A DEA sex scandal was not a sufficient reason to dismiss a St. Louis drug case, a federal judge ruled.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Shirley Padmore Mensah rejected defense lawyers’ claims on Jn. 12 that a deadly drug conspiracy case was compromised by an undisclosed affair between a DEA supervisor and a confidential informer, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports .
Lawyers for four people accused of a deadly drug conspiracy “failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that any government agent or any informant acting as a government agent deliberately or recklessly included a false statement” in an affidavit that resulted in permission to wiretap the suspects.
The wiretaps led to drug-related charges against Dionne L. Gatling, Andre Alphonso Rush, Timothy Lamont Rush and Lorenzo Gibbs. Further evidence was collected that prosecutors said showed Gatling and Rush were involved in the murder of two men whom the suspects believe were feeding information to police.
DEA supervisor Keith Cromer denied having a sexual affair with the informer, but admitted the relationship “became personal in violation of DEA policy but denied that it was ever sexual,” Mensah’s ruling says.
The judge didn’t buy Mensah’s claims that the affair wasn’t sexual, citing “intimate photographs,” trips the pair took and court testimony.
The DEA forbids its investigators from being alone with an informant or having a relationship closer than “arm’s length.”
Cromer has since been suspended without pay.
The judge said the the alleged misconduct between the DEA supervisor and the informant had no impact on this case.