The reliability of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) confidential source, Roberto Quintero, came under intense scrutiny during the trial of former Premier Andrew Fahie.
Probing questions were posed to DEA Special Agent Brian Witek during a cross-examination from Fahie’s attorney, Theresa Van Vliet, regarding an affidavit presented to a judge in support of arrest warrants issued for Fahie, Oleanvine Maynard and Kadeem Maynard.
The focus of the questioning revolved around the absence of any discussion on the reliability of Quintero in the affidavit. In response to Van Vliet’s inquiries, Witek admitted that the affidavit did not delve into the reliability of the confidential source, raising concerns about the veracity of the information provided by Quintero.
Van Vliet went on to assert that Witek became aware in 2018 that a foreign judge had deemed the DEA’s confidential source lacking credibility. Witek confirmed this awareness but clarified that the DEA was unaware of the details as the incident had occurred in Mexico.
During the cross-examination, Witek defended Mr. Quintero’s credibility, stating that he had “never had any issues” with the confidential source. However, the defence continued to press on the matter, emphasizing the alleged lack of credibility flagged by a Mexican judge.
In a surprising revelation during the redirect examination by prosecutor Kevin Gerard, Witek disclosed that he became aware of the Mexican judge’s finding about Quintero in approximately 2018. He further added that the prior case leading to this finding had occurred many years ago.
Witek clarified that, in a subsequent court ruling, it was determined that Quintero had been exonerated, potentially mitigating concerns about his credibility. Despite the acknowledgement of the Mexican judge’s initial finding, Witek sought to reassure the court that the DEA had confidence in their confidential source.
The DEA agent also highlighted the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency’s (NCA) role in the case against Mr. Fahie, stating that the NCA played “more of a partnership role,” while the DEA led the investigation and made key decisions. Witek asserted that he had utilized Mr. Quintero as a source in several international cases in the past.