Since the 1970s, law enforcement has relied on sting operations to arrest those who break the law. They can target any suspected criminal activity in a sting: drug dealing, internet luring, selling stolen goods, prostitution and many more.
For those looking to make large-scale arrests, the possibilities are nearly endless. Those arrested during a sting want to know if these operations are legal and if entrapment is a viable defense.
Aren’t stings just a way to entrap people?
Under the law, stings conducted by police departments and agencies do not constitute entrapment. Even when authorities involved in the operation use deception (or perhaps bend the law) to encourage criminal participation.
In stings leading to drug charges, a law officer constructs an opportunity for someone to engage in criminal activity (asking someone to sell them cocaine, etc.). For entrapment to occur, defendants must prove they would not have committed the crime had law enforcement not enticed them.
If the entrapment defense is not an option, the next focus for defendants arrested in a sting is avoiding conviction.
It is easier said than done
One criminal justice expert developed a new way to challenge sting arrests. She argued that those conducting certain operations were choosing mostly minority groups to target, suggesting race discrimination and racial profiling. The main takeaway is not to give up on defending yourself against drug charges, even if your arrest occurred during a Lakewood sting operation.
Although entrapment is usually a weak defense, if you and your advocate can prove it happened, you could find success. Learning more about effective defenses against drug charges in Colorado is also wise.