New York Informant Caught Planting Crack Before Arrest Of Businessman

FirefoxScreenSnapz073There has long been a controversy over the use of snitches and informants by police who are willing to say or do anything to avoid jail time for their own crimes or simply make some money framing another person. Many cases are built virtually entirely on such testimony of jailhouse confessions or stings using such unreliable individuals. To see just how easy it is to frame someone, look at the video below where an informant is caught planting drugs at a “smoke shop” to allow for the arrest of its owner, Donald Andrews Jr.

21945223_BG1Police often target such shops selling merchandize that can be used for either legal or illegal uses. The arrest of Andrews (shown right in his mugshot) was treated as just another story by the local media until Andrews’ lawyer reviewed the security tapes at the business.

The video appears to show the informant planting the baggie of crack on the counter. It was enough to secure a seven year sentence for Andrews. The fact that it was placed so obviously would seem to indicate that the informant expected the police to be right behind him.

After the truth was revealed on the tape, the informant fled and remains on the run.

Of course, the sheriff blames the informant and not his officers in using such a person in these operations. Why use some low-life rather than an undercover officer?

What is missing is a video of the arrest or an idea of how fast the police entered the business after the informant’s departure. We also do not know if the officers gave him the drugs to use or what he was being offered in return for the sting operation. What is clear is that this informant was acting as an agent for these officers and ultimately for the police department.

Those details will likely come through a wrongful arrest lawsuit, hopefully.

Yet, the police (which is refusing to make a statement) have an obligation to explain themselves. Are the officers suspended pending investigation? Apparently not since the Sheriff has told media on the side that it was the informant’s fault alone. How can you reach that conclusion and not share more information with the public?

I also cannot find a story giving the name and picture of the informant and a warrant out for his arrest. I would think that such a warrant would be issued on the basis of this video alone.

Source:WNYT

34 thoughts on “New York Informant Caught Planting Crack Before Arrest Of Businessman”

  1. It’s obvious that NOW – even the resident NPR “liberals” are starting to see
    the light – that some of us have been shining for years.

    Better LATE than never.

  2. Indy, Police seizures is a whole other topic of discussion on abuse.

  3. So if the CI plants drugs in a house or a car and that property is then seized it’s a win- win, an arrest and the police seizure.

  4. Gene, We are in agreement on the War on Drugs scourge, we’ve discussed this previously. And, I agree, the War on Drugs has produced the most unrighteous use of CI’s. Pop someone dead bang w/ crack, then offer them a deal or a simple walk if they get you two or three arrests as a CI. Well, as I write I may have to rethink that. The righteously motived neutering of the Mafia had more blatant use of murdering sociopaths as CI’s, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano being the best example. The War on Drugs has produced a higher VOLUME of corrupt use of CI’s. However, justateacher will vehemently disagree w/ you regarding the use of CI’s in civil cases. She has slapped my hand w/ a ruler like the nuns would, telling me I’m a sinner for doing that!

  5. This is par for the course in Schenectady. Searching police abuse and the city brings up quite a long trend of corruption and mistrust.

  6. lujlp:

    How is it the lawyer didnt review the vids until AFTER the conviction?

    A good question. Withheld from the defense by prosecutors?

  7. nick,

    CI’s do have inherent problems – often concerning conflicts of interest – but usually those problems are context driven. In the context of criminal law and specifically the “War of Drugs”, the systemic pressure to produce so called results combined with what is usually a Sword of Damocles hanging over the CI’s head is much more likely to produce this kind of bad result than a civil case or journalism.

  8. Confidential informants are key to any investigation, be it criminal, civil, or journalism. You can’t just lump the legit and righteous use of CI’s w/ this abomination. But, that is what too often happens here on many topics.

  9. Rosienalbany,

    Thank you for those links it helped clarify the situation in that part of the State.
    This case illustrates yet another casualty of the ridiculous “War on Drugs” that focuses police on the wrong crimes, using the wrong methodology. As a boy I was taught in school about the terrible oppression in the Soviet Union and the lack of freedom in selected “dictatorships” everywhere. Those horror stories of abuse of citizens have now become commonplace in our country fueled by the “War on Drugs” and by the “Patriot Act”. When will they start asking us to carry internal passports in order to restrict our in country travel?

  10. I will bet the cops are the ones who gave the informant the crack to plant. THAT is why the informant is on the run because if the cops see him, he will be shot on sight. They will have to kill him to cover-up what they did. So this guy will never be caught, and if he is he will be shot while “escaping”

    I recall what happened to Frank Serpico who turned in virtually the entire vice squad of the NYPD. The NYPD officers put out a contract on his life and he had to flee the USA.

  11. I remember the story which was in neighboring Schenectady. This is the link to the original story and then a follow up story in the Times Union about how police will shop around for search warrants.

    http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/Smoke-shop-owner-charged-with-selling-cocaine-4427808.php

    http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/Search-warrants-Shopped-signed-and-sealed-4508559.php#page-2

    Hey, this is the way it works: Police are always protected and the public is always guilty.

  12. It is a terribly serious thing, taking away another person’s freedom, and any police officer who knowingly participated in this should not only be off the force; morally speaking, they should be in jail. (I’m not sure if this would be legally called for, but it sure is morally.)

  13. Hey, maybe the Word Press artificial-intelligence crew has a better supervisor now.

    It took my comment out of “Your comment is awaiting moderation” mode.

    The cop frame crew in JT’s post today also needs a supervisor … hopefully not one of artificial-intelligence like the police chief..

  14. Word Press censors must have stayed out late last night drinking bad source code. They can’t detect a joke when they read one.

  15. “Heaven is where the police are British, the chefs Italian, the mechanics German, the lovers French, and it’s all organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the chefs British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss, and it’s all organized by the Italians.”

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