been dented and the two men at the centre of the allegations are free to continue as they had before. The medical-marijuana cooperative that they operate has apparently opened a second site.
Assessing the credibility of confidential informants is an important and essential part of the CI management process, particularly when criminal cases depend heavily on their testimony. Law enforcement agencies should make sure that processes and procedures are in place to ensure confidential informants’ proper assessment for reliability and risk.