The Winnipeg Free Press had an article today called “Protected witness wonders if big payday was worth hassle” about Jason Masniuk, a longtime Hells Angels associate. Mr. Masniuk gave an interview to the Free Press about some of his regrets he had about acting as a paid informant. He was paid $500,000 for his assistance in taking down 14 of his former colleagues. I confirmed with a Federal Prosecutor this last week that it would be a tax free payout.
He is, obviously, in a witness protection program at this point. In the article, he discussed how he felt he wasn’t being assisted in getting a new life and a new career off the ground. Mr. Masniuk commented on how 1 of the 14 had already plead guilty and been sentenced and would have it better than he does:
“He’s going to have a lot more options on parole than I’ll ever have in my life”
Agent cases like this are very good for Federal Prosecutors because they get access to a wealth of evidence that may otherwise be unavailable. In this case, Mr. Masniuk shared conversations from private and encrypted Blackberry conversations. Agents can help build strong cases against their associates and the government obviously thinks the evidence agents can acquire is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. What do you think?
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