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(60 MINUTES) – Mark Cleveland tells 60 Minutes he shaved 40 years off his sentence by becoming a jailhouse informant for Orange County law enforcement officials, now under investigation

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Jailhouse informant Cleveland says deputies planted snitches near high-profile targets and guided them to fish for info that might help prosecutors’ cases.

Orange County DA Tony Rackauckas tells 60 Minutes the allegations are “simply not true.” His office and the sheriff’s department are under investigation.

Orange County, California—an hour south of Los Angeles—is best known for its wealthy, sprawling suburbs, tony beach communities and Disneyland.

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But lately, it has drawn unwanted attention from the California attorney general and the U.S. Department of Justice for the way its prosecutors use informants in its jails.

Used correctly, informants can be valuable assets to law enforcement to help bolster their cases. Misused, their work can backfire, upsetting the scales of justice, reversing convictions, and freeing guilty criminals. That’s what’s happening in Orange County.

This is a story of two snitches. One who remains in jail. The other, is back on the streets. But now he’s snitching on the prosecutors he once loyally served.

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