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DEA Program "More Troubling" Than NSA

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the can-of-worms dept.

United States 432

Rambo Tribble writes "Reuters is reporting on a secret effort by the Drug Enforcement Agency to collect data from wiretaps, informants, and other sources. Considered most troubling is a systematic campaign to hide this program from the courts, denying defendants their right to know how evidence against them was obtained. This agenda targets U.S. citizens directly, as it is mainly focused on drug trafficking. From the article: 'Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin - not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges. The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to "recreate" the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant's Constitutional right to a fair trial. If defendants don't know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence - information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses.'"

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Troubling quote from the article (5, Informative)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year ago | (#44478807)

A former federal agent in the northeastern United States who received such tips from SOD described the process. "You'd be told only, ‘Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.' And so we'd alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it," the agent said. After an arrest was made, agents then pretended that their investigation began with the traffic stop, not with the SOD tip, the former agent said. The training document reviewed by Reuters refers to this process as "parallel construction."

Country without a consitution says what?

Re:Troubling quote from the article (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478875)

A former federal agent in the northeastern United States who received such tips from SOD described the process. "You'd be told only, ‘Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.' And so we'd alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it," the agent said.

After an arrest was made, agents then pretended that their investigation began with the traffic stop, not with the SOD tip, the former agent said. The training document reviewed by Reuters refers to this process as "parallel construction."

Countrywithoutaconsitutionsayswhat?

That's better...

Re:Troubling quote from the article (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44478935)

Sounds like a way of having to get one of those bothersome warrants.

Re:Troubling quote from the article (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44479167)

Sounds like a way of having to get one of those bothersome warrants.

Even better, if the original collection mechanism was illegal, you can avoid having the evidence excluded as 'fruit of the poisonous tree' by producing a "parallel construction", that isn't illegal, for how you came to possess it! Such convenience.

Re:Troubling quote from the article (5, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44479529)

Sounds like a way of [not] having to get one of those bothersome warrants.

Even better, if the original collection mechanism was illegal, you can avoid having the evidence excluded as 'fruit of the poisonous tree' by producing a "parallel construction", that isn't illegal, for how you came to possess it! Such convenience.

Which, interestingly, is how military intelligence hides their sources. Supposedly during WWII the Allies never took action on information derived from ULTRA, unless they could find other evidence once they knew the fact. That way the Germans could always conclude that the Allies figured things out by normal means, rather than having an ear in their HQs.

Makes you wonder who the DEA is getting advice from.

Re:Troubling quote from the article (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44479475)

Looks like I left a 'not' out of that sentence.

Re:Troubling quote from the article (5, Insightful)

colfer (619105) | about a year ago | (#44479003)

Even more troubling: '"Parallel construction is a law enforcement technique we use every day," one official said. "It's decades old, a bedrock concept."... Some defense lawyers and former prosecutors said that using "parallel construction" may be legal to establish probable cause for an arrest. But they said employing the practice as a means of disguising how an investigation began may violate pretrial discovery rules by burying evidence that could prove useful to criminal defendants.'

So it's been accepted practice for decades, with or without the NSA, and yet only drug defense lawyers have ever heard of it. A lot of questions reporters could ask: can defense attorneys get the whole meta-data drop for the phone numbers involved? Can civil case parties get any of this stuff?

The defense data dump would seem to be especially on point, since it would allow the defendant to point fingers in other directions.

Choice parts at the end of the article: 'If cases did go to trial, current and former agents said, charges were sometimes dropped to avoid the risk of exposing SOD involvement... Current and former federal agents said SOD tips aren't always helpful - one estimated their accuracy at 60 percent.... "It was an amazing tool," said one recently retired federal agent. "Our big fear was that it wouldn't stay secret."' That last comment is the absolutely most corrupt.

Re:Troubling quote from the article (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44479039)

The 'war on drugs' has either introduced or popularized many of the more...unpleasant...police practices, so it isn't 100% surprising that people who litigate drug cases, one side or the other, probably have a lot of unpleasant cocktail party stories.

Re: Troubling quote from the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479107)

Any attorney would tell you that "parallel construction" is no defense against a fruit of a poisoned tree dismissal.

Re: Troubling quote from the article (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44479197)

You are probably right.

Simply mentioning that the information was overheard by a undercover officer in a bar is sufficient probable cause for any police agency to take a closer look.

Probably even posting here in slashdot provides enough for someone to start looking deeper, and issuing an letter demanding that DICE fork over the IP address of the AC who posted post number (#44479039).

Re: Troubling quote from the article (1)

JeffOwl (2858633) | about a year ago | (#44479405)

The issue is that you have to know that it happened and then convince the judge.

Re:Troubling quote from the article (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44479253)

This is why I've always said: Never help police, ever. They are either fools or evil, since they have no strong checks against confirmation bias. When they "like you" for a crime it appears common practice to discover they were correct... "Parallel Construction" being a legal way to establish probable cause means they are blatantly evil, and should be put down as murderers. They have turned from the path of science and embraced strongly the confirmation bias.

Re:Troubling quote from the article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479297)

You ALWAYS go to fucking TRIAL! Always! These trumped up prosecutions would stop if everyone exercised their right to a TRIAL!

My wife was accused of criminal negligence with regards to an accident involving a retarded minor. She was facing 6 years in PMITV prison! We didn't have the money for a trial. Our lawyer pushed us to take the plea deal (which didn't include jail time but did include a felony conviction). The prosecution did all sorts of whacky shit to persuade her into this decision.

Many nights were spent arguing and yelling at each other. Fighting about whether she should take the plea. It almost destroyed my marriage.

She just wanted it all over with. I was playing a very high stakes game of calling their bluff. Many times I feared I was making the wrong decision. I used my financial leverage to force her to do as I want (I'm paying the lawyer; I have final say). I justified this by telling myself she's a bad wife and I wish she were in prison. I met a girl that I was reasonably sure I could replace her with when she went to jail.

It was bad. Some days I could convince her that trial was the right way to go. Some days she just wanted it all to end.

The judge was pissed (at her and her defense) that this was approaching trial! Fucking nigger judges! It was actually a white woman, but I feel she acted like a bad nigger.

Well, three days before jury selection was scheduled to start -- they offered a new plea deal, this time with a misdemeanor charge and 1 year of probation. Called their fucking bluffs! HAHAHAHAHA! Now we're fine and that one bitch was crazy. I never actually fucked the bitch (thankfully).

PS: If I had the money for a trial, we would have said no and got the charges dropped completely. When she was offered that deal, she was so fired up and confident that she felt the same way. She was happy I didn't let her take the felony conviction plea.

PPS: She likely would have never been charged with anything had she not talked to the cops. But they acted like her best friend and were just doing some routine questioning so they could get the case off their desks... No big deal. Just a formality.

I fucking told her not to talk to them! I told her! She went behind my back and did it anyway! This is why I was such a fucking ass preventing her from taking the plea! I'm not a bad guy, she just thinks I'm fucking nuts!! You're all a bunch of faggots too! HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!

Re:Troubling quote from the article (4, Funny)

RenderSeven (938535) | about a year ago | (#44479393)

At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul...

Re:Troubling quote from the article (1)

CadentOrange (2429626) | about a year ago | (#44479429)

What the hell did I just read?

Re:Troubling quote from the article (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#44479515)

You ALWAYS go to fucking TRIAL! Always! These trumped up prosecutions would stop if everyone exercised their right to a TRIAL!

...
My wife was accused of criminal negligence with regards to an accident involving a retarded minor. She was facing 6 years in PMITV prison!

...
Well, three days before jury selection was scheduled to start -- they offered a new plea deal, this time with a misdemeanor charge and 1 year of probation. Called their fucking bluffs!

...
PS: If I had the money for a trial, we would have said no and got the charges dropped completely

Didn't you just demonstrate exactly why many people *don't* go to trial (including yourself?) The government holds all the cards - not only can they can hold a max sentence prosecution over your head making the stakes too high to gamble, but they *also* can play dirty with the evidence and stack the deck in their favor making it more likely that they will win. And since they are prosecuting with your tax dollars, they get unlimited funds to spend on the prosecution.

It's easy to say "Everyone should go to trial!" but when it's your (or your wife's) butt on the line, it's not so easy to face years of prison time -- as you so clearly demonstrated with your story. You didn't call their bluff - they called yours - they sweetened the pot on the plea deal because they wanted you to admit to the crime so they get yet another successful prosecution - and you did exactly what they wanted.

Re:Troubling quote from the article (4, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#44479337)

Right, so: Don't Talk to the Police and Don't Waive Your Right to Trial.

Re:Troubling quote from the article (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44479015)

Constructing a case against someone that you *cough* accidentally discovered was doing something wrong via an illegal wiretap or massive surveillance is almost an everyday occurrence in this country. Everyone from the tin-star country sheriff to the biggest police department does it.

This is why license plate scanners, mass email sifting, etc ad-nauseum is so insidious EVEN for people who do nothing wrong, except drive down the wrong street at the wrong time, or post on the wrong threads (like this one) on a public forum.

You can be made do look guilty enough to be detained, your reputation for ever ruined, or actual arrested and prosecuted and convicted by un-questioning juries who simply want to go home.

The wisest thing is for any defense attorney to do is to ask direct questions as to why this particular car was stopped on this particular day, or why that particular hoodie was a target of stop and risk. That forces the police and prosecutors to either fabricate a lie, or reveal these retro-investigations.

Will it have any immediate effect? I sincerely doubt it. But you catch them at it once, and you can taint a lot of cases.

One wonders if license plate scanners aren't really a huge scam to provide a vaguely dependable program for acquiring a pretense of probable cause. Looking for stolen vehicles, but only in the areas where drug sales or prostitutes are plentiful.

Re:Troubling quote from the article (5, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#44479397)

"The wisest thing is for any defense attorney to do is to ask direct questions as to why this particular car was stopped on this particular day"

"The driver $misc_innocuous_driving_offense, so I stopped him. When I approached the car, I thought I smelled marijuana, so I called a drug sniffing dog, which indicated there were drugs in the car"

This line of "construction" is accepted 100% of the time in 100% of the courts in the US.

Re:Troubling quote from the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479055)

find an excuse to stop that vehicle

That's a real shame, it looks like you backed into a truncheon and broke your taillights.

Re:Troubling quote from the article (1, Troll)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#44479147)

Backed into a truncheon? Ut oh, sounds like attempted assault on an officer now. Better call three more cops to bea....er restrain the uh.... slippery bastard. Dude should stop fighting, every time they pick him up he manages to wrestle free and throw himself against the ground, better put him on suicide watch too...wouldn't want him to hurt himself (or be believed)

Re:Troubling quote from the article (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44479209)

And then attacked the officers fist with your jaw.

Re:Troubling quote from the article (1, Insightful)

CadentOrange (2429626) | about a year ago | (#44479437)

And then attacked the officers fist with your jaw.

Ah yes, the Zimmerman style of fighting. Attack your opponent's fist with your face.

Re:Troubling quote from the article (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44479463)

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster" Friedrich Nietzsche

Kinda sad we lost so many good men in WWII fighting the jack booted bullshit only to have the jack booted bullshit take root here, but lets face it, fascism never died it just became more corporate friendly. Instead of being ruled by the state like the old fashioned kind the new fascism has the state and corporation become one, with a revolving door between the halls of power and the MIC that Ike tried to warn us about [youtube.com] and I have no doubt the corps are the ones doing a LOT of the data gathering, no pesky constitutional protections to worry about if you get megacorp to do the spying in return for a buttload of cash.

I don't know if this will give any comfort or not but the current system is built on a house of cards doomed to collapse [youtube.com] and when it does the system as we know it WILL be destroyed, the only question is when and due to the size of the bubble if it makes it past 2025 frankly I'll be amazed. Of course the part that should make the rest of the planet stain their tighty whities is this question...what happens after the collapse? You are talking about the most heavily armed military in history, with 5 times the carriers of anybody else, more nukes than anybody knows what to do with, and an insane amount of weaponry stockpiled all over the country.

I know many will disagree but I don't think the USA will go silently into that good night and break up like the USSR, instead taking a page from the crazy Austrian and using the "bread and jobs" bit along with the strong nationalism of the citizens to do the whole "We'll take Poland!" bit only with Poland replaced by resource rich South America. It really wouldn't be hard, a couple of false flags that cause plenty of bloodshed, get the MSM to rally round the flag, the people would take the bait hook,line,and sinker.

Big buck from prohibition (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#44478811)

Has the money made by the prohibition industry exceeded that made by drug king pins yet? This is the kind of unchecked power that the cartels would love to have.

News? (0)

Endo13 (1000782) | about a year ago | (#44478815)

Like we didn't already know this was going on...

Re:News? (0)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#44478859)

Drug prohibition itself violates the 9th and 10th amendments.

Re:News? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478917)

No. Lots of very important people didn't.

"I have never heard of anything like this at all," said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who served as a federal judge from 1994 to 2011. Gertner and other legal experts said the program sounds more troubling than recent disclosures that the National Security Agency has been collecting domestic phone records. The NSA effort is geared toward stopping terrorists; the DEA program targets common criminals, primarily drug dealers.

"That's outrageous," said Tampa attorney James Felman, a vice chairman of the criminal justice section of the American Bar Association. "It strikes me as indefensible."

"You can't game the system," said former federal prosecutor Henry E. Hockeimer Jr. "You can't create this subterfuge. These are drug crimes, not national security cases. If you don't draw the line here, where do you draw it?"

I suspected (or knew) most of what Snodden leaked. I did not knew the DEA was lying at trials and withholding evidence from pretrial discovery. That's different from taps, which everyone knows they can do with a warrant.

Re:News? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44479017)

Is Hockeimer Jr implying that he's OK with gaming the system if it's a national security case?

Re:News? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44479243)

Is Hockeimer Jr implying that he's OK with gaming the system if it's a national security case?

We might overlook that transgression, but claiming he didn't know this was going on on a massive scale suggests utter incompetence or willful ignorance.

Re:News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479041)

Man, where I live no one ever gets pulled over for shit like speeding, etc. Every time I see someone pulled over on I-540, they are obviously getting busted for a large amount of drugs. Always seemed strange that they knew how to pick them so well.

Obligatory Casablanka quote (3, Insightful)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44479247)

I'm sure, all of the quoted gentlemen were Shocked. Shocked to discover "parallel reconstruction" was used here.

Re:News? (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | about a year ago | (#44479369)

It's called plausable deniability. As long as you don't have proof, you can claim you didn't know.

Re:News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479087)

Yeah, what's your point? Are you implying that because some people like yourself have suspected, or even known about this "troubling" behavior by our government that it means that it isn't a serious threat to our democracy, or that nothing should be done about it? So you even though you knew this was going on, you chose to to do nothing except post a smug complaint about how this is "old news" when it gained more widespread attention of the public. You know that makes you the equivalent one of those insufferable hipster-doofus assholes who always like to brag that they were listening to the band d'jour before they made it big.

Re:News? (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44479123)

Like we didn't already know this was going on...

Sure we did.
But we now know that the DEA probably gets its info from the NSA, and hands it down further to your local sheriff.
Worst case, is the sheriff gets cornered on the witness stand and fesses up that the defendant's name came up in
a DEA investigation.

That leaves a dead end, because nobody is going to get very far demanding discovery against the DEA, and no one will be any the wiser about the fact that your name came up from an email harvest by the NSA.

In other words, if you think you are only two layers deep (DEA--->Sheriff) you have to be kidding yourself.

Re:News? (4, Informative)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year ago | (#44479423)

But we now know that the DEA probably gets its info from the NSA, and hands it down further to your local sheriff.

Not probably; definitely. From TFA:

The unit of the DEA that distributes the information is called the Special Operations Division, or SOD. Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security.

And so it begins (5, Insightful)

NobleSavage (582615) | about a year ago | (#44478827)

Can we use the word police state yet?

Re:And so it begins (5, Funny)

Ben Dibell (2852113) | about a year ago | (#44478873)

That's two words.

Re:And so it begins (0)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#44478965)

Mod parent informative!

Re:And so it begins (5, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | about a year ago | (#44478889)

No. You can only do that once it's too late to matter.

Re:And so it begins (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#44478985)

And thus my sig finally becomes relevant.

Re:And so it begins (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479013)

It's not really a classic police state yet, which is top down.

This is something new, where we have shards of government becoming autonomous and headless and immune from oversight. The idea of checks and balances is failing. The DEA and the NSA are now their own organizations with their own agenda, their own budgets, their own corrupt private contractors, their own interests to serve. They exist for that, and not to serve the public.

Re:And so it begins (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479229)

It's not really a classic police state yet, which is top down.

The record holder in perjury before congress so far is not some NSA official but Eric Holder, the Attorney General, responsible for prosecuting things like high-level perjury.

If that's not top down, I don't know what is.

Re:And so it begins (4, Insightful)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44479067)

Begins? When it comes to drug prohibition, we've been able to honestly say that for decades. That's part of the reason I find the Republicans so disingenuous. It's insane (or an outright lie) to claim that our freedoms have been recently taken with Obama in office, when they were taken by Nixon and perpetuated by every president since. Not only does our authoritarian government lock up people for using a less-harmful alternative to alcohol, they've used their power to push prohibition world-wide.

Re:And so it begins (0)

dirtaddshp (1188189) | about a year ago | (#44479181)

you hit the nail on the head sir.

Re:And so it begins (4, Insightful)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44479317)

Was it really Nixon, who presided over the original Prohibition?

As for Obama, he surely inherited some of the problems, but — instead of alleviating them — made them worse. For the most obvious example, Obama is killing [theguardian.com] the people Bush used to try to capture... Is the Nobel Peace Prize winner really that blood-thirsty? No, he is not. But, to be able to close Guantanamo eventually, he has to stop putting new people there... And his supporters, so worked-up about people being locked-up in Gitmo, are happily ignoring his killing of the same alleged terrorists. If he thought, he could get away with simply executing all of the current detainees — so as to close the "illegal" prison down, he would've done that too...

Re:And so it begins (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44479455)

Was it really Nixon, who presided over the original Prohibition?

The original Prohibition was repealed in 1933, as I'm sure you know. The GP was referring to Nixon's "War on Drugs". In reality I wouldn't place the blame squarely on Tricky Dick. He was just the first to use, or popularize, the term. He's also one of our most hateable presidents. But yes, the war on drugs started before Nixon and has been continued long after he resigned.

Re:And so it begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479163)

Which word?

For the money, not the power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479329)

Yes, the US is a police state -- and has been for several decades. What I think is more important is to realize the goal of the police state. Most people assume it's "power". FALSE. The goal is money, and power is merely a stepping stone on the path to riches.

The DEA's budget is directly tied to their "performance". They will do everything in their power to increase their rate of busts, in order to justify an even bigger budget next year. What good is a budget to a government employee who is paid by salary? Leverage. The bigger the cash flow, the more leverage they have to exploit that cash flow (indirectly of course) for personal gain.

Re:And so it begins (1)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#44479331)

Can we use the word police state yet?

You can, but its been going on for as long as people have been governed.

Those who are offended or surprised show both a lack of vision and knowledge of history.

So go ahead and use it, but they're empty words, and the meaning behind them is intrinsic in the concept of "state". Written "constitutions" or declarations of citizen "rights" is just an evolved governmental structure that persists because it enables the structure to avoid the kind of uprisings that tend to end them. Its simple survival of the fittest. If the people think they control the institution, the institution lasts longer. IMO "states" are just generationally reinforced political memes, not much different than a religion. Catholicism works best, and people tend to be happiest, when the theological view they hold in their heads gently nudges them away from the inconsistencies, fairy tales and history. Patriotism is very much the same.

In other words, call it a police state, but you'd probably be happier if you just didn't and pretended it wasn't. Because, really, what can you do about it? Change the laws? New ones will just be made. Vote out the politicians? More will be elected. If 350 million people rose up and overthrew the US government, the one and only thing you can be sure of is that the structure that replaces it will do the exact same things, and just be better at making people believe otherwise. And in the grand scheme of things, the "injustice" that comes down from programs like this or the NSAs on 99.999% of the population is so far divorced from the reality of the injustice that a lot of the worlds' population is subject to, its just plain silly to call it an injustice. Its more just hypocrisy. First world problems.

Re:And so it begins (0)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44479477)

Your nihilism is well justified. There is, for example, no difference between the US in its currently deplorable state and say the USSR under Stalin and Beria.

Re:And so it begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479341)

You can, but you'll be stupid.

Re:And so it begins (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44479503)

Welcome to our club! You're late!

Another word game (5, Insightful)

qbast (1265706) | about a year ago | (#44478861)

This "recreating the investigative trail" sounds like a fancy way to describe perjury.

Re:Another word game (5, Insightful)

hooweek (3007743) | about a year ago | (#44478939)

This "recreating the investigative trail" sounds like a fancy way to describe perjury.

I just don't see how it's acceptable for the government to use this "parallel construction" and not recognize the implications. Basically, you can spy on people / utilize information swept up from other (likely dubious) government actions as long as you can fabricate reasonable cause after the fact? How is the entire investigation not completely tainted by this fact? Not only that, but now you get to get rhetorical ammunition that "spying works" since it can lead to convictions outside of the intended purpose while simultaneously reducing the information available to regular citizens and the attorneys that defend them since it's literally their job to cover it up after the fact with a false trail.

Re:Another word game (5, Insightful)

achbed (97139) | about a year ago | (#44479133)

"Parallel construction" is apparently the technical term for laundering the fruit of the poisonous tree. If the way the original tip was gathered was illegal, then ALL subsequent evidence gathered is inadmissible. Period. By laundering the source of the investigation (to hide the illegal tip), the FBI, DA's office, local and state cops are all committing both perjury and possible contempt of court.

Good luck getting the judges to do anything about it though. The only way this will be stopped is if the FBI is sued by a drug dealer or trafficker. And they have a GREAT history of winning in court.

Re:Another word game (1)

devman (1163205) | about a year ago | (#44479389)

Parallel construction is also used for proving inevitable discovery.

Re:Another word game (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44478975)

This "recreating the investigative trail" sounds like a fancy way to describe perjury.

The term is 'testilying', citizen.

Re:Another word game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479101)

This "recreating the investigative trail" sounds like a fancy way to describe perjury.

No, it's describing "plausible deniability".

Not that that's any better.

the program is not a secret (2)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44478863)

RTFA, it says the DEA submits requests for money for the program in budget documents and its a well known program for coordinating inter-state and international investigations

Re:the program is not a secret (2)

fredrated (639554) | about a year ago | (#44478931)

Do the budget documents describe the abuse? If not, then this is basically secret.

Hiding how it started? (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | about a year ago | (#44478891)

Maybe they're so keen to keep the source hidden because it's the NSA and all of their programs?

Speaking of the NSA, anyone else notice a number of stories over the past few days ( here and elsewhere ) that seem designed to throw attention anywhere but the NSA's crap?

Re:Hiding how it started? (3, Informative)

grasshoppa (657393) | about a year ago | (#44478907)

The unit of the DEA that distributes the information is called the Special Operations Division, or SOD. Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security. It was created in 1994 to combat Latin American drug cartels and has grown from several dozen employees to several hundred.

Had I read for just a minute longer, I'd have found this. So it would seem I was correct.

move along (4, Insightful)

zlives (2009072) | about a year ago | (#44478929)

nothing to see here... only criminals are affected, you are not a criminal, Citizen, are you?

Re:move along (5, Insightful)

buswolley (591500) | about a year ago | (#44478953)

Actually. We are all criminals. I mean, how many laws are there? Yes, I've said this before. You can't live without breaking laws, there are too many laws. Equality before the law really just means, "on whom is the law enforced?" The poor and the brown...and those that speak uneasy truths.

Re:move along (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year ago | (#44479005)

Wait until you say something that pisses off the DIP, Dictator in Power.

Then they will look for any and everything you do to find a reason to take you down. Didn't pay all your license fees, you took a deduction you didn't justify, you claimed something that wasn't right on a government form, or maybe you didn't reply to a government request. You are a criminal.

Worse yet, they have unlimited funds to take you down, if their SWAT team doesn't find a reason to do it first.

Boom!

Re:move along (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479061)

I've broken a few laws, like traffic and copyright. But those aren't criminal laws.

Re:move along (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479315)

The MAFIAA disagrees.

WRONG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479327)

Copyright infringement HAS BEEN MADE a criminal offence.

This allows the RIAA/MPAA to make demands of ISPs to dig up info on "filesharers" that a civil case does not allow them to make.

Of course, the burden of proof for criminal intent is higher, so they drop the case when notified who the J Doe is and then prosecute that person in a civil case, where they already have the information they were not allowed to get for a civil action, but now the burden of proof is much lower.

So copyright breech IS a criminal offence.

Crim.

Re:move along (4, Interesting)

zidium (2550286) | about a year ago | (#44479381)

The year was 2006. I was driving along the feeder of an interstate highway I-45 northbound in Houston, TX, near Alemeda, going 55 mph and slowing, having just exited a 65 mph highway (going ~68).

I saw the truck in front of me slam on his brakes. There was a cop car parked on the side of the road at the light, the cop was standing outside his car, pointing a speed scanner at cars.

The speed limit was 45.

I swerved into the next lane (the middle lane) to avoid crunching into the truck (who'd gone from ~60 mph to maybe 30 in an instant).

Next thing I know, the cop is *skipping* sideways, facing me, right into my lane in 3 big skips, his burly arms outstretched, pointed at me in a "STOP" motion.

I'm telling you, he was only ~25 feet away when he started these antics and within a second or two, I was nearly upon him.

I *SLAMMED* on my brakes and quickly jerked the wheel to the open left lane. In my periphreal vision, I saw the cop dodge out of the lane, cuz he was scared, too. I immediately applied the brakes hard and stopped ~20 feet from the red light white stop line.

The cop *RUSHED* over to my window and banged it FURIOUSLY with his black club. In shock, it took me about 10 seconds to manage to roll down the window.

"YOU ALMOST KILLED ME!!! YOU PUT MY LIFE IN GREAT PERSONAL RISK!!!" the cop frantically barked at me in his thick, husky voice. "GET OUT OF THE CAR, PUT YOUR HANDs BehIND YOUR BACK!"

I did this. He put handcuffs on me, arms behind my back and said I was under arrest for driving erratically, wrecklessly, and endangering the life of a peace officer. He ended up writing me a total of SEVEN offenses: 1) expired tax sticker, 2) going 55 in a 45, 3) no proper turn signal [trying to avoid hitting the truck], 4) improper lane change [trying to avoid hitting the officer!], 5) failure to yield to an officer [felony, lowest], 6) endangering an officer of the law [since he literally skipped over right in front of me!], and 7) reckless driving.

I knew enough to not say a word. He kept asking me over and over to tell him why I tried to hit him, and I just kept my mouth shut. He got really violent and was screaming at me WHY DID I TRY TO KILL HIM!?! I thought if I uttered any word he could testify something like "This criminal tried to run me over and when I asked him, 'why?' he brazenly said I was mistaken and had put my own life at risk." You know?

When backup arrived 5 minutes later, both of them started in on me, saying things like they were going to leave me on the sidewalk in the 105 F 100% humidity summer heat to rot if I didn't confess. I then started mouthing toward the backup's cop car (incase of a dash cam) "I demand an attorney, I demand an attorney, I demand an attorney."

Freaks dragged me down to the station, processed me, I got bail set at $1,000 and I was out in like 12 hours. Court was the next month. The DA came up to my attorney and said something like, "Yeah... we want to settle this out of court for just speeding, reckless driving, and the expired sticker." Attorney advised me not to, so we went to the judge.

The judge sort of smirked when the cop explained his side of things nad my attorney explained my side of things. The attorney showed them the deal they tried to just get us to agree to, and showed the dash cam that showed the guy clearly skipping into oncoming traffic and me nearly hitting him, cuz he brazenly came so close so fast.

The judge threw out all of them except the sticker, then added that the sticker would be thrown out, too, plus no court fees. Woohoo! All I ended up paying was a few hundred (~$500) for the attorney.

But look, the attorney said and I think that if I had mouthed off to the cop, or really said anything, like "WHY DID YOU DO THAT?! ARE YOU CRAZY?!" that i could have been beaten up and had the book thrown at me. The two felonies had punishments of up to 5 years each and the misdermeanors would have totalled a potential 15 months each. Thats like 7 years.

All because an asshole cop decided to play god and skip in front of two oncoming cars on a slow Summer Thursday at around 2 PM.

Clasic bait and switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478955)

Shift focus from the rampant illegal spying by the NSA on innocent US citizens with the "OMG bigger problem" of drug enforcement agencies illegal spying on actual law breaking citizens.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Not that surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478969)

When one branch of government tends towards totalitarianism the rest will follow suit, it isn't that one or the other program is worse then its counterpart, these things are symptoms of a general trend, the trend itself is what should make people worry.

Idiots (4, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44478993)

If they'd legalize drugs the bottom would fall out of the market and all the drug-funded gangs and their wars would fade away. (Or look for something else illegal to sell.)

Tax dope as high as you can without creating a black market, and use the revenue for prevention and rehab programs. And use all the money that's currently going to the DEA and prison-industrial complex for something useful.

Re:Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479051)

There would probably be a quick spike with a sudden drop.

Re:Idiots (5, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#44479105)

They're not idiots. Lots of very powerful and well connected people profit from drug prohibition. They don't want the bottom to fall out of the market, and they don't want drug-funded gangs to go away. What they are doing is intentional.

Re:Idiots (5, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#44479217)

Without drug users, who will fill the private prisons? How will the warden feed his kids without your tax dollars? Won't you please, please think of the warden's children?

Without the drug profits fueling the hyper-violent narco state to our south, from what blood-drenched hellhole will our tomato pickers and day laborers flee? And citizens can't do those jobs, because they would want "wages" and "better working conditions," and you can't deport them near so easily when they get uppity.

Oh well. Gotta keep spending those tax dollars though. After all, the children and everything...

Re:Idiots (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#44479541)

Without drug users, who will fill the private prisons?

Right there. "private prisons"!
How can such an abomination exist? Being private, they sign contracts with states that guarantee X% utilization (90 or 95 last I heard).

Are they going to outsource courts/judges next? Have they already?

The banks make money laundering the money (2)

Marrow (195242) | about a year ago | (#44479117)

And the banks own the capitol. Check-out HSBC deferred prosecution.

Re:The banks make money laundering the money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479313)

"The same way we made up the death penalty. We made them both up, Sanctity of life and the death penalty. Aren't we versatile? And you know, in this country, now there are alot of people who want to expand the death penalty to include drug dealers. This is really stupid. Drug dealers aren't afraid to die. They're already killing each other every day on the streets by the hundreds. Drive-bys, gang shootings, they're not afraid to die. Death penalty doesn't mean anything unless you use it on people who are afraid to die. Like... the bankers who launder the drug money. The bankers, who launder, the drug money. Forget the dealers, you want to slow down that drug traffic, you got to start executing a few of these fucking bankers. White, middle class Republican bankers." - George Carlin

Re:Idiots (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | about a year ago | (#44479219)

Unfortunately all too many people on drugs have no interest in rehab. Not to mention the economics are not so easy. i.e How much revenue per addict do you need to generate per treatment?

And extreme prevention measures, in the form of making drugs illegal / forcing high prices, hasn't been much of a winner.

So yes, we can easily end a lot of drug related crime. Except for petty crime by people too messed up to hold a job, but no too messed up to steal from friends, neighbors, family to support their lifestyle. But the consequences won't be all rosy. Addicts are not known be be a productive and healthy bunch.

A real solution will need to be a bit more nuanced than just legalize and tax.

Re:Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479289)

Addicts are not known be be a productive and healthy bunch.

That depends on the drug. There's plenty of evidence that marijuana and opiate addicts can live normal and productive lives. You just don't hear about the ones without problems, because it's illegal.

Re:Idiots (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44479345)

Do you think anyone who has ever used drugs needs rehab?
Even people who only indulge a few times a year?

Most drug consumption is not your hard core addict, but normal people have a joint after work, or a couple lines at the club on their birthday. These people don't need help or rehab, they are functioning members of society and prosecuting them hurts us all. Taxing them on the other hand would help pay for the treatments of the hard luck cases.

Thefts by drug users are due to their inability to get work(thanks drug testing!) and the high price of drugs. Look at what Switzerland did with heroin to see that your theory is likely wrong.

Re:Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479433)

Unfortunately all too many people on drugs have no interest in rehab. Not to mention the economics are not so easy. i.e How much revenue per addict do you need to generate per treatment?

And extreme prevention measures, in the form of making drugs illegal / forcing high prices, hasn't been much of a winner.

So yes, we can easily end a lot of drug related crime. Except for petty crime by people too messed up to hold a job, but no too messed up to steal from friends, neighbors, family to support their lifestyle. But the consequences won't be all rosy. Addicts are not known be be a productive and healthy bunch.

A real solution will need to be a bit more nuanced than just legalize and tax.

The problem being addressed by "legalize and tax" is not the existence of addicts, but rather the collateral damage done to the non-addict portions of society by trying to save the addicts through prohibition.

Gang violence driven by the drug trade is a serious problem in the US, as is the societal cost of maintaining prisons for all the non-addicts who get convicted of drug related crimes goes well beyond the dollar amount.

If you want to help addicts push for treating addiction the way we treat other mental illness which makes a person a danger to themselves or others (voluntary/involuntary commitment in a mental institution while they undergo treatment). In all probability even state funded metal care for every self proclaimed addict would cost less than is currently spent enforcing prohibition.

'Recreate'? (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44478999)

Recreating the investigative trail sounds a LOT like fabrication.

We have DEA agents who swear to "tell the truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth" knowingly omitting an important part of the truth.

Re:'Recreate'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479525)

So now all the drug dealers have to do is ask "do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" to every buyer. If one says no. No sale. If one says yes. Sell. When your in court you will have evidence of the fact the law enforcement officer is dishonest and his statements can't be trusted. His testimony should be thrown out. It is always critical for law enforcement to be on the upstanding side of the law. Anything but can destroy there career.

Yea.... It's that kind of crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479007)

They only target drug users/traffickers right? Serves those junkies right for putting crap into their bodies that isn't legal. If you use drugs you should be be in jail, however possible. The ends justify the means. I will sleep better knowing that all drug users are in jail.

Thanks DEA, I know now that it is better to subvert civil rights to uphold morality in a free society than to have adults freely choose what they put in their body.

Smell that? It isn't reefer. That's American Justice.

Re: Yea.... It's that kind of crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479149)

Wonder why you you post anon if your not worried

Re:Yea.... It's that kind of crap. (1)

achbed (97139) | about a year ago | (#44479159)

Smell that? It isn't reefer. That's American Justice.

Oh that sweet pungent smell of gunpowder and American Justice. How I miss you. NOT.

Innocent until proven guilty? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479021)

How dare law enforcement types use resources that allow them to catch criminals in the act of committing crimes. This is an OUTRAGE!

Just imagine what it would be like in the following scenario: You are a housewife. You call the cops on your husband and say that he beat you up, but in reality you were beat up by your secret lover. Your husband is arrested, but at the trial it is revealed that there were cameras in your house which reveals that not only were you cheating on your husband multiple times with multiple men, but one of those other men also beat you up, and that your husband is innocent.

You would feel really stupid, and that is why things like this should be outlawed. This is an invasion of privacy, and people should be allowed to commit crimes with the knowledge that there is a slight possibility that they can get away with committing those crimes. By knowing what people are really doing, this makes it more difficult for our legal system to work.

Can you imagine a world where people were punished based on hard facts rather than opinions and made up nonsense?

What if there were cameras pointed at Zimmerman when he attacked and murdered Trayvon in cold blood. The trial would have gone very differently if there was evidence proving that he was a psychopath that enjoyed killing innocent black teenagers while in a racist rage. Trayvon just wanted to go home and sizzurp on some purple drank. That's not a crime. What Zimmerman did, what that monster did, was an outrage and he should have been punished. The African-American community should have stood up and fought for its rights. They should have burned down the white cities that have kept them down for so long. Viva la revolucion!

thoughts on hiding information (2)

Darth Technoid (83199) | about a year ago | (#44479053)

[not dealing with the morality or politics of this, but simply as it relates to hiding information that you use]
Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon has some good examples of how anyone can conceal information they've discovered. When the Allies in WW II wanted to protect the secret that they could decrypt the German's Enigma traffic, they had to take steps beyond simply not using the information (e.g.: not telling anyone that Coventry was going to be bombed). If you want to use information, without letting anyone know for sure that you've got the information, you've got to show other possible means for having that info.

Gov't (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44479069)

I guess they're getting a little fancier than "spy on them illegally then call in an 'anonymous' tip."

Government: We're not fucking you. We just put the tip in.

And still (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#44479077)

Even after this exposure, there will be a solid core of epically stupid citizens that will be fine with this; sheep that mindlessly graze on network TV and football whilst repeating the mantra 'If you've done nothing wrong...'

Thank God for Obama (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479109)

It's a good thing we have Obama in the white house, because this sort of thing would NEVER happen with a Democrat in power /sarcasm

PIssing contest between three letter agencies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479111)

There is a pissing contest going on between three letter agencies, to see who going to piss most on The Constitutional rights.

cover your tracks (2)

hormiga (600498) | about a year ago | (#44479113)

(1) plant drugs on enemy (2) use parallel construction to bust him (3) trail back to you is practically erased

The only reason why it's "more troubling" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479235)

Is that Merkins nowadays don't think that all humans are created equal. There's Merkinland and then there's the cesspool of corruption that's the rest of us.

Rather like the Ayatollahs of Iran where they belive too that they are the only place where REAL humans live.

Therefore a spy program that may be targeting more of those Other Nonhumans (i.e. non Merkins) is not as troubling as one that targets mostly them.

They were going to do this for copyright too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479269)

But the NSA actually turned them down.

This just in: police lie. News at 11. (3, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#44479439)

What people don't seem to understand is that police lie. ALL. THE. TIME. They lie selfishly, indiscriminately and callously. They lie overly and omittingly. They lie to suspects, witnesses, passers-by, judges, and juries. They lie in public and under oath. They lie to deceive, coerce and intimidate.

And they get away with it. ALL. THE. TIME.

Go watch the ubiquitous Don't Talk to the Police video. I know you've already watched it. Watch it again. Especially the part where the police officer explicitly states that he and all police officers are "professional liars."

Mistrial? (3, Insightful)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#44479533)

I admit, IANAL, but doesn't this give grounds for any convicted drug felon to try for a retroactive mistrial?

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