Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request from USA Today, we now know that agents authorized an average of 15 crimes a day in 2011.

What types of crimes? Everything from drugs to bribery, reports USA Today.

Although their work remains secret, we know from a 2007 budget request that the FBI had at that time 15,000 informants.

“This American Life” made an incredible radio show about the work of informants and the case that made New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s career. It raises important questions about entrapment, opportunism and whether these informants, who are often paid and allowed to break the law, are worth the trouble. That show is embedded below.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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