9:05am

Wed July 16, 2014
Local and State News

Lawsuit: DEA Paid New Mexico Man With Crack

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A lawsuit says federal agents paid a struggling addict in crack for his help with an undercover investigation into a Las Vegas, New Mexico drug operation.

Court papers filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque say 38-year-old Aaron Romero was approached by DEA agents in 2011 to assist with drug deals in exchange for portions of the drugs obtained by authorities.

The lawsuit claims Romero's participation in "Operation Smack City" reignited a previous crack addiction and he became a victim of recklessness on behalf of DEA agents.

Romero's lawyer says the arraignment was in violation of DEA policy.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Albuquerque declined to comment.

The lawsuit seeks $8.5 million in damages for the loss of "love, familial relationships, and companionship" related to Romero's ongoing crack addiction.