There is a problem with the Atlanta office of the DEA and its dealings with the infamous Black Mafia Family. The criminal organization was taken down over the past two years and members of law enforcement have been implicated in aiding a criminal enterprise that included distribution of cocaine, meth, marijuana and murder. A recent trial in St. Louis has now implicated an official with the DEA in Atlanta and its payments to a female confidential informant.
Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and claims that a supervisor in the Atlanta DEA, Keith Cromer, had a sexual relationship with a DEA confidential informant and arranged for the woman to receive at least $212K in payments.
According to a letter written by Grassley to the acting DEA Administrator, Cromer “engaged in a sexual relationship with two confidential sources, and paid one of the sources a total of $212,000, despite never entering a written agreement with the source. That source started receiving payments in 2011, including bonuses of $55,000 and $80,750, and monthly payments of $2,500 but claims that she does not know why she received the bonus payments. The monthly payments covered the source’s approximate rent costs for her new apartment located closer to the DEA supervisor’s home. Reportedly, the supervisor forced his subordinates to falsify DEA reports to validate the payments, even when the source did not provide new information.”
The Atlanta DEA office has been conducting an internal investigation of the allegations in the midst of a drug trial of four defendants in St. Louis who are challenging evidence given by the informant in their case. The defendants are allegedly connected to the notorious Black Mafia Family drug ring. They claim that they worked with the informant several years ago but not in recent times. However, the woman gave the DEA information that allowed wiretaps and surveillance warrants to be obtained, which led to their arrests. The men claim that there is no way the woman knew of any recent activities that were used as part of their arrest and trial. The DEA supervisor denies that he had a sexual relationship with the woman but has allegedly stated that he did have a personal relationship with the informant. Cromer claims that he turned to the woman referred to in court documents as CS1 after his son died from leukemia and therapy with the Employee Assistance Program at the DEA did not help his grief. Cromer stated that the pair “had been to dinner, were in the same theater to see a Three Stooges movie and had been on two vacations, but stayed in separate rooms and were never intimate.”
Cromer has asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during the trial of the four men accused. At issue now is whether the trial can go forward based on the information that was obtained by the DEA from CS1.