he Drug Enforcement Administration’s use of confidential informants was heavily criticized Tuesday in an inspector general’s report that found a lack of oversight over recruitment and failure to properly regulate illegal activities by its sources.
The report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz found that confidential sources were permitted to engage in some illegal activities, such as selling drugs, without a clear understanding from the DEA of what they were permitted to do. That lack of communication, it warned, “could create unforeseen consequences.”
The Justice Department said in a statement that it had ordered a comprehensive review of the DEA’s confidential source policies in December.
“The review will address and revise policies related to high-level, privileged and media-related confidential sources and put in place more stringent requirements to better assess and mitigate risk when approving" illegal activity, said Patrick Rodenbush, a Justice Department spokesman.
The negative report comes as the DEA has been under fire from Congress and the Justice Department. Deputy Atty. Gen. Sally Yates, who was said to be unhappy with former DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart’s management practices, helped to oust her in April. Chuck Rosenberg, a top FBI official, was put in charge in an effort to bring about reform.