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EPO # 1 informant sources available to the federal law enforcement officer

4 types of informants:
Criminal or criminal associate
Professional informant
Informants within regulated industry
Private citizens


A person who assists law enforcement efforts by providing information concerning criminal or unlawful activity that otherwise may not be provided, usually in return for monetary compensation or some other form of consideration.

What is an informant


4 subcategories of informants



What is anonymous informant?

A person who refuses to identify himself of uses factious name, his true identity is not known.


What is a non-confidential informant

A person who does not request that his identity be held in strict confidence. Anyone from citizen to coworkers or family members


What is a confidential informant

A person who requests that his identity be held in strict confidence. This person enters into an agreement with law enforcement. Identity may be revealed at trial


What is an unwitting informant

A person who does not know they are providing information to law enforcement. Investigator has little control over them.


What is a criminal or criminal associate

Most VALUABLE of the 4 categories. Since this person is usually a violator or the associate of a criminal he is usually in an ideal position to have information about violations of law.


What is a professional informant

Usually on law enforcement payroll. Issue with this though with this type of informant is he may manufacture evidence and information to obtain more $$.


What is an informant within regulated industry

This person has access to information that could be predication for a criminal investigation.


What is a private citizen

This person can be a good informant usually include bartenders, cab drivers, barbers, employees...


Informants v sources of information

Other law enforcement officers can be outstanding sources of information, not usually referred to as informants.


Special groups/restricted informants

These individuals may require special authorization to be utilized by law enforcement. They include criminal defendants, probationers, parolees, juveniles, BOP prisoners, foreign nationals, military personnel, clergy/attorneys/physicians, and press/other news personnel.


EPO # 2 development, use, and control of informants and potential problems

Almost every person encountered by an investigator should be considered a potential informant.


What is key to development of informants?

One key to developing and gaining the cooperation of most informants is proper interviewing techniques. Cooperating informants have 2 main concerns: 1) confidentiality of his identity. 2) investigator will address his specific motivation.


4 things to consider when developing informants

1)mental, emotional and physical status
2)criminal and employment history
3)educational history
4)political ideology


Protection of an informants identity

The investigator has a professional and ethical obligation to safeguard the identity if every informant.


Why are informants used

To provide information to law enforcement officials regarding possible violations


Informants are used:

Make observations or perform surveillance
Get info not readily available to investigators
Conduct controlled uc negotiations
Help establish PC for SW
Testify at legal proceedings
Gather intelligence


Control of informants

The investigator, not the informant always directs and controls the investigation. Use personal contact to contact informant, use telephone is needed. A second witness should be present at all meetings.


What does good rapport between agent and informant do

It greatly enhances the likelihood of accomplishing the mission.


Can you speculate what AUSA will say?

Never speculate what they may do in court. The only promise you can make is you will bring his cooperation to the attention of the AUSA.


Problems with criminal or criminal associate

1) criminal or associate informant is often difficult to control. Dependability and reliability are not usually characteristics of criminal element.
2) they sometimes embarrass the government. Usually happens when informant feels they are not appropriately compensated for his services.


Informants of opposite sex

Precautions should be taken when having meeting with opposite sex. The BEST WAY of protecting the controlling agent is to have another agent present at all meetings.


EPO # 3 Documenting informants and informant contacts

All of your informants and any contacts with them, should be documented in accordance with agency policy.


Informant files

Once an individual has been approved for use as an informant by your agency then typically the individual is assigned a number that will be used to identify him. This number will be used to document all contact with him. Information that's included is fingerprints, photographs, small copies of identifying documents.


What to include when meeting with the informants

Each contact with the informant should be documented with the date, time, place, witness present and a synopsis of the discussion. This documentation is the BEST way to demonstrate the informants reliability.


Who's responsibility is it to ensure all the information provided by informant is valid and corroborated?

The controlling agent


How does the courts and public view informants?

Untrustworthy. You must seek to corroborate all information provided by an informant, regardless of their past reliability.


Informant agreement

Each agency may require that your informant execute initial annual agreements, which are described as informant agreements. Usually outline what is expected of an informant. Payments informants receive is subject to federal or state tax withholding.


Debriefing informants

You should debrief informants often, in order to keep them in active status your agency will require that you meet with them or make regular contact with them. Face to face meetings are usually the best way to develop and maintain rapport with an informant.


Termination/deactivation of informants

Situations when terminated: if the informant knowingly produced false information or informant refuses to follow controlling agents instructions. Sometimes deactivate them bc their case is over. The informant should be personally told by the controlling agent, in the presence of a witnessing agent, that he is no longer an informant

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