One of the most-used tactics police use in fighting drug crimes is the use of plain clothes officers to purchase drugs from dealers. There are limits to this tactic, however. Officers cannot lure a suspect into committing a crime that he or she would not otherwise commit (this is called “entrapment.”) In a recent Scranton case, police used a controlled drug buy by police officers to arrest two men on criminal charges of selling controlled substances.
Two men were arrested in a Scranton housing project by police who had arranged to purchase crack cocaine from the two men. One of the men allegedly gave the police officers the drug and accepted cash in return. According to police, the two men then left the building and drove away. Police stopped their car and conducted a search. Crack cocaine was reportedly discovered in the pocket of pants worn by one of the men. Crack was also reportedly found in the car under a jacket.
The man who sold the cocaine to the officers has been charged with delivery of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy and other offenses. The second man was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance. Neither of the men was able to post bail, and they are awaiting a preliminary hearing.
Whether entrapment will be alleged in this case cannot be known at this time. Nevertheless, persons who have been arrested under similar circumstances and who face similar charges may wish to review their case with a criminal defense attorney. Such a review can provide an analysis of the prosecution’s case, an enumeration of potential defense strategies and an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.
Source: Scranton Times-Tribune, “Two men charged with selling drugs in Scranton,” Terrie Morgan-Besecker, June 4, 2016