The Secret World Of Confidential Informants Confidential informants pose as criminals so they can provide information to the police or some government agency. They've helped crack some major cases. But they operate in a secret and largely unregulated world. And sometimes, things go terribly wrong.

Critics Blast Informant System Cloaked In Secrecy

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In Operation "Arctic Chill," federal agents arrested 31 people in Washington state — and seized these weapons. They announced the drug ring bust in July but didn't mention Ernesto Gamboa, a confidential informant who helped them get leads. Courtney Blethen/The Seattle Times hide caption

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Courtney Blethen/The Seattle Times

Retired Drug Informant Says He Was Burned

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