Confidential informants are crucial to
many law enforcement investigations and are especially essential in the field
of narcotics investigations. Informants can provide specific information that
is simply not available from other sources. However, the informants are often
criminals themselves; if not properly managed, they can render a law
enforcement investigation useless, destroy an agency’s credibility, and even
endanger officers’ lives. To use confidential informants successfully, agencies
must develop formal and sound informant control procedures.
When working with informants, narcotics
investigators are constantly faced with ethical questions. Narcotics
investigations often use confidential informants to lead investigators to their
key targets; they are the insiders to the drug world and have the ability to go
places and speak with people inaccessible to the police. Informants work within
an illegal enterprise system and therefore are for the most part involved in
But the protection of a person who is
your confidential informant should never preclude the enforcement of a
Protection from Abuse Order from the Domestic Relations Court by any police
officer for the protection of the Victim against her Aggressor. Judges decide the law and the applications of
said law from their courtrooms following the Civil and Criminal Rules of
Procedure. The police’s job is to uphold
and enforce the laws in their state under any jurisdiction as long as there is
an active order in place.
Confidential sources frequently derive from the same criminal pool that
police work hard to arrest. These informants can range from petty thieves to
violent career offenders. More times than not, they supply police with
information merely in an attempt to “work off” their own criminal actions.
It can be an internal struggle for
police officers to know that they are helping known criminals to secure an
earlier release from jail or to avoid jail time altogether. Investigators must
weigh the benefit of the information informants provide against the crimes they
have committed. Because informants may attempt to continue to use and deal
drugs and commit other crimes in their neighborhoods while providing
intelligence to the police, investigators must make it clear that they will not
tolerate any further violations and that informants will be arrested if found
continuing to engage in illegal activities.
At times, drug investigators must work with and befriend drug users,
prostitutes, burglars, and con artists in order to reach the desired outcome—to
get the worst of the worst off the streets. Narcotics investigators have to
maintain a sort of temporary, fictitious friendship with informants knowing
that their only goal is to obtain valuable information. It can be easy for
officers to let that relationship slip to a personal level, but they must
refrain from doing so at all costs.
Such is my personal situation with this
issue: I obtained a divorce finally after four years of emotional, mental and
physical abuse at the hands of a chronic substance abuser/alcoholic with severe
untreated mental illnesses at the time I filed for divorce. I applied for a Temporary Protection Order
and received it on June 20, 2015.
On August 25, 2015, I was provided with
a permanent Protection from Abuse Order, with a designated third party to be
covered under this order, and it is effective until December 31, 2099.
My ex-husband is also a former inmate of
the Michigan Department of Corrections from 1989 to 1999 on a 9-20 years
sentence for armed robbery, burglary and grand theft auto, all in pursuit of mighty
dollar to purchase his drugs of choice – heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine and
marijuana – which he has been a medically documented chronic abuser of both
drugs and alcohol since 1984.
My ex-husband, Tim Biron, became a
confidential informant in September 2013 after stealing 100 of my prescription
for Lortabs and selling them to drug dealers at the Sky Inn Motel in Woodlawn,
AL in exchange for crack cocaine. I had filed a police report on the theft –
Case #2013-208143 and instead of Tim being arrested for illegal possession of a
controlled substance, theft of a controlled substance or distribution of a
controlled substance, Detective Pitts of the Birmingham Police Department told the
police officer who responded to my telephone call to “make this an domestic incident
report” instead of a report that a warrant could have been obtained against my
Over the years from 2010-2013, I had to
call the police on 15 separate occasions concerning my ex-husband. From
2013-2014, I called 26 more times and it is still continuing to this day. The latest has been illegal possession and
fraudulent of my credit card that he stole from my locked safe prior to our
separation in August 2014 and used in December 2014 and beyond.
My ex-husband stalked me during the
enforced separation for my divorce action and after the divorce was finalized
and a permanent Protection from Abuse Order was issued. He has continued to
harass, menace, assault and trespass against me since January 1, 2015 and so
far I cannot get justice.
The crux of the problem is that Tim will
violate the protection order in blatant ways and because of his past
relationship as a confidential informant for the BPD – it is an open secret in
my neighborhood among the drug community – the police will not arrest him for
violations of the PFA. The only time
that he has been arrested for violation of the PFA was on July 4, 2014 when he
trespassed on my property and I telephoned the police as he kept knocking on my
door and refusing to leave after several verbal attempts on my part to get him
to remove himself from my property.
What is actually astonishing to me is
that Tim has been on probation for Intentional Violation of the Protection
Order from the July 4 incident and was re-arrested in September
2014 but his probation was not violated. The court had ordered payment of
fines, court costs, etc., which he has not paid a dime of yet and was ordered
to take Domestic Violence classes and he has not attended even one class as of
had an incident on March 31, 2015, whereby Julie O’Connor at the VA Homeless
Veterans Clinic placed him three doors down in a facility for veterans that is
not part of the VA system in direct violation of the protection order.
Evidentiary documentation of Tim’s states that he knew he was in violation of
the order but he tried to “slip it under the wire” hoping I would not catch on
until a bed would open at the VA approved facility in Centerpoint.
What was even more amazing was that I
was informed that Tim was residing a couple of doors down from me by one of his
“ex drug dealers in my neighborhood”.
When I called the police to report the violation, the responding officer
informed me that the Judge could not tell Tim to stay out of Woodlawn which is
in direct violation of my PFA that states “Stay away from my home, work, and
any other specific place that I go to often (assuming the defendant has no good
reason to be there). I live in my own
residence in Woodlawn and have a home-based office in my residence and my
ex-husband has been homeless and on the streets since June 2014, due to his
drug and alcohol addictions. He has
absolutely no reason to be in Woodlawn at any time.
I called the Birmingham Municipal Court
and the City Probation Office to request that his probation be violated for repeated
threats against my safety and welfare and blatant, intentional violations of
the Protection from Abuse Order to no avail as of this date.
Tim has been residing outside of
Jefferson County since April 2015 and has not reported to his probation officer
and has not filed a Request to travel that was approved. So why is his
probation not being violated, particularly since his probationary status is
based on violation of my PFA?
I truly understand the need for
confidential informants and their use to narcotic divisions of any police
department and the assurance that informant identities must remain undisclosed
to protect them and to preserve the service they provide.
But this is not the case with my
ex-husband, who was actually the one who “blew” his own cover with his own
testimony. Granted personal experience
of repeatedly delving into the drug scene/trade within several communities in
Jefferson County, he would have extensive knowledge of who the drug dealers and
distributors are and where they reside, this should not allow him a “blank
check” to commit criminal activity and have the police refuse to arrest him.
when it comes to committing crimes under a Protection from Abuse Order and I cannot
get the very people who have sworn to:
- Competently RESOLVE all matters
- Consistently RESPOND to all citizens
- Compassionately REDUCE recidivism.
To prevent serious threat of harm to my
safety and welfare and for those residing in my household by a medically and psychiatrically
declared mentally unstable individual - suffering from Antisocial Personality
Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, severe social functioning Bi-Polar Disorder
and Impulse Control Disorder as well as chronic drug abuse and alcoholism – that
refuses, in his own words, to “have a judge or the government tell him what he
can do or cannot do”.
The questions that need to be answered
in this situation is: Should any confidential informant be allowed to remain
outside the law for normal citizens for criminal and/or civil rules of
procedure for arrests and pre-trial sentencing for information that he or she
might be able to provide the police? And “Should a Protection from Abuse Order
not be enforced or upheld by the police and the courts because of the Defendant
being a confidential informant?