According to allegations in the criminal complaint, Mora received bribe payments from members of a drug trafficking organization to provide sensitive and confidential information from government records. It is alleged before the drug trafficking organization considered hiring drivers for their tractor-trailers to transport its drug loads, it would provide personal information - full name, commercial driver's license number and date of birth - to Mora, who in turn would obtained confidential and sensitive information from government sources about whether the prospective driver was on probation or supervised release or had any outstanding arrest warrants. If Mora reported no such warrants or supervision, the drivers would be hired. On the other hand, the complaint alleges that on at least two occasions in May and June 2009, Mora allegedly advised the drug organization not to hire three drivers telling a member of the drug trafficking organization that two of the drivers were undercover agents and the third was one of his own supervisees and and an FBI informant. In June 2009, Mora is alleged to have received $5,000 from a member of the drug trafficking organization for providing the confidential information regarding the third driver.Obviously ratting out undercover officers puts federal agents at risk. I also have a big problem with using probationers as drug informants, for reasons identified earlier this year by Bobby Frederick at the South Carolina Criminal Defense Blog:
If a person is trying to get clean or stay clean, they cannot repeatedly go into houses and make drug deals - sooner or later they will use and their recovery will be blown to bits. Many narcotics officers do not care if you stay clean or not - you are a tool that they use to do their job for them. Many narcotics officers do not care that you are placing yourself in danger - again, you are a tool that they require to make drug arrests. Rachel Hoffman's death in Florida, although tragic, was representative of the ethics problems that narcotics officers often ignore in their work and thankfully brought national attention to the problem.There is a fundamental contradiction between policy goals when a probationer is used as a drug informant. Putting someone on probation instead of sending them to prison implies both that the court viewed them as not dangerous enough to require incarceration and also that they're capable of possible rehabilitation. But if that person is sent back over and over into drug environments by the state, it's nigh on impossible to make the kind of clean break from reoffending and drug use that rehabilitation requires.
In this particular case, what kind of message does it send to learn that the FBI and federal probation officers knowingly encouraged an offender under federal supervision to apply for a job as a driver making drug shipments?
In the bigger public-policy picture, this example shows why anti-corruption efforts deserve greater priority in the enforcement battle against multinational drug cartels: One corrupt official can easily thwart the work of many, many others in the system, and too often that's exactly what happens. Americans tend to think of public corruption as more typically a Mexican problem, but we've seen far too many examples of corruption on the US-side of the border to take much comfort in such stereotypes.