The FBI reportedly spent thousands of dollars on a failed sting operation to convict U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent Lauro Tobias.
The taxpayer money was spent on strippers at adult establishments, hotel rooms, tickets to a Manny Pacquiao boxing match at the Las Vegas MGM Grand Hotel and airplane flights.
In a press release by the FBI on March 15, 2013, the agency announced that its Southern Arizona Corruption Task Force had arrested Tobias on one count of money laundering. The FBI stated that the task force was made up of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, DEA, IRS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Professional Responsibility, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Internal Affairs, and the Tucson Police Department.
Tobias was arrested after flying from Phoenix to Las Vegas for a fake drug deal, which was engineered by the Southern Arizona Corruption Task Force.
Tobias wasn't doing the actual drug dealing, but was paid $4,000 to work as security for the fake deal, according to court papers.
Tobias claimed he didn't know the flight to Las Vegas was for a drug deal, and was told that it was a legal transaction, reports Buzzfeed.
However, after Tobias’ attorney, Steven West, recently revealed the FBI's extravagant spending and listed the witnesses he wanted to call, the U.S. Department of Justice asked a federal judge to dismiss the money laundering charge.
“They couldn’t get close to the so-called ‘suspect corrupt people,’” Tobias’ attorney, West, told Buzzfeed. “I think they took a 90-degree turn.
“My sense is that we had a case. They didn’t want the line of witnesses I was going to call to testify [speaking in public] … they would have had to answer a lot of questions,” West added.