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Sting ops are unethical

Published 10:36am Monday, May 9, 2011

On May 3 an article appeared in the Daily Journal that confirmed suspicions I’ve held for a long time — that secret police operate within Fergus Falls and Otter Tail County. I have long suspected that that sting and spy operations occur here.

In fact, I interviewed an officer last year, for my show American Truth asking, “How many undercovers are in the Fergus Falls Police Department?” I was given the misleading answer of “0.”

And while technically accurate, he made no attempt to acknowledge the county undercover agents working in Fergus Falls and inferred there were none.

The article I refer to is titled, “19 alleged drug dealers arrested,” in which it described a tax-payer funded, three-month, sting operation upon our fellow Americans. This is appalling, for two reasons:

1. Taxpayers should never fund government spying on their fellow citizens.

2. Sting ops are unethical.

For instance, the ethical questions raised by sting ops are as follows: If an innocent was never tempted or coerced to break the law, would the “crime” have even occurred? Where else might secret police be stationed? In our schools? Workplace? In our churches?

Knowing about the MIAC report doesn’t make it seem inconceivable.

Secret police lie about who they are and they create situations that normally would not exist. In a free society, this is unacceptable. Most of us recognize the dangers of drug use, but lying to the public, setting

us up, coercing and spying on us is not the way to prevent drug abuse. Only strong parenting, coupled with proper parental education, can do that. Dr. Ron Paul once said, “Government should never be

allowed to do anything you can’t do.”

I couldn’t agree more. Lies, deceit, coercion and manipulation belong

to the devils, not law enforcement. It should be self-evident secret police and a free society cannot co-exist.

Joshua Lake

Fergus Falls

  • Vitojr130

    I absolutely agree with this. The police go out and offer very enticing deals to these people in order for them to deal drugs to the police. It is completely baiting them, especially in these times. One of the people caught dealing crack used to be my best friend. He was an avid marijuana user and never used crack himself, but he never dealt crack except for this one instance. He needed money to pay for rent for a place to live and the cops completely baited him. To enlighten everyone as to why he turned to this, it is because he lost his full-time job here in Fergus. It’s one thing catching dealers in the act of dealing to non-police, but to bait them is completely wrong. Would they have sold it if it wasn’t an enticing offer? In my friends case, heck no! Now he is facing a felony and possible time in prison, not to mention the everlasting persecution by people of this community who have no idea what he has been through.
    P.S. Why are the police able to purchase drugs but the general public isn’t? Maybe the officers involved to go to jail for being involved in drug operations since they did purchase it after all.

    • holly

      Maybe your buddy wouldn’t have lost his job if he wasn’t smoking so much pot. Stupid people do stupid things.

  • humbleeunice

    Amen Josh!! If what they do isn’t entrapment, then I don’t
    know the meaning. Lying, manipulating must be a requirement with their job & that makes me sick!

  • dr.walleye

    at the end of the day the bad people go to jail and are off the streets. a big thank you should go out to the law enforcement people. sting away. lol brendan, so a drug user friend got shafted by the police??? lol, i have an original idea, just say no and stay away from the drugs no matter what. sue, would you prefer the cops just go up to the drug dealers and ask them if they are dealing drugs? im pretty sure most of them would lie and say no. you two are chuckleheads and crack me up.

    • Vitojr130

      And it is people like you that make people like me get the heck out of Fergus. You are what is wrong with this town. The problem I have with these worthless sting operations are this: He was a user, not a dealer, until the cops came around. If he were to be charged for using drugs, he would ONLY have been charged with a misdemeanor for using marijuana. However, the cops asked if he had any crack and offered a pretty penny for it, and being poor he offered to acquire some for them because he knew people. Thus the baiting occurred. Now he is facing a felony. He would of never have dealt that crack if it wasn’t for this nasty sting operation. Sure, they may have taken some actual dealers off of the street, but my friend should NOT have been one of them. He wouldn’t have been one of them if it was for our “honorable” cops in Fergus. Lies and deceit are bad no matter who conducts them.

      • AFMama

        If you thing FF is the only place they have sting operations, you are living in a bubble. You better go find a deserted island to live on…

        • Vitojr130

          Melissa: Reading comprehension. I said it is people like him, not the sting ops, that make people like me get out. It’s the kind of attitude that people like him have and it’s such a pity because Fergus Falls would be a good place to live if it wasn’t for the conservative extremists that hate progressive actions and call it political correctness and the like. Need I go on?

          • AFMama

            My bad, I meant “think” but there is no way to go back to edit…obviously I misread your posts; I personally couldn’t wait to leave FF when I was in my late teens, but then as I got older and traveled the world, started a family, I realized that being closer to home wasn’t all that bad…there truly are worse places to live than FF…trust me, the military sent me to some places in the states that I never want to visit again.

          • Vitojr130

            Oh yes there certainly ARE worse places to live, but when the options are open for better places than here then why not? Fergus Falls is a good community for the elderly. If you are looking to start a family and say that Fergus is safe, then it may be a good place if you can find a decent job. However, I have found Fargo to be just as safe, yet they have more entertainment options for people under the age of 65 AND they have MANY job openings. However, that is just me.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/jamiecooper JAMIECOOPER.NET

    sorry doctor walleye, some of us still believe in the United States Constitution.
    I suppose you have the right to be against it and all but the rest of us have a duty to protect and defend it from all enemies, be they foreign or even local.
    if a drug dealers rights are trampled, why even have police?
    what are we policing for if only the rights of the police matter?
    drug dealers have just as many rights as anyone else.
    just as a child with a cold still has all the same rights as they do when healthy.

  • sweetfergusgirl

    Jamie – How can you compare the rights of drug dealers to that of an ill child? I’m certain having a cold isn’t illegal. Yes, of course drug dealers have rights. But they took a risk and lost. Whether baited or not, it’s still ILLEGAL and punishable by law. I, for one, feel safer raising my child in Fergus Falls knowing that the FFPD is making sure drugs will be less accessible to kids.

    • deweydoakes

      Agreed!

  • deweydoakes

    Mr. Lake… What’s wrong, son? Did your drug connection get busted? While I have been sometimes labeled a ‘Libertarian’, your constant presence on downtown street corners with your Ron Paul flag or some other agenda (“Secret Police R Amoung You”) totally turns me off from that train of thought.

    For the love of God, man…get a damn job, get a damn life, and instead of seeking ‘liberty’, seek help! And I mean help for your mental health. Seriously, I’m worried about you young man…

    • sweetfergusgirl

      Duane, I completely agree. Joshua, take all that free time standing with your signs and put it toward some job search.

  • AFMama

    I hope you don’t shop at any big stores, you may be watched by secret shoppers…oh my! To say it is the cops fault for these knuckleheads selling drugs is one of the craziest things I’ve ever heard…maybe if social services stopped bringing some of these people here to help them “escape” the big city problems we wouldn’t have such a big drug problem. I guarantee that the cops weren’t the only customers the drug dealers had either…maybe too many of you are worried about where your next fix will come from now?

    • Vitojr130

      You cannot compare secret shopping to sting ops… secret shoppers do not entice you to steal… They don’t tell you, “I will pay you $100 if you steal this for me.” Now do you see why it is ethically wrong? It’s called baiting. How do people know that the crime would have happened if the cops didn’t make an offer for it? And many people caught in this operation were born and raised in Fergus, not from the inner city.

      • sweetfergusgirl

        Brenden – you ask “How do people know that the crime would have happened if the cops didn’t make an offer for it?” If these dealers had a conscious and the knowledge of right & wrong, they never would have sold no matter who it was to, undercover or not. I’m sure these people were well aware that selling drugs to ANYONE is illegal. And I’m also sure that if a regular citizen offered them money, they would have sold it to them. So just because they sold to and undercover cop, it makes it more illegal?? Just some food for thought. The law is pretty clear…..

        • Vitojr130

          My point is not that selling isn’t wrong. My point is that the cops are indeed baiting. They are offering for the drugs. I know for a fact that my friend wouldn’t have sold crack if it wasn’t for an enticing offer made by a cop. Ethics go out the door when the basic need to make a living is comprised. It is pure human nature. He has NEVER sold crack to anyone before, and I know that for a fact. Sure, he smoked weed, but that is only a misdemeanor and not a felony. The point is that the cop asked him if he could acquire crack and he said that he could. The cop then proceeded to make a very nice offer and as soon as my friend went to go get it from another dealer, he got charged for dealing crack. The crime would not have happened if he wasn’t baited. I believe that if the dealers were caught in the act of dealing on their own without the cops offering them money, then it would be legitimate and there would be no questions asked. That is not the case. To use the secret shopper example, it would be like them saying, “Hey I will pay you $100 to steal this!” and then arresting you after you do it. Would you have even of thought of stealing if the $100 deal wasn’t there? Probably not. If you cannot understand that baiting is just as ethically screwed up as dealing drugs is, then I cannot argue this point anymore. Oh and by the way, purchasing illegal drugs is in fact illegal, so shouldn’t the cops be under arrest as well? Why do they get to receive immunity to the law?

          • sweetfergusgirl

            Brenden – Your friend DID sell on his own under his own free will. Did your friend know it was an undercover officer? I’m assuming not. So, therefore, he sold to a regular, plain dressed citizen. Any John Doe could have made the same monetary offer to your friend, and he would have sold. And if you are saying that he was baited, then ALL drug sales to anyone should be considered baiting. They were asked to trade drugs for money. Even thought it was just this one time for your friend, it happened. He is now a dealer. It only takes once… See the point now?

      • AFMama

        Well, I know for a fact because I have family members who have and are using drugs; they think that they are “flying under the radar” when it comes to their family knowing of their use, but we still know. So, where do they get their drugs? Hmmm….one of the gentlemen arrested is a “friend” of said family member(s), so I can only assume (I know what happens when you assume…) that these 2 aren’t playing the wii all day. So, the cops don’t make the criminals choose to sell. The cops are normally tipped off that the selling/using is occuring and then they do a sting operation.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/jamiecooper JAMIECOOPER.NET

    while I have to admit some of those arrested deserve to be jailed for far worse crimes than dealing, I also must admit that sting ops are unethical and entrapment.
    no doubt about it.
    not only that but, sting ops don’t even come close to solving the actual problems and so, every dealer that was caught will either return to dealing or be replaced by even more efficient, better organized drug dealers leaving our community ultimately with increased availability of street drugs overall.
    there never will be a shortage of any substance as long as there is a demand for it, and profits to be made from it, in this country! plain and simple.
    that’s why I support legalizing these substances and thus taking much of the profit motive out of it.
    reasonable taxes and regulation would do far more to keep these street drugs out of the hands of children and lower the crime rate overall.
    all one has to do is look at California or Holland for proof of the effectiveness of this approach.

    • dr.walleye

      legalize which ones? who decides what should be legal and what should remain illegal? whos criteria of morality do we use to decide these questions? what about a minnesota statewide vote to legalize some of it not all of these substances? what happens if the citizens vote no? would you still say they should be legalized? what happens if they vote yes? who regulates and mandates all of the ordinances and laws regarding it? would it be illegal to smoke a hallucinogen while operating or as a passenger in a motor vehicle? lots of questions to be answered jamie.

      • AFMama

        It would be a huge mess w/ a lot of red tape; just up the alley of govt. I want to know who is going to pick up the medical bills for all the “legal users” if it ever happens…Can we make them have a special license plate too? Goodness, all we need is more people under the influence, especially behind the wheel…oh wait, just drive down mainstreet & the majority of the people who run stop signs or red lights are probally under the influence…I know, let’s put in red light cameras and dish the sting ops! Maybe they could raise enough money to fix the roads that way… ;)

        • AFMama

          “probably”…I can’t seem to type lately… :)

        • Vitojr130

          If marijuana were to be legalized, medical bills might go down because it is much cheaper than many other prescription drugs that it could replace :).

          • AFMama

            That I highly (no pun intended) doubt. I have seen the downfall of my nephew from doing drugs as well as another family members choice in a future husband. They have little or no ambition, have poor bathing habits, the list could go on…so no, I disagree that legalizing it would solve all medical problems. But if it does get legalized, let’s make sure those using are paying the right tax amount and make sure they are “fixed” too. There are a few young kids in my family who didn’t have a chance at a normal life due the lack of common sense that their parents had; now they will suffer for the rest of their lives. And the one child who died of “SIDs”…yeah right, I’m sure that wasn’t caused by the drug use either. When you are in your teens and 20s, all you care about is the here and now, the future is so far off that you don’t care…until that future smacks you in the face and you wonder “why was I so stupid?”…trust me, we have all been there in some shape or form of making poor choices, the sole testament is what you learn from those choices and if you keep making them…

  • BillSchulz

    Offering the legalization of drug sales as the only sensible solution is absurd. There are nations such as China and Mideast Arabic countries which have a much more effective way of preventing the sale and use of drugs – they behead the dealers or chop off their hands. I am not proposing that inhumane solution to the problem, but the answer lies somewhere between the two extremes. Nobody put a gun in the face of any of the people busted in these stings and told them “Sell me some dope or die!”. They were offered a chance to make some quick money without having to get a job and work for it, and took the easy, unlawful way to imagined affluence. Now, they face paying the price for the free exercise of their free will and the actions proceeding therefrom. If you want to dance, ya gotta pay the fiddler.

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