LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts city has agreed to pay $750,000 to three men who say a police officer didn't properly vet confidential informants they claim planted drug evidence.

The Lowell Sun reports that Lowell agreed to the settlement before the federal lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial.

Jonathan Santiago, Nel Sothy and Mihran Mosko were all arrested in 2012 on drug charges. A confidential informant working with Detective Thomas Lafferty provided information in the arrests.

In 2012, another Lowell police confidential informant filed a report with state police, claiming the informant Lafferty was using had planted evidence. Investigations by prosecutors led to the dismissal of 17 criminal cases.

An attorney for the three men says Lafferty failed to meet the department's vetting policy. Lafferty has claimed he wasn't aware of it at the time.

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Information from: The (Lowell, Mass.) Sun, http://www.lowellsun.com