$9 Million Informant Payment Explained

Carlos Sagustume, the Guatemalan ex-soldier and drug dealer who became a DEA informant, has been paid $9 million for his work by the U.S. Government.

The Associated Press explains the payments, $7 million of which came from the State Department's Narcotic Rewards program.

Sagustume, who was the prime informant in the Viktor Bout case, also reeled in Monzer al Kassar, whose 30 year sentence was upheld by the Second Circuit in September. Viktor Bout's lawyer questioned Sagustume about his role in the case. The New Yorker had this long and fascinating article on the elaborate sting and DEA's Special Operations Division (SOD.)

Sagustume said he has only been paid $250,000 so far for Viktor Bout, but he's hoping for more, likely in my view for a cut of any forfeiture proceeds. [More...]

So far, for his work with Bout, he had received $250,000 from the Drug Enforcement Administration, he said. [Defense attorney] Dayan suggested he was in for much more if Bout was found guilty. “You have a financial stake in the outcome,” Dayan said. “I hope they will pay, but whether they pay, I do not know,” Sagastume said.

Here's the current crop of wanted targets for whom rewards are being offered. The page also lists the captured and killed targets.

The rewards program has been revamped during the Obama Administration as part of his Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime:

A new rewards program will supplement the success of existing narcotics rewards programs in obtaining information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the leaders of transnational criminal organizations that pose the greatest threats to national security.

The policy (full version here) is being implemented by "The Interagency Policy Committee on Illicit Drugs and Transnational Criminal Threats, led by the National Security Staff and the Office of National Drug Control Policy."

For more on DEA's increasingly global reach and extra-territorial authority, read the 2010 Congressional Testimony of Anthony P. Placido, DEA's Assistant Administrator for Intelligence.

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  • I wonder (none / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 04:00:24 PM EST
    if IP addresses of visitors to that 'current crop of wanted targets' page at State.gov are tracked? By anyone...