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Dani
04-09-2012, 04:08 AM
I have a question about FBI confidential informants. Is it possible an agent can keep his informant information even from his bosses? IE: only he knows. I know he probably wouldn't be able to arrest anyone without revealing his source to someone, but this is only for questioning.

And if something happens to the person who gets questioned (The suspect disappears or dies or something), would his superiors force him to reveal his source if the informant would refuse to testify or be involved in the case?

Thanks in advance.

Snick
04-09-2012, 02:08 PM
It appears that the ones who managed Whitey Bulger did keep things from higher ups. So the first wuestion is answered in the affirmative. I don't kno about the second. I think it might be more a matter of only the handler knowing ssmoethings, so would the higher ups even know that tey could ask.

ironmikezero
04-09-2012, 10:16 PM
The following is an oversimplified explanation, applicable in the most general of terms, to the US federal system.

There are two kinds of confidential informants; documented and undocumented.

A documented informant is tied to a highly classified paper trail (true identity, background/criminal history, contact info, record of past performance, etc.). This permits payment(s) of government funds, usually converted into cash, in exchange for cooperation and/or information. Since records exist, there is always the possibility that the veil of secrecy may be compromised. In some cases, a court with the appropriate authority may order disclosure.

Undocumented confidential informants have so such paper trail. The investigator who maintains such a relationship keeps all information to himself/herself. Government funds typically cannot be accessed for payment(s). Compensation/consideration is the investigator's problem. Secrecy is at the investigator's discretion.

Agencies generally discourage the habitual use of undocumented confidential informants. The lack of documentation inhibits the use of information provided from such sources in affidavits for court orders (search warrants, arrest warrants, etc.). A court with the appropriate authority may order disclosure; investigators who refuse to comply may find themselves held in contempt of court.

Pragmatically speaking, good investigators use both types of confidential informants. Every bit of information provided must be corroborated or refuted. The judicious use of such resources in the overall strategy of an investigation is considered the hallmark of a seasoned and savvy criminal investigator.

Dani
04-10-2012, 12:47 AM
The following is an oversimplified explanation, applicable in the most general of terms, to the US federal system.

There are two kinds of confidential informants; documented and undocumented.

A documented informant is tied to a highly classified paper trail (true identity, background/criminal history, contact info, record of past performance, etc.). This permits payment(s) of government funds, usually converted into cash, in exchange for cooperation and/or information. Since records exist, there is always the possibility that the veil of secrecy may be compromised. In some cases, a court with the appropriate authority may order disclosure.

Undocumented confidential informants have so such paper trail. The investigator who maintains such a relationship keeps all information to himself/herself. Government funds typically cannot be accessed for payment(s). Compensation/consideration is the investigator's problem. Secrecy is at the investigator's discretion.

Agencies generally discourage the habitual use of undocumented confidential informants. The lack of documentation inhibits the use of information provided from such sources in affidavits for court orders (search warrants, arrest warrants, etc.). A court with the appropriate authority may order disclosure; investigators who refuse to comply may find themselves held in contempt of court.

Pragmatically speaking, good investigators use both types of confidential informants. Every bit of information provided must be corroborated or refuted. The judicious use of such resources in the overall strategy of an investigation is considered the hallmark of a seasoned and savvy criminal investigator.

Wow! Thanks so much for the response. That's terrific info. I really appreciate it. Is there a source for that?

L.C. Blackwell
04-10-2012, 02:18 AM
You just met it. :) If you look at Mike's profile, you'll see that he is a retired federal criminal investigator--and a truly helpful contributor to threads like this one.

Dani
04-10-2012, 02:33 AM
You just met it. :) If you look at Mike's profile, you'll see that he is a retired federal criminal investigator--and a truly helpful contributor to threads like this one.

AHA oh that's awesome! I was hoping to go read the book or something. But now I know who to pester! AIEE :snoopy:

Mike, would it be okay to PM you a few questions? =) Please?

ironmikezero
04-10-2012, 02:54 AM
Sure... my response may be delayed sometimes , but I'll always answer.