A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) supervisor accused of having sex with a paid informant denied the claim Friday.
“There’s no salacious activity going on,” former DEA Atlanta office supervisor Keith Cromer said in U.S. Magistrate Judge Shirley Padmore Mensah’s St. Louis federal court. Cromer claimed that he developed a personal – but not a sexual – relationship with a paid informant after leukemia killed his son in 2011 according to the St Louis Post-Dispatch.
Cromer invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination twice during the “Franks hearing.” The purpose of such a hearing is to establish if law enforcement used improper means when investigating a case which has led to charges. The former supervisor for the DEA’s Atlanta office may have invoked his Fifth Amendment right because a DEA informant testified Monday that she had in fact engaged in a sexual relationship with him.
Things began to unravel for Cromer when he was accused of improper behavior in May 2014, which subsequently led to revocation of his security clearance in June 2015. Cromer is under criminal investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the DEA has also launched their own internal investigation looking into his conduct.
“In hiding, I chose the wrong person,” Cromer said of confiding in the paid informant. Cromer admitted that he had been to the dinner with her and gone on vacation twice together. Despite enjoying a vacation together, Cromer asserted in court that he and his paid informant stayed in separate bedrooms throughout the trip. The DEA agent claims that the organization’s employee assistance program did not work for him in the wake of losing his son.
The informant at the heart of the investigation against Cromer was paid a total of $212,000 for information that allegedly assisted the DEA with several cases. In the particular case that is on trial in St. Louis concerns a drug trafficking ring made up of four men, two of them are also accused of murder.
Defense attorneys for the four men are hopeful that revelations of Cromer and his paid informants misconduct could lead to the case being thrown out of court since leads and evidence in the case may have been illegally acquired.
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