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Gonzalez: The judge threw it out. I don’t know if they’ve appealed, but I don’t think they had a chance. I mean, these federal judges, they’re not really independent. They like to say they are, and I guess maybe some of them are, but most of them will rule in favor of the government every time.
reason: The Department of Homeland Security is now trying to deport Lalo back to Mexico, where he’ll almost certainly be murdered. Two questions. First, what is their stated reason for deporting him? And the more obvious question—do you think they’re trying to deport him because he’s likely to be killed?
Gonzalez: There’s no doubt in my mind that they’re trying to deport him because they know he’ll be killed. It gets rid of the main witness against the government should someone ever look into this.
I don’t know the stated or official reason they’re trying to deport him. I would guess that it’s because he’s an illegal alien, or something like that.
I mean, they want him dead. There’s no question about it.
reason: He has asked that if he is deported, it be to someplace other than Mexico. The government is arguing against that, too.
Gonzalez: I wasn’t aware of that, but it wouldn’t surprise me. All I know is that they are trying to get rid of him so he can get killed. Once he’s out of the picture, there’s no way this case can be revived, because all the other witnesses are government agents.
reason: Tell me about the Joint Assessment Team Report.
Gonzalez: The Joint Assessment Team was two guys from Customs, two guys from ICE, and two guys from DEA who were to go in and interview everybody and then hopefully come to a conclusion about what happened. They did that. They interviewed over 40 people, including me, and issued a classified report. But when I asked for a copy during discovery, they would only release the portion that was their interview with me. They said the rest of the report was “national security.”
So I was the agent in charge of that whole area, and they never showed me the results of the report. The only thing I can conclude from that is that what they found out was not pretty, and they weren’t about to tell me that I was right. They also never showed it to the regional DEA director in Mexico City, who had also signed on to my letter. Odd that neither he nor I received a copy of the report, isn’t it?
reason: You’ve had a long career at the DEA and you’ve seen two pretty serious abuses of power in that time. In both the House of Death and the Miami cases, you took more punishment for blowing the whistle than the people actually involved in the corruption.
Gonzalez: There’s no question.
reason: How widespread do you think these abuses of the informant system are in federal law enforcement?
Gonzalez: Well, I’m not sure that there is an “informant system.” I think every agency has its own rules and regulations regarding informants. It all has to do with individuals and how they handle their informants, but in general I think there is a tendency throughout the government to cover up misconduct, whether it’s informant-related or otherwise. At least in the law enforcement agencies.
reason: You said at a conference earlier this year that while corruption is a problem, the bigger problem is that federal prosecutors don’t hold corrupt agents accountable. Is that an accurate assessment of your opinion?