The use of "confidential reliable informants" is a common practice in law enforcement.
They are a necessary evil.
Police nationwide rely on the evil to corral the evil. Without their assistance, many crimes from homicide to child molestation would go unsolved.
The same situation applies to drug dealers. The common every-day person, who is not involved in drug activity, would find it impossible to infiltrate the world of drugs.
If you don't walk, talk and look like a duck, you can't be mistaken for a duck.
Payson has a huge drug problem. Methamphetamine use is purported to have surpassed that of marijuana. Meth use leads to violent crimes and destroyed lives.
The officers of the Gila County Narcotics Task Force and Payson Police Department spend countless hours on investigative leads supplied not only by law-abiding citizens, but court-recognized reliable informants, as well.
The majority of the informants have walked the walk, and talked the talk. For a variety of reasons, they have jumped the fence to assist law enforcement in their battle. They're not perfect many have criminal histories. However, for the most part, their intentions are good and their information regarding drug activity is usually reliable.
This Wednesday, a reliable informant provided inaccurate information that led to a search warrant at the wrong house. The mistake is a drug agent's worst nightmare a fiasco that cannot be undone. Someone must be held accountable.
However, in Payson's war on drugs, with the use of these informants, more battles are won than lost.