The ATF and Dirtbag Informants

Posted: May 23, 2012 by ShortTimer in Crime, Government
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Via Sipsey Street Irregulars, from the Seattle Times:

A felon with a lengthy history of violence against women, Jackson was sentenced to 10 years in prison April 13 for sexually abusing an 18-year-old woman and holding her against her will for days inside a cheap South Seattle motel last year. The woman told investigators Jackson forced her to audition for a porn film and at one point choked her so hard she almost lost consciousness.

As part of the case, Jackson also admitted to criminal impersonation on various occasions when he told the victim and seven other people that he was a federal agent or a police officer.

During a fight with an alleged drug dealer at another Seattle motel, Jackson told the manager he was a federal agent. The incident would have been almost comical had it not resulted in a citywide “help the officer” call, one of the Police Department’s most urgent alerts. Officers from throughout the city rushed to the motel, only to discover the heavily-tattooed Jackson was not a federal agent.

For all of this, the 34-year-old Jackson would be just another habitual criminal except for one startling fact: He was working the entire time as a paid informant for the Seattle office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

That’s not how criminal informants are supposed to work.

Mahoney and the other officer spoke with Jackson, who denied having a badge but claimed he was an ATF informant “working a ‘big’ operation,” Mahoney wrote in his report. Jackson called an ATF agent and handed the phone to Mahoney.

It was during that exchange the agent asked, “What did Josh do now?” Mahoney wrote.

Later, Mahoney confirmed through a Seattle police gang detective that Jackson was a federal informant. The gang detective related that the “ATF agent acknowledged Jackson was not all quite there, as it were,” according to a police report.

In June, Jackson searched the room of a resident and purportedly found drugs. “We got heroin!” he told McDaniel.

After police were called, Jackson persuaded officers to let him keep the drugs by telling them he was involved in a “buy-bust” operation, the police report said. The occupant of the room was wanted on an arrest warrant, and McDaniel was told to call police if he returned.

When the guest returned, Jackson confronted him, sparking a fight in the motel’s office. Jackson identified himself as a federal agent, triggering the citywide police response.

That’s not how CIs are supposed to work.  Then again, the ATF has a habit of doing the wrong thing at every turn – and as an agency, they’re pretty much set up to do the wrong thing at every turn, from their management to the fact that they enforce byzantine laws over legal and constitutionally protected rights, where the Constitution is periodically trumped by bureaucrats who declare a shoestring a machinegun.

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