Coyne on Report FBI informants allowed to commit crimes

(NECN: Kristen Caira, Boston) – A new report, released by USA Today, sheds light on the criminal freedom the FBI allows its informants.

According to the report, FBI informants were allowed to commit more than 5,600 crimes in 2011 alone.

The data is part of nearly a decade’s worth of information on informants’ criminal activity. The FBI was ordered by the Justice Department to collect that information due in part to James ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s status as an informant and the role that has played in his trial.

“I think it would surprise most people that the government allows criminals, and is in bed with criminals to the point where they’re committing nearly 500 crimes a month,” said NECN legal analyst Michael Coyne. “This, in fact, has been Mr. Bulger’s defense throughout much of his trial – is that what he did was authorized by the FBI agents at the time.”

The FBI wouldn’t take direct questions on the report, but said that the circumstances in which informants were allowed to break the law were “situational and tightly controlled.”

According to the report, the crimes included robberies and even bribery of government officials.

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