The Press: Prying Out Sources

A new reporting peril

While arresting a drug dealer in Coeur l'Alene, Idaho, one August night in 1972, Narcotics Agent Michael A. Caldero shot and wounded the suspect's companion, who tried to flee. He eventually recovered, the pusher was convicted, and the shooting incident went largely unquestioned—until Lewiston Tribune Reporter James E. ("Jay") Shelledy revived it a year later in a six-part series on the state drug enforcement agency.

Shelledy quoted the attorney general in charge of the drug agency and an unnamed "police expert" as calling the shooting unnecessary. Within months, the agency was...

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