A murderer’s attempt to buy off a Las Vegas judge fell apart after ensnaring several people, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Police handling of an informant in a failed investigation of the plot is under scrutiny. The story involves a former Las Vegas police officer convicted of murder, a jailhouse informant with a slew of felony cases, a jail worker who got too friendly with the killer cop, and a prosecutor, formerly an FBI agent, who also became close with the murderer.
Three days after an inmate got a loan in 2006, he saw seven cases against him suddenly disappear, courtesy of a deal with state prosecutors and against the urging of probation officials. In the end, the bribery plot was never realized. The story involves Las Vegas police guidelines that prohibit criminal informants from breaking the law in the course of helping police. The policy differs from that of the FBI, an agency that allows informants some leeway to commit certain crimes. The local police department policy is unrealistic, says Alexandra Natapoff, an associate law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. “The practice of using informants inherently tolerates the committing of crimes.”