An Undocumented Informant Seeks Help

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Nancy Lopez, who in 2011 was covering stories for Mission Local, has produced an audio piece for Snap Judgement’s NPR on an undocumented informant seeking help.

The informant worked for 20 years for the DEA for a promise that she would get citizenship, putting her life in danger every time DEA agents would call her up looking to bust drug deals. Now, Norma, the informant, is talking to reporters to get her story out and have an immigration advocate help her.

LOPEZ: Just like that, she’s in Mexico. And Norma is afraid, fearing retribution from the old drug cartel.

NORMA: I couldn’t call anybody. A week later, I swam the river to get home to my family.

LOPEZ: Norma finds her way back to Dallas, but she knows she’s in trouble. So she goes to go see an advocate who can find her an immigration attorney willing to take on her case.

NORMA: Nothing I said to him he believed because I was nervous. I couldn’t sit still.

LOPEZ: The advocate had heard thousands of deportation stories, but he’d never heard one like Norma’s. And then she handed him business cards of the different agents she’d worked for. LISTEN TO THE WHOLE STORY HERE.

Filed under: Mobile, Today's Mission

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  1. John

    “Norma had been making the trip to Mexico twice a month smuggling 3 pounds of heroin across the border to California for the past three years. As she got more comfortable, the trips got shorter and the money got better. Norma even bought a house.”

    How was that ever going to end well?

    • One must keep in mind that she is what is referred to in the narcotics investigation business as a Criminal Informant who by nature or circumstance us a traitor to loyalty. A journalist wants her story which means she does not ask the kind of probing questions an experienced agent would at trying to get the truth. Bottom line: take the story for what it’s worth.. Very little.

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