Breaking news: secret federal drug investigations routed to police nationwide with instructions to withhold information from defense lawyers, judges and prosecutors.
On Monday, August 5, 2013, Reuters reported that a secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administrative Unit has been funneling information from wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to law enforcement authorities across the nation in order to help them launch criminal investigations – but with instructions to conceal how the investigations truly began, from defense lawyers, prosecutors and judges.
The report states that federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to cover up where the information originated, which may directly impact a defendant’s constitutional right to a fair trial by also covering up potential sources of exculpatory information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses. In other words, the police are being told to create pretextual grounds for the stops, searches and seizures, which is particularly problematic, because pretextual motives in making such intrusions on privacy rights are not commonly deemed as grounds for suppression.
Even more disturbing is that these are “routine” criminal investigations that have nothing to do with national security, but are merely convenient ways to avoid constitutional scrutiny.