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While his current role with the DEA is unclear, legal professionals have expressed concerns beyond Chambers' record of perjury.

An unnamed former federal agent who received tips from the SOD gave an example of how the process worked: "You'd be told only, 'Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.' And so we'd alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it," the agent said.

If an arrest was made, agents were instructed to hide the fact that the initial tip had come from SOD, and instead use "normal investigative techniques to recreate the information." This process is sometimes used to hide case details from prosecutors and judges, as well as defense attorneys.

Informants can make tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars helping the government prosecute and convict drug dealers, with payment often contingent on how much money is seized in an eventual bust. once made a name for himself as "the highest-paid snitch in DEA history," with a 16-year career as a federal informant between 19, during which time he reportedly netted as much as million in government money, nearly half of it from the DEA.

A report earlier this year in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette found that Chambers was only one of the agency's million-dollar informants.

In one case, in which this arrangement wasn't initially revealed to defense attorneys, a sub-informant made a number of calls to a defendant who would later be facing charges for trafficking methamphetamines.The calls weren't recorded, however, which opened up the possibility that the alleged meth trafficker had actually been pressured to go through with the deal that led to his arrest.Confidential informants -- sometimes referred to as "snitches" -- are crucial assets in the DEA's war on drugs.In 2005, the agency told the Justice Department it has around 4,000 of these sources actively working for it at any given time.