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On Sept. 17, 1994, Drug Enforcement Administration agent Mark Nelson — his wife home with their infant child — blindfolded an informant he was using to track a suspected big-time marijuana grower in Mendocino County. He drove the informant to a government-rented, three-bedroom “safe house” out on M Street in the Redwood Valley neighborhood of Ukiah.

Inside the otherwise unoccupied house, Nelson took off his jacket, kicked off his shoes and grabbed two cans of Coors Light from the fridge. He sat down on a couch with the informant, who had the government moniker of SR3-94-0054. Pretty soon, Nelson was stretched out on the couch with his head resting in the informant’s lap, the informant massaging Nelson’s temples, according to court documents.

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