DEA hiding evidence: How it Affects the Case for Defense Lawyers

Rhys Cartwright-JonesRecently I came across this article, which discusses the practice of “Parallel Construction,” which is when a person of group creates an alternate investigative path to cover how a case initially came to be. This is a practice that has never been truly tried in court.  However, recently it has become more of a questioned issue, since Reuters this week reported that agents are told not disclose any case information received from the the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA.  Instead, agents are instructed to recreate the information to appear similar, but by other means.

The specific unit of the DEA that is posing an issue is the Special Operations Division, or the SOD.  This division acquires information via intercepts, wiretaps, phone records and other various means.  Agents interviewed have disclosed the use of parallel construction in their cases, for example, staging what appeared to be a routine traffic stop and discovering reasons for suspicion, when in actuality, the stop was due to an informative tip from the SOD. [Read more…]