by William Skink
I’ve been interested in how local law enforcement might be using CIs (confidential informants) for nearly a year now. Some of that interest relates to the Federal initiative Project Safe Neighborhoods, which I wrote most recently about in August.
Though my attempts to get information about statistical reporting have not been fruitful, some news that hit over the weekend about a big meth bust provides an interesting window into the end result of coordination between different levels of law enforcement.
When I say coordination, here is a list from NBC Montana’s reporting that explicitly outlines what I’m talking about:
This investigation was conducted by the FBI Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force (MRVCTF), with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Agency and Missoula High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force. The FBI MRVCTF consists of agents from the FBI and investigators with the Missoula Police Department, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, the Kalispell Police Department, Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office, and Montana Probation and Parole.
In the Missoulian’s reporting, it’s made clear how and when local authorities became aware of this meth trafficking ring. From the link:
Law enforcement became aware of the alleged network in Missoula in March through a confidential source, according to charging documents. That source met Kavis roughly five months earlier, and told the FBI he had purchased about a pound of meth from Kavis over that period. Separately, another confidential source in June described Kavis to law enforcement as his meth supplier in Missoula, according to court filings. That source told law enforcement Kavis received large quantities of meth from California and then distributes it to Missoula, Kalispell and Great Falls.
From December 2019 through February 2020, the Missoula Police Department’s street crimes unit began gathering information on Mace, who at the time was known to be a large-level meth and heroin dealer in the Missoula area, according to court records.
I’m going to leave it there, for now.