This week the Scene detailed the Metro Police Department's use of confidential informants to meet with prostitutes and document illegal activity ("Private Dicks," Jan. 13). In most cases, a CI equipped with a hidden recording device flirts with the suspected prostitute and waits until she offers sex in exchange for cash. Then he'll concoct an excuse to leave because he's accumulated all the evidence he needs.
In several cases, however, the confidential informants have engaged in a series of sexual acts with the prostitute just minutes after meeting with a Metro police officer. Several police experts contacted by the Scene say that it's ill advised to allow confidential informants to break the law in such an egregious manner. After all, confidential informants are acting as agents of the police.
Click here to download a September 2004 transcript of an audio and video recording between a confidential informant and a suspected prostitute at the Executive Club 701, an adult business located on the fringe of downtown. As the document makes clear, while the confidential informant uncovers incriminating evidence almost immediately, he proceeds to engage in a spirited sexual encounter with the woman. The Scene faxed this transcript to police expert Charles Key, a former operations commander with the Baltimore Police Department, who described this practice as "out of control."