I’m sure we’ve all heard of police informants. Average people who go under cover to bust drug lords and kingpins. They’re badass and know several different types of fighting styles, and of course always have their super secret bulletproof vest and perfect accuracy with weapons they’ve never used before.
They walk away from a building as it explodes and put on their shades, because cool people don’t look at explosions.
Oh wait, those are movies.
Most Confidential Informants, or C.I.s, are just your average drug user that got caught with an illegal substance or selling one. Helping the police bust other higher ups though, that gets your sentence lightened, if not wiped away completely.
But, that’s just for the hard drugs. Cocaine, meth, acid; the stuff that burns you out and ruins your life. And they would only send in adults. You can’t expect a teen caught with weed to do a kingpin drug bust, right?
According to “The Throwaways”, written by Sarah Stillman, wrong.
Kids. As young as thirteen. Are sent into dangerous situations over an ounce of pot. These kids with no priors are eager to help the police. They don’t want to go to juvi, or jail. They don’t want that hovering over them for the rest of their lives. So of course they help. They do what the police tell them to.
Go out, and ask this guy for an obscene amount of hard drugs. You’ll be wearing this wire. Here’s the cash so he wont be suspicious. No you can’t wear a bulletproof vest, he’ll see it. You’ll be fine. We’ll be watching you from our cars. Don’t worry about it kid.
No so much. There are no records of C.I.s to keep their identity and affiliation with the police secret. They have no protection. They are just people the department throws away.
No doubt, quite a lot of C.I.s get some good drug busts, but most get plea bargains, or are let out soon after. Where does that leave the C.I.?
The police don’t seem to care though. They say these people let go are small fries. They couldn’t do any damage. You’re totally safe.
Except for Jeremy McLean, who helped in the arrest of heroin trafficker William Vance Reagan that was released, and called the house, telling Jeremy to watch his back because he was out of jail.
The police department did nothing about this, even though several heard Reagan was hunting for Jeremy, trying to kill him.
They would only say it was all hearsay, and that Reagan was just a drug trafficker. He wouldn’t kill someone.
So Jeremy holed up in his house, afraid to even have his windows exposed. It only took one trip through a snowstorm to get milk for Reagan to bring him to a mobile home and shoot him three times in the back of the head, and once more in the face.
It was too late for the police to help twenty-three-year-old Rachel Hoffman, who was going to bust a guy over pills and a gun, only to have the guy try to pull a con, find the wire, shoot her up and dump her body in a ditch.
There was no help for LeBron Gaither, who was eighteen when the police had him publicly stand trial against someone he had busted, and the very next day sent out to pull another. He was tortured, beaten with a bat, shot with a pistol and shotgun, run over by a car and dragged by chain through the woods.
There is no mercy for these kids, who have been tossed aside as expendable. And not even over kingpins and drug lords. Over dealers and small-time sellers. Over eight pain killers or an ounce of weed.