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DEA Rehires "Con Man Extraordinaire" and Admitted Multiple Perjurer as Paid Informant

Throwing innocent people in prison pays big bucks, so why not?
 
 
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The Drug Enforcement Agency is so determined to bust folks  that a snitch who admitted to multiple instances of perjury has been rehired. According to  AZCentral, the man once labeled the "highest paid snitch in history" -- Andrew Chambers, Jr. -- is back in business as a paid informant, never mind the fact that he was terminated in 2000 for incessant lying. 

Chambers gave false testimony under oath in at least 16 criminal cases nationwide before he was ousted in 2000. An informant since 1984, he worked with DEA and other federal agencies in at least 280 cases, with sting operations in 31 US cities. 

Of course, Chambers wasn't lying for fun. He helped throw innocent people behind bars because he made bank doing it. Where there is cash for info, there is incentive to  make stuff up:

During his first career as an informant, Chambers, 56, reportedly received up to $4 million in government money, nearly half of that from the DEA. He also was a paid informant of the FBI, customs-enforcement officers, postal inspectors, the Secret Service and other police agencies. He was credited with a role in 445 drug arrests.

In 2000, Chambers went on the ABC show 20/20 and admitted to his own bullshit. “I just lied about it. I didn’t think it was that important what I did," he said. 

Richard Fiano, who was chief of operations at the DEA at the time, told reporter Connie Chung that Chambers' perpetual perjury simply “fell through the cracks” at the DEA.  “Would DEA use him (again)?” Fiano said. “No.”

And what do you know? He's back in the game. 

Chambers showed up about three years ago at a sting in Phoenix, where defendant Luis Alberto Hernandez-Flores is accused of running a major drug-trafficking organization.

His attorney, Cameron Morgan, filed a motion to dismiss charges or suppress testimony after discovering the informant's shady past.

“The DEA rehired Mr. Chambers, is using him in investigations all over the country, is again paying him exorbitant amounts of money and refuses to provide discovery about what he’s up to,” Morgan wrote in a court petition, “If Chambers were nothing more than a run-of-the-mill criminal, that would be one thing. But both Chambers and his defenders in the DEA brag that he is a con man extraordinaire.”

The whole drug war is a cash-fueled numbers game, and so long as busts are more important than actual results (like, you know, a decrease in drug use), corruption and false arrests will follow. 

Kristen Gwynne is an associate editor and drug policy reporter at AlterNet.  Follow her on Twitter: @KristenGwynne

 
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