(NEWSER) – If you've never heard of the SOD, that's understandable: It's the Special Operations Division, an arm of the DEA that was founded nearly two decades ago with an eye on Latin American cartels and designed to be secretive (so much so its exact Virginia location is under wraps). Why should it be on your radar? Because of this new report by Reuters, which is based on a review of documents. It finds that the division often provides tips used to nab suspected American criminals—then directs authorities to wipe the SOD's information from any subsequent case and instead "re-create the information" it provided, thereby masking the source of the tip from defendants and even prosecutors and judges. And that, Reuters explains, could violate a defendant's constitutional right to a fair trial, because it fouls up pretrial discovery rules.
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