The brouhaha over the exposure of what may be unconstitutional, or even illegal, information gathering activities of a classified DEA unit, known as Special Operations Division, may reach farther than anticipated by whomever exposed its covert operations. Prior convictions may be in jeopardy, if it can be established that the DEA lied about the source of intelligence used to effectuate arrests.
The dubious practice of what is referred to as "parallel construction," or hiding illegal surveillance or intel gathering through a ficticious source of information, and concealing it from the courts, prosecutors, and even other law enforcement agencies, will come back to bite those who chose to engage in it.
The issue is whether the illegal program rose to the level where a court will throw out prior convictions, due to the fact that defendants were illegally denied access to the true sources of incriminating information. I am sure that Viktor Bout's attorneys, among others, are looking at new avenues tonight, new opportunities to set aside their clients' convictions. Bout, not being a US citizen, he is not entitled to the same constitutional protections as Americans, but I am sure some lawyer will find a hole somewhere, and drive a legal truck through it.
I wonder where the DEA staff attorneys were when this program was vetted ?
|SOD SOP: don't identify us as source of intel|