Informants, Cooperating Witnesses, and Undercover Investigations : A Practical Guide to Law, Policy, and Procedure, Second Edition book cover
2nd Edition

Informants, Cooperating Witnesses, and Undercover Investigations
A Practical Guide to Law, Policy, and Procedure, Second Edition

ISBN 9780367778293
Published March 31, 2021 by CRC Press
556 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
SAVE $17.99
was $89.95
USD $71.96

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The use of informants has been described as the "black hole of law enforcement." Failures in the training of police officers and federal agents in the recruitment and operation of informants has undermined costly long-term investigations, destroyed the careers of prosecutors and law enforcement officers, and caused death and serious injuries to innocent citizens and police. In many cases, the events leading to disaster could have been avoided had the law enforcement agency followed the time-tested procedures examined in this book.

Informants, Cooperating Witnesses, and Undercover Investigations: A Practical Guide to Law, Policy, and Procedure, Second Edition covers every aspect of the informant and cooperating witness dynamic—a technique often shrouded in secrecy and widely misunderstood. Quoted routinely in countless newspaper and magazine articles, the first edition of this book was the go-to guide for practical, effective guidance on this controversial yet powerful investigative tool. Extensively updated, topics in this second edition include:

  • Sweeping changes in the FBI and ICE informant and undercover programs

  • New informant recruiting techniques

  • Reverse sting operations

  • Entrapment issues

  • Examination of recent high-profile cases where the misuse of informants resulted in lawsuits and legislation

  • The changing nature of compensation and cooperation agreements

  • Forfeiture, informants, and rewards

  • The management of controlled undercover purchases of evidence

  • Challenges posed by fabricated information, phantom informants and police corruption

  • Witness security measures

  • New whistleblower reward programs

Authoritative, scholarly, and based on boots-on-the-ground experience, this book is written by an author who has been a police supervisor, an informant recruiter and handler, an undercover agent, and an attorney. Supported by statutes, case law, and previously unpublished excerpts from law enforcement agency manuals, it is essential reading for every police officer, police manager, prosecutor, police academy trainer, criminal justice professor, and defense attorney.

This book is part of the Practical Aspects of Criminal and Forensic Investigations series.

Table of Contents

Historical Background. Informants, Cooperating Witnesses, and Sources. Defined. Motivations for Cooperation. Recruiting Informants. Plea-Bargaining, Substantial Assistance, and. Downward Sentencing Departures. Documentation, Registration, and the. Confidential Source File. Sources of Compensation for Informants. Whistleblowers: The Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. Corroboration of Informant Information. Informants and Search Warrants. Controlled Purchases of Evidence by Informants. Undercover Investigations: Reversals and Sting Operations. Controlling Informants and Institutional Ethics. Witness Security Program: Falling off the Face of the Earth. Index.

View More



Attorney Dennis G. Fitzgerald is a retired U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent, and a former City of Miami, Florida, Police vice and narcotics sergeant and police training instructor. During his law enforcement career, he recruited and operated criminal informants and cooperating witnesses. He also supervised investigators under his command in their operation of informants. He is currently a trial consultant specializing in criminal cases that have relied on informants and cooperating witnesses and is also an international criminal law advisor.