One primary concern of law enforcement is protecting those who come forward with information on criminals or who witness a crime. Sometimes, however, they are ineffective in protecting informants and witnesses. Here are 30 troubling times witness protection failed.

30. Israel’s Witness Protection ProblemsFile:Flag of Israel.svg

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In 2006, the shooting deaths of two witnesses hired by Israeli Police highlighted negligence on the part of the department.

29. Mooney’s Suit

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Following his involvement in the witness protection program, David Mooney has found himself unable to work, in constant fear, and denied social assistance. He filed a lawsuit against the government, claiming they denied him a green card and a house, which he’d allegedly been promised for his cooperation.
28. Back to Old Ways
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St. Louis gangster Michael Anthony Drew ended up in Witness Protection following his cooperation in a racketeering investigation. However, upon being sent to Maine, Drew returned to his old ways, threatening another informant with a gun.

27. That Would’ve Been Nice to Know

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Colorado man Javad Marshall-Fields and his fiancee were gunned down after he witnessed a shooting that killed his best friend. The state of Colorado has a fund to prevent tragedy such as this—but no one told Marshall-Fields it existed.

26. Left High and Dry
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Former drug dealers Shawn Balch and Tammy Spooner cut a deal with the Canadian government, in the hopes of receiving treatment and a fresh start. They got neither of those things. Instead, they were forced into an unknown city and continue to live their lives in fear.

25. Perhaps You Should’ve Listened

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Of course, not all Witness Protection failures are the fault of the government. Daniel LaPolla flouted the rules of witness protection, and returned to his home for a funeral. When he turned the knob of his front door, his house blew up in his face.

24. No Place for a KidFile:High Desert Motel, Joshua Tree.jpg

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Children forced into witness protection tend to regard the experience with trauma. Jackee Taylor, for example, was put into the program with her family at age seven. They were shuffled from motel to motel, and the trauma of the experience led to Taylor developing suicidal ideation.

23. Then What, Exactly, is the Point?

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Nancy Burdell was put into witness protection after witnessing a murder. She was surprised to find out that not only were they only going to move her to a “safer” location, but that her tenure in the program ended three months after the criminal’s sentencing.

22.  Essentially a Get Out of Jail Free Card
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Following the murder of his cellmate, Marion Pruett agreed to testify and entered Witness Protection. Upon his entry into the program and subsequent freedom, he robbed banks and murdered a bank officer, three store clerks, and his own wife.

21. What Is He Supposed to Do With That?!?
A standard Washington State Driver License or ID Card will no longer be accepted for access to Fairchild Air Force Base starting August 15 due to their noncompliance with the Real ID Act of 2005. For more information about the Real ID Act visit the Department of Homeland Security Website at www.DHS.gov or contact the 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs office at (509) 247-5705. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Airman 1st Class Mackenzie Richardson)

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When former mob errand boy James Cardinali testified against his former bosses, instead of being relocated and receiving a new identity, all he got was a new driver’s license under a different name.

20. I Suppose Some Notice Would’ve Been Appreciated

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In the late sixties, Thomas Leonhard came home to find his children and ex-wife had vanished. His ex’s new husband was a mob informant, and as a result the family had to be put into Witness Protection-yet Leonhard was left in the dark about his children’s status.

19.They Didn’t Even Try

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Following police’s failure to protect him after witnessing a murder, Rob Alexander Jr. was shot 9 time son a DC street.

18. Informant For Life

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Some informants turn the Witness Protection Program into a way to make a quick buck, becoming more concerned with profit than actually stopping crime.

17. Loophole Abuse
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One man discovered a loophole in the Witness Protection system. Once he was arrested, he used his Witness Protection identity in order to be treated as a first time offender and receive a lighter sentence.

16. So Close, but So Far

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Following a marijuana related arrest, Corry Thomas agreed to testify against high level drug dealers. He ended up being gunned down in front of his sister’s home.

15. NYPD failure

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Following her agreement to testify against a powerful drug dealer, Diana Merced asked the NYPD for protection. They failed to deliver and she was shot in the face in her mother’s apartment by two unknown assailants.

14.The Mobster’s Cookbook

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Former Gambino family member Joseph Iannuzzi got himself a one way ticket out of the program when he contacted the media to promote a cookbook he’d written.

13. At Least the Surgeons Did Their Job

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Following his decision to testify in a murder, John Dowery was shot six times in his own front yard. Only the skill of the surgeons who operated on him saved his life.
12.History Repeats
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Similarly to the above, Lonnie Nutall decided to testify after witnessing a gang murder. He ended up being gunned down, and unfortunately, he wasn’t as lucky as John Dowery.
11. The Highest Paid of the Paid Informants

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Jimmy the Weasel has gone down in history as the highest paid of the Witness Protection Program’s informants, raking in a sweet $951,326. He got the Feds to pay for his auto insurance, his wife’s cosmetic surgery, and to send monthly checks to his mother-in-law.

10. Drugs, Drinking, and Rock n’ Roll

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While in Witness Protection, NYC’s Henry Hill was arrested for drunk driving, burglary, and selling cocaine.

9. Seriously, These Guys Blatantly Refuse to Clean Up Their Acts
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After turning rat on the Campisi mob family, John Patrick Tully was admitted into witness protection. While in the program, he robbed a bank and used the money he’d stolen to start a hot dog stand.

8. Perhaps an Inside Job?

A customer works on his car on a lift at the Edwards Auto Hobby Shop. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rebecca Amber)
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While waiting to testify against an NYPD officer, Robert Bishun was abducted from his car repair shop. He was found strangled to death.
7. Why WASN’T This Guy in the Program??File:Morgue.JPG
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Following his agreement to testify against a drug dealer, Jimmy Roberts was thrust into immediate peril. Yet despite the numerous threats on his life—and at least one attempt—Roberts was never put into witness protection. He was eventually murdered on his way to work.
6. Failed FBI Informant
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Sometimes, informants are found to be unreliable, like in the case of Joseph Barboza. Barboza was eventually sent back to jail.
5. No Taxes
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Furthermore, career informants earnings are in cash—meaning they aren’t taxed.
4. Failed Mayoral CampaignFile:Austin, Texas Skyline 2018.jpg
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Remember John Tully, the man who used stolen money to start a hot dog stand while in the program? He also tried to run for mayor of Austin, Texas during his stint in Witness Protection. He wasn’t elected.
3. Lack of Schooling
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Children in witness protection report extremely low school attendance, setting them further behind their peers.
2. Predators in the Programview animal mammal child monkey primate gorilla teddy bear face nose ape head toys vertebrate expression fake replica soft toy imitation mimic stuffed toy western gorilla great ape steiff plush monkey plush gorilla silvery grey
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Neighbors are left uninformed of sexual predators who are under witness protection, even if their crimes include rape and child molestation.
1. Unable to Protect Her
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Despite the restraining order against him, Natisha Gallegos was stabbed to death by her abusive husband.