North Dakota college student Andrew Sadek, 20, was arrested in April 2013 after selling weed to a confidential informant that was working for the Southeast Multi-County Agency Drug Task Force. According to High Times, Sadek sold an eighth of an ounce for $60 on April 4, and a gram for $20 on April 9. After the sales were reported back to the SEMCA, Sadek’s dorm room was raided and a small container that had some remnants of weed residue was discovered. The college student admitted that the container was his and was asked to report to the Law Enforcement Center the next Day. What happened after that is now bringing the police under fire for the way they handle young, low-level drug dealers, when they make the decision to put them out in the field as confidential informants.
Sadek was informed by the police that because his sales occurred inside a school zone, each sale was considered a Class-A felony, and he was looking at a possible 20-year prison sentence. Scared by the possibility prison, Andrew was given a way out by the officers. All he had to do was become an informant for them and he would not have to serve any prison time. Between November 2013 and January 2014, Sadek bought a small amount of weed on three separate occasions from dealers on campus.
Unfortunately, agreeing to this would not come with the ending that the young electrical technician student had hoped for. May 2014 was the last time that Sadek would be seen alive. A security camera outside the dormitory captured him leaving around 2 a.m. dressed in blue jeans and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers hooded sweatshirt.
Sadek’s mother just wanted her son to come home, she told the Daily News that her son was “a quiet and shy boy” and that “College was good for him. He’s becoming more outgoing.”
On June 27, 2014 the mystery behind Sadek’s disappearance would finally come to a close when the young man’s body was pulled out of the Red River near Breckenridge, Minnesota. A backpack filled with rocks was strapped to Andrew’s body, and a bullet hole from a small-caliber weapon was found in his head. No gun was recovered at the scene.
In an investigative report that was done two-and-a-half months ago, it was found that the authorities acted appropriately when they recruited Sadek to work for them. Police are now under fire by Sadek’s family and the American Civil Liberties Union for the way this case was handled. Was Andrew properly informed of all the dangers and risks associated with taking on this kind of role? Jennifer Cook is the spokeswoman for the ACLU, and she says that these young men are being used to do police work without any of the proper training.
“The safety risks associated with informant use can far outweigh the benefits,” she said.
Richland County Deputy Sheriff Jason Weber now heads the interim task force, and he will not comment on whether Sadek was specifically and explicitly informed of all the dangers that come along with being a CI. The document that Sadek signed, however, did not list the potential dangers that he could be facing.
“That’s how drug task forces work all over the world,” said Weber, the task force supervisor. “You’re always constantly trying to find the bigger person and go to that person’s supplier.”
Tammy Sadek is Andrew’s mother, and she believes that her son was scared into being a CI. She started her own Facebook page called Justice For Andrew Sadek. The page currently has 3,444 likes and growing.
“I would like to see (task forces) stop using kids,” she said. “I know it’s common, but these are just little fish.”
[Photo courtesy of Justice For Andrew Sadek/Facebook]