On June 27, 2014, the body of North Dakota State College of Science student Andrew Sadek was found in a river near campus nearly two months after he disappeared.
An autopsy revealed that Sadek had died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to local news reports from last summer, immediately raising suspicions about the nature of his death. Sadek’s mother believes he was murdered as retaliation for his work as a drug informant for the police.
Half a year later, no decision has been released as to whether Sadek was murdered or committed suicide.
Recently released information may cast the 20-year-old’s death in a new light. On Jan. 27 — seven months after Sadek’s body was discovered — a report from the Southeast Multi-County Agency Drug Task Force (SEMCA) detailed the college student’s involvement with a drug enforcement program that lets people avoid jail time by becoming informants for the police.
Sadek’s possible murder raises questions about the ethics of using college students as police informants.
Recently, the police at the University of Massachusetts Amherst disbanded their use of student confidential informants after a student tied to the program died of a heroin overdose.
Sadek himself got in trouble with police after he sold pot to a confidential informant twice in one week in April 2013 — one deal was $US20 and the other was worth about $US60, according to the Associated Press. Police later discovered a plastic grinder with marijuana residue after Sadek let them search his dorm room.
While the deals were small, the charges against him could be serious felonies because the transactions took place in a school, according to the AP.
About a week after police found the grinder in his dorm room, Sadek spoke with local police about the potential charges he faced for selling marijuana. He filled out paperwork to become an informant, ostensibly to avoid those charges. According to the SEMCA report, a CI “could be an individual that is working with law enforcement for consideration regarding current charges and/or sentencing.”
Sadek ended up selling pot as a police informant three times between November 2013 and January 2014. In order to avoid the charges he faced, he had to sell pot one more time. But he stopped contacting the police after his third sale, according to the report.
The police attempted to reach out to Sadak at least once, according to the report, but couldn’t reach him.
Sadak was last seen on campus on May 1, 2014.
The SEMCA report cleared police of any misconduct regarding Sadek’s time as a CI, but does not comment on his death, which campus police are now investigating.
“Based on the review of the confidential informant file and related case files, the Review Board did not have any concerns with the case files where Sadek was a CI and conducted controlled buys. The Review Board also noted that the length of time Sadek was used as a CI was not uncommon,” the report states.
Sadek’s mother still believes he was murdered though, telling the AP that she believes he “was pressured into working for the drug task force, and was murdered for being an informant.”
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