Law Enforcement Sting Operations
A Nationwide Trend, A Local Concern
Law enforcement sting operations are occurring nationwide. State and federal agencies believe stings to be an effective tool in reducing crime. In Kansas City, a sting operation called Operation Vice Grip recently rounded up more than 110 suspects in cases involving prostitution, property crimes, drugs and human trafficking. Eighteen local law enforcement agencies participated in the sting.
Online Solicitation and Law Enforcement Sting Operations
Out of the many cases charging Electronic Solicitation of a Minor in Johnson County, only a very small percentage of these cases actually involve any conversation between the accused person and an actual child. Most cases involve law enforcement officers posing as minors. In my view, when police or federal agents put substantial effort into creating opportunities for people to commit crimes that otherwise aren’t being committed, the tail is wagging the dog.
If a law enforcement sting has resulted in your being charged with electronic solicitation of a minor, your rights may have been violated. It is especially important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. Successful representation will require thorough analysis of the applicable statutes, penalties, and all fact and legal defenses.
If you were arrested and charged as part of a law enforcement sting operation, the following questions should be explored:
- Did the officers conducting the “sting” deliberately select an age for the fictitious minor that would statutorily enhance the applicable penalties?
- Did the officers cross the line with regard to the chat dialogue and commit legal entrapment in your case?
- Did the content of your online conversation specifically propose sexual activity, or was the language used vague subject to interpretation?
- Were there any mitigating factors — such as mental or emotional distress — occurring in your life at the time?
“The Importance of Aggressive Sex Related Criminal Defense”.
A Charge That Can Be Difficult to Defend
State and federal laws have been strengthened in order to make it especially difficult to defend cases involving solicitation of a minor for sex. If you have been charged with this crime, you need an aggressive defense attorney whose understanding of the statutes, penalties and possible defenses to these charges can make a significant difference in the resolution of your case.
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