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  1. #1
    thomas_atl is offline Junior Member
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    Set Up By Undercover Cop

    What is the name of your state? Georgia

    Hi, my husband is currently awaiting a trial for a case in which he was set up by an undercover police officer.

    It all started last May when my husband was in a local mall and a man approached him and asked him if he would like to buy a large amount of cocaine and marijuana. My husband told him that he does not do that, but may know someone who does. The man and my husband exchanged numbers and went their seperate ways.

    Over the next three weeks the man begin harrassing my husband everyday about finding someone to purchase his drugs. My husband finally gave in and set up a meeting between himself, the man, and two of my husband's friends.

    The meeting was scheduled to take place in an empty parking lot. When my husband and his friends pulled up, the man was waiting for them in his truck. One of my husband's friends got out of the car and approached the man's truck. The man showed his friend the bricks of cocaine and marijuana and asked if they had the money. My husband's friend verified that they did not have all of the money, but wanted to move the meeting to a different location. While driving off a team of police officers swarmed down on my husband's car and arrested all three of them. Needless to say, the man was an undercover cop and he had been wearing a camera in his glasses the entire time.

    My husband and his friends were charged with trafficking marijuana, trafficking cocaine, and theft by recieving. We had to ask several people for money as well as post property to make his $76,000 bond. I am at my wits end with this case and am asking if there is anyone out there who has any suggestions on how to beat this case. My husband and I do not have a lot of money so he has a public defender who never has any time to discuss the case. I am so frustrated because this undercover cop approached my husband and harrased him and now his life is messed up because of it. He can't even get a job because everytime he does a background check this comes up (he hasn't even been convicted yet). I am also upset because after reviewing the tape that they sent us, I could see that they never made a transaction. Please help me if you have any suggestions.What is the name of your state?
  2. #2
    Darkwingpuck is offline Member
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    OK, I've been looking over the State and U.S. Statutes a little and here's what I've found. First off, the arresting officer in question was within his rights in everything he did to your husband. Undercover officers actually have an enormous field of slack when it comes encouraging a crime. Yes encouraging a crime. They are allowed to actively encourage it. No many people will try to pleas entrapment when they go to court, pleas of entrapment hardly ever go through.
    Loosely defined, entrapment is a situation in which, if not for the actions of the police officer or police informant, the defendant would not have committed the crime. This defense is generally only successful in situations where law enforcement officers create a criminal plan, plant the idea of that plan into an otherwise innocent person's mind, and then instigate the plan for the purpose of prosecuting the suspect. They can go out of their way to help a person to commit a crime. What they can't do, is unduly persuade, threaten, coerce, or harass the person, such that a normally law-abiding citizen would participate in the unlawful action. Unfortunately, even in cases where the government does induce a crime, evidence that the defendant was "predisposed" to committing the crime is likely to undermine an entrapment defense. If the prosecution can show that the defendant agreed to participate too quickly or had a record of similar crimes in the past, the entrapment defense rarely succeeds.
    What this means is that if you claim entrapment and bring up the phone calls in court; even if the phone calls are deemed to be of a harassing nature (which they probably will not be unless he was being called several times a day and at odd hours with the caller acting in a threatening manner) it will not matter since (1.) Your husband quickly agreed to set up a meeting for a drug purchase the first time he was approached, thus showing a predisposition to the facilitating of trafficking (2.) You're husband never openly refused to aid in the selling and purchasing of the drugs. Now if at any time he had said "No, I am absolutely not going to do this" to the officer, then you may have had a case at persuasion and thus entrapment. But If you plan to go that route, be damn sure that he said something of that nature at some point since there is a good chance that most of the conversations he had with the U.C. officer were taped.
    There's really little you can do. From what you said it sounds like the under cover officer was working well within the confines of the law. Under cover officers are actually given an amazing amount of immunity and girth in such stings. e.g. A U.S. statute gives federal officers immunity from criminal liability when working undercover.

    U.S. Satute

    (d) Immunity of Federal, State, local and other officials
    Except as provided in sections 2234 and 2235 of title 18, no civil or criminal liability shall be imposed by virtue of this subchapter upon any duly authorized Federal officer lawfully engaged in the enforcement of this subchapter, or upon any duly authorized officer of any State, territory, political subdivision thereof, the District of Columbia, or any possession of the United States, who shall be lawfully engaged in the enforcement of any law or municipal ordinance relating to controlled substances.
    What does that mean? It means that you could test an undercover agent by asking him to smoke some crack in front of you and he could down that stuff right there and suffer no ill consequences (Besides exposing himself to Crack-Cocaine of course). Bottom line is, when undercover the regular rules do not apply.


    Now, as for the possible conviction and sentencing involved with the crimes, do you know exactly how much cocaine and marijuana they were being sold? The sentence is going to depend on that.

    O.C.G.A. 16-13-31 (2007)

    (c) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, grows, delivers, brings into this state, or has possession of a quantity of marijuana exceeding 10 pounds commits the offense of trafficking in marijuana and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as follows:

    (1) If the quantity of marijuana involved is in excess of 10 pounds, but less than 2,000 pounds, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and shall pay a fine of $100,000.00;

    (2) If the quantity of marijuana involved is 2,000 pounds or more, but less than 10,000 pounds, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of seven years and shall pay a fine of $250,000.00; and

    (3) If the quantity of marijuana involved is 10,000 pounds or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and shall pay a fine of $1 million.
    O.C.G.A. 16-13-31 (2007)

    (a)(1) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state or who is knowingly in possession of 28 grams or more of cocaine or of any mixture with a purity of 10 percent or more of cocaine, as described in Schedule II, in violation of this article commits the felony offense of trafficking in cocaine and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as follows:

    (A) If the quantity of the cocaine or the mixture involved is 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of ten years and shall pay a fine of $200,000.00;

    (B) If the quantity of the cocaine or the mixture involved is 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and shall pay a fine of $300,000.00; and

    (C) If the quantity of the cocaine or the mixture involved is 400 grams or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 25 years and shall pay a fine of $1 million.
    Now, even though your husband and his friends never completed the sale they are still in some deep stuff. In Georgia it is a crime to be caught attempting to traffic such things. So the fact that they never actually purchased it doesn't mean much. If the video shows them actively attempting to make the purchase then that along with the officer's testimony will most likely be more than enough.

    U.S. Statute

    (b) A person convicted of the offense of criminal attempt to commit a felony, other than a felony punishable by death or life imprisonment, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than one-half the maximum period of time for which he or she could have been sentenced if he or she had been convicted of the crime attempted, by one-half the maximum fine to which he or she could have been subjected if he or she had been convicted of the crime attempted, or both.
    So even under the best possible circumstances they are still looking at about 2 years in prison as well as a hefty fine and that's only for the trafficking charges.

    Is there anything you can do? There's very little. From what I've researched and based on what you've said your husbands best chances lay in doing something he's not gonna like depending on how close he is to those friends.

    O.C.G.A. 16-13-31 (2007)

    (2) The district attorney may move the sentencing court to impose a reduced or suspended sentence upon any person who is convicted of a violation of this Code section and who provides substantial assistance in the identification, arrest, or conviction of any of his accomplices, accessories, coconspirators, or principals. Upon good cause shown, the motion may be filed and heard in camera. The judge hearing the motion may impose a reduced or suspended sentence if he finds that the defendant has rendered such substantial assistance.
    If it is true that your husband does not usually deal with drugs but his friends do then the D.A. may be willing to reduce or suspend your husbands sentence f he agrees to testify against his friends on increased charges / helps the DA catch or provides evidence against even MORE of his drug abusing friends / or helps in some other way to aid in the successful conviction of the others involved.

    Sorry, but I think that the only chance he would have would be offering up himself against his friends. Not very ethical but then again, helping his friends got him into this mess. There is no guarantee however that anyone would even accept that though. If the evidence against your husband and his friends is already strong enough the prosecutor may just want to run with what he's got. So you need to be able to offer something more.

    That's my advice. I suggest you go to the Georgia statutes pages

    [url]http://www.lexis-nexis.com/hottopics/gacode/default.asp[/url]
    and the U.S. statutes pages

    [url]http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode21/usc_sup_01_21_10_13_20_I_30_E.html[/url]
    and check for yourself though.
    Last edited by Darkwingpuck; 03-03-2008 at 03:12 AM.
  3. #3
    Darkwingpuck is offline Member
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    Just out of curiosity, what's happening with your case?
  4. #4
    thomas_atl is offline Junior Member
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    Darkwingpuck,
    I would like to thank you for the legal advice, you answered a lot of questions for us. I let my husband read the post, unfortunantly he was a little dissapointed because like myself, he thought that more could be done about the undercover cop approaching and harrassing him. Currently we are just waiting to see what happens. He has to go to court Tuesday for a calendar call. I would love to keep you posted as the case progress.
  5. #5
    thomas_atl is offline Junior Member
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    I have a question. If the Georgia Law states that trafficking is defined as (c) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, grows, delivers, brings into this state, or has possession of a quantity of marijuana exceeding 10 pounds, then how could they charge my husband with trafficking if he was nowhere near the drugs at the time. He remained in his car the whole time. He never sold, manufactured, grew, delivered, brought into the state, or had possession of it. How can he be charged. Also, is there any defense on the fact that the officer traveled 30 miles out of jurisdiction to find find someone to set up?
  6. #6
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomas_atl View Post
    It all started last May when my husband was in a local mall and a man approached him and asked him if he would like to buy a large amount of cocaine and marijuana. My husband told him that he does not do that, but may know someone who does. The man and my husband exchanged numbers and went their seperate ways.

    Over the next three weeks the man begin harrassing my husband everyday about finding someone to purchase his drugs. My husband finally gave in and set up a meeting between himself, the man, and two of my husband's friends.

    The meeting was scheduled to take place in an empty parking lot. When my husband and his friends pulled up, the man was waiting for them in his truck. One of my husband's friends got out of the car and approached the man's truck. The man showed his friend the bricks of cocaine and marijuana and asked if they had the money. My husband's friend verified that they did not have all of the money, but wanted to move the meeting to a different location. While driving off a team of police officers swarmed down on my husband's car and arrested all three of them. Needless to say, the man was an undercover cop and he had been wearing a camera in his glasses the entire time.
    Sounds like the elements of the crime may well have been met ... depending on the specifics of this law in GA.

    Not good for your husband and his friend.

    Remember, your husband COULD have said, "Piss off!" Instead, he exchanged numbers after telling the officer that he knew someone who could hook him up! This is NOT an unlawful "set up", and it is not the response the average Joe would give in the event of such a request.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  7. #7
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomas_atl View Post
    I have a question. If the Georgia Law states that trafficking is defined as (c) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, grows, delivers, brings into this state, or has possession of a quantity of marijuana exceeding 10 pounds, then how could they charge my husband with trafficking if he was nowhere near the drugs at the time. He remained in his car the whole time. He never sold, manufactured, grew, delivered, brought into the state, or had possession of it. How can he be charged. Also, is there any defense on the fact that the officer traveled 30 miles out of jurisdiction to find find someone to set up?
    GA law makes it a crime to conspire or attempt to sell controlled substances - and this is apparently what your husband and his friend did:

    16-13-33. Attempt or conspiracy to commit offense under this article

    Any person who attempts or conspires to commit any offense defined in this article shall be, upon conviction thereof, punished by imprisonment not exceeding the maximum punishment prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the attempt or conspiracy.

    And, no, the distance out of the jurisdiction won't help him. Most states do not limit authority at the city limits or county line anymore, and chances are this was a multi-agency task force operation anyway.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  8. #8
    Darkwingpuck is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomas_atl View Post
    I have a question. If the Georgia Law states that trafficking is defined as (c) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, grows, delivers, brings into this state, or has possession of a quantity of marijuana exceeding 10 pounds, then how could they charge my husband with trafficking if he was nowhere near the drugs at the time. He remained in his car the whole time. He never sold, manufactured, grew, delivered, brought into the state, or had possession of it. How can he be charged. Also, is there any defense on the fact that the officer traveled 30 miles out of jurisdiction to find find someone to set up?
    Hmm...The jurisdiction thing I'm not sure about but I'll check the statutes If I have time. Or you can check yourself if you like. I posted the links for the U.S. and GA statute pages above.

    As for the trafficking charge: if you check my first post you'll see that I also listed a statute for attempt to commit a felony. Your husband can be charged with attempt of possession. He may have never have had possession but he arranged the meeting and was there for the transaction. He may have not physically taken the money up to the seller, but he significantly aided the transaction as a whole and will almost certainly be considered culpable.

    U.S. Statute

    (b) A person convicted of the offense of criminal attempt to commit a felony, other than a felony punishable by death or life imprisonment, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than one-half the maximum period of time for which he or she could have been sentenced if he or she had been convicted of the crime attempted, by one-half the maximum fine to which he or she could have been subjected if he or she had been convicted of the crime attempted, or both.
  9. #9
    Darkwingpuck is offline Member
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    Java beat me to the punch.
  10. #10
    thomas_atl is offline Junior Member
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    Court

    I just wanted to let everyone know that my husband appeared in court today. He ended up taking a plea deal of 7 years and from my understanding he will only have to do 1/3 of the time. One of the defendents took the plea deal also...the other decided to go to trial. It was so risky because th D.A was threatening to give them all 60 years if convicted (even my husband who has no prior record-he has barely gotten a traffic ticket). Now the D.A is trying to get the 2 that took the plea to testify against the other one, but my husband already got his sentence so what's the point in that. The sickning part is that the courtroom was full of people who were set up by the same undercover cop. There were 24 cases in which he set up the people involved. And, the undercover police officer looked down at his feet the whole time. He couldn't even look at these men. I guess he feels guilty that he just snatched 3 lives away in an instant. Especially my husband, because he really didn't want to have anything to do with this in the 1st place. Well, you live and you learn, and I guess everything happens for a reason. Thanks again for the legal advice.
  11. #11
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomas_atl View Post
    The sickning part is that the courtroom was full of people who were set up by the same undercover cop.
    Yeah, that is sick. I thought this was only 3 people who were willing to deal with the drugs for this guy...now you say it's 24 people.
  12. #12
    goofymonkey33 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post

    Remember, your husband COULD have said, "Piss off!" Instead, he exchanged numbers after telling the officer that he knew someone who could hook him up!
    - Carl
    Hey Carl, would you like to illegally help me traffic some heroin? I hear you're in good with the police...


    Let's wait and see what the average response will be. I know what mine would've been if some random guy approached me with this. After I picked myself off the floor from laughing so hard, I'd have done my civic duty and told him he needed a better approach if he wanted people to think he wasn't a cop. I mean c'mon, would you
    like to buy a large amount of cocaine and marijuana
    ?? Doesn't quite get it...Know what I mean?

    God bless everyone...

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