Five men face years of incarceration for an alleged elaborate robbery scheme that was entirely planned by law enforcement officers. According to a news report in The Baltimore Sun, the men were arrested for conspiracy to distribute drugs, robbery, and gun violations. Each of the suspects faces more than a decade of mandatory prison time, even though the planned robbery did not take place and never could have.
The men argue that they would not have considered such a robbery if it had not been suggested by the law enforcement officials who conducted the sting operation. The authorities, however, believe that the men are known offenders and that reverse sting operations are legal tools to ensnare difficult-to-catch criminals.
The Baltimore Sun reports that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives have conducted reverse stings since the 1990s. The DEA has conducted eight reverse sting operations in the State of Maryland since 2007. In these types of cases, it must be determined if the defendant or defendants would have committed a crime without intervention by law enforcement officers. A legal reverse sting operation involves the opportunity to commit a crime that is willingly accepted.
Entrapment is a defense against criminal liability that must be considered in all sting and reverse sting cases. If you or a loved one has been arrested in a similar sting operation, it would be in your best interests to retain the services of an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer who will fight for your rights every step of the way.