Saturday, February 1, 2014
Mark 'Meezilini' Miles / Ivancie 'Ivy' Harris / Prostitution, Murder and a FBI Informant (Part 2)
Informant development by FBI Agents has always been an important part of the job. In my time, part of your performance rating was based on how successfully you acquired ‘informants.’ This was both more difficult than you might think, and easier than you might think. Easier than you might think because an Agent could open a case on almost anyone as a Potential Criminal Informant or PCI. The process involved an Agent developing background on an individual over a period of weeks or months, and then, usually, closing the case citing the PCI’s inability to furnish information of value. Where does a FBI Agent find PCIs? Almost anywhere. The supervisory pressure often made the Agent very creative in developing ‘potentials.’ It might be someone simply living in a bad section of town, or in a commune, or a college student who attended some rally. I even knew of a First Office Agent who opened a case on a person buried in a local cemetery. He did it as a joke – more or less. The Agent did a background on the name, and then reported a few weeks later that the person had suddenly died. As far as the clueless supervisor knew, said Agent was at least trying.
An actual CI or Criminal Informant was decidedly more difficult to develop. In that situation, the ‘source,’ who theoretically started as a PCI, had to furnish information of value in at least two criminal cases. As you might imagine, the cemetery was not going to help you out in that regard.
I developed a CI in my first office, which was rare for a First Office Agent. I would gas-up my Bureau car at the end of the day – and almost always stopped at the same gas station. The station owner was a nice guy and had free peanuts in a large jar for customers who were interested. I would buy a Coke, eat some peanuts and chat with the owner when he wasn’t pumping gas. One time, he told me about a guy who stopped for gas the previous day. The owner was certain that the guy's Cadillac was stolen, so he had jotted down the vehicle plate number. I ran it for him and sure enough the car had been stolen. As we were talking, the owner said, “And, I’ll be damned. There he is now.” I went out and got in my car, followed the suspect’s car out of the station and called for backup. The suspect was stopped. The car was stolen in a burglary of a car dealership. And, the suspect had a loaded gun under the front seat. The local PD took him away.
Bingo! I went back to the office. I opened a PCI case on the station owner. The next day I reported the station owner had assisted me in solving three crimes: auto theft, burglary, and a felon in possession of a gun. Instantly, I had a CI, plus a pat on the back.
Next, I’d like to give you my impressions of the modern day FBI and their informant development tactics – as those tactics might apply to Mr. Meezilini.
To be continued…