ATF and the DEA don’t track how often informants are given authority to commit a crime, the USA Today reports .
While the Justice Department imposes stringent limits on when and how informants for various federal agencies are allowed to break the law on the government’s behalf, an open-records request reveals that neither the ATF nor the DEA stockpile information on such cases, according to USA Today.
The issue came to light in the midst of the bungled “Fast and Furious” gun-trafficking operation that allowed 2,000 weapons to reach the hands of suspected cartels.
“The way we use confidential informants is a huge aspect of the daily operation and also the legitimacy of the criminal justice system,” said Alexandra Natapoff, a professor at Loyola Law School Los Angeles. “It’s insane that even the law enforcement agencies that actually carry out this policy may not always know how their operatives are doing it.”