Cop spends weeks to trick an 18-year-old into possession and sale of a gram of pot

More fun from the self-loathing society: This American Life had a show about how young female undercover cops infiltrated a high school and flirted with boys to entrap them into selling pot, so they could charge them with felonies and destroy their lives at an early age.

Last year in three high schools in Florida, several undercover police officers posed as students. The undercover cops went to classes, became Facebook friends and flirted with the other students. One 18-year-old honor student named Justin fell in love with an attractive 25-year-old undercover cop after spending weeks sharing stories about their lives, texting and flirting with each other.

One day she asked Justin if he smoked pot. Even though he didn't smoke marijuana, the love-struck teen promised to help find some for her. Every couple of days she would text him asking if he had the marijuana. Finally, Justin was able to get it to her. She tried to give him $25 for the marijuana and he said he didn't want the money -- he got it for her as a present.

A short while later, the police did a big sweep and arrest 31 students -- including Justin. Almost all were charged with selling a small amount of marijuana to the undercover cops. Now Justin has a felony hanging over his head.
Sick: Young, Undercover Cops Flirted With Students to Trick Them Into Selling Pot (Via Aurich Lawson)


  1. Florida?  Texas?  I can never decide.  One’s always topping the other somehow.

    Also, it’s worth listening if you haven’t heard it. The kid is surprisingly good natured about the whole thing.

    1. That’s funny: I’ve lived in both those states but never got hassled by the police as much as I do in Virginia.

    2. I know the caveat about Austin because I live in Austin but it bears pointing out that in 12 years in Austin I have found my Texas experience to be far more liberal & progressive than my nearly 30 years in NY.  Hell, my time in the right areas of Dallas & Houston make NYC look positively fundamentalist by comparison.  Don’t believe the hype…

      That said, by the time I got to Texas I knew where & where not to go or stop on the highways

    3. I mean he was good natured but he was clearly pissed off. He had all these plans for his life that he never got to fulfill because of this felony.

        1. Stay where you are. Police will be at your location shortly to escort you to the nearest work-house.

    1. Yes, but I’m sure some within the police force may fear they may have missed some potential felons.  Maybe next time they’ll just carpet-bomb and level the entire school.

    1.  I’m sure the laws vary state to state, but yeah. I would think they’d have to prove the kid would have tried to buy the pot even if not asked by the cop. Which would be tough if the facts are as stated. Here in Oregon we had that guy who wanted to blow up Pioneer Square and worked with undercover FBI to do it. The FBI had to show that they had given the guy other options and that he actually wanted to do it without them asking. They said they had but that one conversation, conveniently, was the one conversation with him they hadn’t recorded “because the tape recorder was broken.”

      I don’t know, maybe it’s proved if they have a conversation where this shitty cop said, “You know, sweetie, you don’t have to buy me the pot if you don’t want to.”

      1.  The show explains that it ended up being her testimony versus his. Of course the court believed the cop when she said he was trying to push pot onto her the whole length of the undercover operation.

          1. You’re saying they should take the teen’s word over the cop’s?  It’s not like horny 18-year-olds are unbiased saints either.

            There are crooked cops, but we trust them at least enough to carry guns.  That’s worth something.

          2. in reply to Lobster

             You’re right.  That really would ruin that cops life. 

            But seriously, many don’t even trust cups enough to let them carry capsicum spray and electroshock weapons.  Do you wonder why?

          3. I believe there’s supposed to be something called ‘reasonable doubt.’

            And unless you consider it unreasonable to doubt a police officer, well then, a matter of one person’s claims vs. another person’s claims inherently leaves reasonable doubt, and only evidence can limit the doubt.

            And it’s not ‘we’ who trust the police to carry the guns. It’s the local, state, and federal governments, and people who are poor, minorities, activists, etc. have no discernable influence on the governments.

          4. Apparently, you have never faced a cop in court. In Houston, they will convict a 23 year old for the Kennedy assassination, even though he wasn’t born yet, just on the word of a cop.

        1. Isn’t that how things went in Salem too? Still, I haven’t seen a witch in some time, so maybe evidence is overrated.

      2.  Funny how all those kinds of incidents end up being ones where the idiot was egged on and enabled by the authorities.  We had a similar thing happen in Chicago.  Most of these seem like things that wouldn’t have got very far otherwise.

    2. I think you could make an extremely strong case for entrapment, but the validity of entrapment as a defense varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Maybe in Florida entrapment is business as usual for the police.

      Whether or not entrapment is permissible in Florida, this is the kind of case that seems custom-made for jury nullification.  Meanwhile, elsewhere in the US, various adults are doing hard time for having infiltrated high schools pretending to be younger than they were and starting relationships with students. Just another instance of “it’s not a crime when a cop does it”?

      1. In the cop’s defense, according to the kid he never got farther with her than kissing her on the cheek, if memory serves.  Assuming that criminal sexual contact is what makes “starting relationships with students” objectionable.

    3. Is this okay with you if it technically wasn’t entrapment?  All of the stupid, stupid cop shows have made it seem like the procedural issues should be the main point of our “justice” system.  

    4. As the kid describes it, I’d think so (as a layperson). The officer’s version – which is really not very convincing at all – differs from the kid’s version in several respects, including who proposed he procure the weed, whether he demanded payment, etcetera: all the questions relevant to entrapment.

      Of course, there is the question of why, considering that the officer spent weeks or month undercover in the school, we have to rely on her word or the kid’s (and the jury unsurprisingly went with the cops): recording devices exist, after all.

      1.  Because Justin isn’t an Al Qaeda operative or a mafia boss.  He’s an 18-year-old student.  Should they have dusted the pot for prints, too?  Maybe run some blunt splatter analysis?

        1. Full marks for “blunt splatter”, which was funny.

          As to the rest, it’s a reason not to have a cop expensively spend weeks and months trying to con the kid into selling her a joint; having made the decision nonetheless to undertake such an operation, there’s no reason to do it badly, to make the prosecution a “he said/she said” affair. They were spending how many tens of thousands on her salary, on supervision, and on eventual prosecution – and they couldn’t spend a couple dozen bucks to buy a half-decent digital audio recorder?

        2. Right.  He’s not a hit man or a criminal kingpin; so why the heck is there a massive sting operation & a felony charge for him?  Ding.

          Also, to your comments above about trusting cops with guns, here in NYC they police just gun downed an unarmed kid in his own home for selling a low-level amount of pot.  There was no struggle, though he did run, so, hey!  The War on Drugs, everybody!

    1. They definitely should, and be put on the sex offender list should they harass or sexually approach any teen. Hey, it’s their rules.

  2. When I heard that story it totally ruined Valentine’s day, that kid was still so upbeat even though that cop played him and tricked him, messing up his life. And then how when asked if she felt bad she said “these kids need to learn a lesson” I couldn’t believe it. Bad Karma lady – you has it.

      1. The lesson being that cops are paid to ruin their lives?

        Yes. That is precisely the message they teach, to the young (like this kid), to this disenfranchised (who they trick into being “terrorists)”, etc. Basically, to everyone.


        If there is any justice at all in this universe this woman should be doxed and have HER life ruined as a result of trolling schools for people not already criminals…

        Unfortunately, as far as I can tell there is no justice in the universe.. at least not in this corner of it. People’s lives are destroyed in the name of “justice” every day, and there are rarely consequences. It’s especially insidious in the “Drug war.”

      2. Yep. That police are bad, and that good people are the ones who will suffer. That is a good lesson, and it’s good to know we are breeding a revolution and culture of criminals!

    1. If there is any justice at all in this universe this woman should be doxed and have HER life ruined as a result of trolling schools for people not already criminals and pestering them, stringing them along, and then when they finally do for you you arrest them and ruin any hope of them having a decent life.

      You no longer qualify as being a member of the human race.

      No I do not advocate or even suggest physical harm. I suggest treating her as a pariah to society. Do not allow her your business. Do not acknowledge her existence. Shove her down the collective memory hole after showing the world what she has done and is being PAID to do.

      1. Law enforcement in the US has nearly become a Complete Institution (cf. Foucault), hermetically sealed against the logic of the greater society in which it operates, just like a prison. Therefore, she is (nearly) immune to your concerns, as her occupation has spent years and dollars ensuring that your opinion has no bearing on their behavior. You can’t make a pariah of someone who is given a protected role in society.

        1. Forgive me for indulging in the fantasy of a world where common sense and fairness has any bearing on the larger meatspace society.

          1. How have you dispensed with the age-old aphorisms that “common sense isn’t common,” and “life isn’t fair?” These are forces that act on the rest of us, why not you?

        2. Discipline and Punish is Surveiller et Punir in the original French, which gives a different flavour. The prison was sealed only one way allowing observation from outside – that was essential to its proper functioning. Where is the access to the Police as an insititution?
          What justified the existence of the institution (prison/school/factory) was the act of disciplining the body in order to measure and measuring the body in order to discipline in the minutest detail which was legitimated by a general act of observation in which everybody was involved and therefore complicit. Creations essentially of the Christian Church (don’t ya love ’em?).
          This random disciplining of random students (not even the search for the inner convict, I’m afraid) seems more Stalinist than Foucauldian, to me.
          I don’t see where you are going.

          1. The point was access to the soul through the body in order to produce knowledge. He concludes that the theory did not work and was unworkable. Whether you see that as being due to initial bad faith or not is up to you (and I do). Institutions have therefore become something other than their stated theoretical justification claims.

        3.  fortunately i do think that forums like this one, and the Internet in general, is going to eventually squeeze out crazy-thinking like this, because the bad guys simply do not have the money or human resources to fight a growing cognoscenti. The downside is that people will suffer in the mean time, like this kid, but again, because the majority of people are becoming enlightened, kids like this are finding massive support and will not go the same way as the martyrs of the past…

      2. I don’t know about all this cyber revenge stuff, but she should seriously get a real job and start contributing to society.

    2. I wonder whether is she aware that she is human garbage or is she still managing to delude herself, deep inside, in the dead of night?

      1. You might spend some time examining the history of the concept of “human garbage.” You might not be so quick to comment.

  3. Is it possible that he WON’T have a felony hanging over his head? Isn’t the standard procedure to press the people low on the totem poll for information about who supplied it and then release them after they’ve flipped? If so, the crappiness still remains as this kid fell for the cop and bought it for HER.

    1. When they remind him that it would be surprising if a 17 year old didn’t get raped repeatedly in prison, yes, he will probably tell them whatever they want.

      1. This point always reminds me that the US is totally effed up.  We actually have come to expect that punishment involves rape.  US prisons have become no better than the third world hell holes we always read about.

        Being punished for a crime in a civilized society does NOT mean that part of the punishment includes rape/torture.

  4. It’s amazing the lengths such sad, misguided people will go to to make themselves believe they’re doing good in the world.

    1. The sad thing is I’m sure these cops think they are God’s gift to the universe. 

      Especially when they’re buzzing after having a few drinks of their favorite drug (alcohol) at their local drug den (bar).

  5. The waste of money is incredible! How many hours were devoted to this? It’s basically entrapment, I hope they get it dismissed. Even if you agree with our inane and misguided drug policies around marijuana, you have to admit that this is a huge waste of resources. Just unbelievable.

    When I was in college, my little brother recognized one of the guys living in my apartment house. He said that the guy was a narcotics undercover, and had been going to classes at his high school. I didn’t know the guy well, but he was definitely a college student. I guess he was working for the PD on the side because he looked young. My brother said he would try to make friends in class and work the conversation around to drugs. He laughed and said nobody at his HS fell for it, and it was completely obvious.

    1. He said that the guy was a narcotics undercover, and had been going to classes at his high school.

      When I was a lad, you only had to step into a stall in the high school bathroom to see a list of local narcs written on the wall. This is the real reason that they won’t sell markers to teenagers anymore.

  6. Is this because the US needs to fill its private prisons to provide cheap labour?

    In the UK we do it another, more subtle, way. The Job Seeker’s Allowance – funded by the taxpayer (I think there’s one left) – is used to support the unemployed. They’re used as plesio-forced labour (or you lose your allowance) for private companies like supermarkets.

    1.  I don’t think the main reason we fill the private prisons is to provide cheap labor, mostly it works out well because the private prisons make money from having lots of inmates and they can kick back to the judges, politicians etc. Like anything else there’s a revolving door between private and public employment that basically legalizes corruption (you just get your thank you checks late and have to pay taxes on them).

      1. Right, but either way you look at it, it’s about profiting off of sticking non-violent drug offenders in prison.  You know, instead of working a real job for a living and contributing to society.  Fucking vultures.

    2. Just going off of your description I would at least feel halfway decent about myself doing that. As it is here, from personal experience, there’s a gap between what you get ‘honestly’ from government benefits (don’t know how scammers manage to get the wealth they get from the government) that you get only so much money from them based off a number of things and after jumping through an unholy huge amount of paperwork.

      You get a job, even minimum wage. No not even that. I lost my benefits from making $400ish a month. That was Oh… six years ago. I have a disability. I /SHOULD/ be getting money yet I am not due to having a crap job that paid sub-minimum wage for… oh… three months.

      The system is broke.

  7. Well, if the kid didn’t have felony in him, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. This method of finding the inner convict in someone has promise. I think this is the primary way we find could-be-if-pushed-correctly terrorists, as well.

    Who the hell approves this kind of crap policework, anyway? 

    1. I think it’s crap policework becuase the folks in the middle managment are trying to prove to the bosses some form of success on the ‘war on drugs’. Arresting kids they’ve tricked is just one way to meet those ends.

      There isn’t any intelligence at that level or higher that can stop and say, “Whoa, this is crazy.” If someone did, the entire thing would fall apart.

  8. It’s worth noting that this was entirely HIS side of the story, as the cop wouldn’t actually appear on the show to tell their side.  According to them, however, he was a pot-smoker and was the one who offered to sell it to her.

    If he’s telling the truth, though, what with him having to plea guilty to a felony charge, he’s got a pretty shitty lawyer for not trying to claim entrapment.

    1.  Agreed, the story’s bad enough (entrapping kids) without needing to make it worse by failing to point out some of those caveats, as the alternet article fails to do.  TAL made sure to tell what there was to tell from both sides though.

      1. Even if he’s not telling the entire truth, it was still just a gram of fucking pot. Nothing that means his entire life should be ruined.  He’s a teenager and he maybe sold a gram of pot.  How terrible!

        1.  Well yeah, I agree.  Like I said, the story’s bad enough without having to try to leave out inconvenient info.

      1. The police did issue some kind of general comment.  The detective herself was not allowed to comment on the events iirc.

      2. I’m not sure how much Fact Checking they do actually.  I’ve listened to a few stories where my bullshit meter was off the chart by the end of the interview.  An example would be the story of the guy who bought second hand cyrogenic capsules to try to get some money from people too afraid to die.  Of course he had no money and no experience and the capsules failed pretty quickly yet throughout the interview he’s giving what sounds like a hard con job to Ira.  At a couple of points Ira lightly presses on his story and shows some seams in it, but he’s not a hardball reporter and for the most part the huge mass of likely distortions and outright lies is allowed to stand.

        1.  You get that a lot from NPR shows; typically through the questions they ask and the way the interview is presented it’s clear when they think a person is BS-ing them.

          But they also respect the listening audience enough to make their own decision (in most cases). I mean, it was clear to you in that case, right?

          The rare times when they do go after someone for spouting obvious BS can be pretty great, of course.

        2.  I don’t think that you’re remembering that episode correctly. Here’s the episode transcript, and aside from the fact that Ira isn’t the one interviewing him–it’s a guy named Sam Shaw–I really don’t see where you’re getting the idea that the cryonics guy, Bob Nelson, is being let off easy. He’s confronted in more than one lie, and ultimately his only defense is that the people whose bodies were entrusted to his care legally donated their bodies to his society “And according to my attorney, we could grind them up for hamburger if that’s what we wanted to do.” Ultimately, he was given enough rope to hang himself and that’s just what he did.

    2. Allow me to also take this opportunity to question why two of my comments from this thread have been removed.  It’s disheartening to think that even the mildest form of disagreement is being censored in some way.

        1. Really?  Directly responding to people’s criticisms to clarify my point of view is repeating myself to the point of requiring deletion?  But not the guy who responds to those very same things by saying “OH NO HE WAS SMOKING POT” twice?

          Since when are you a referee for people who are otherwise having a completely civilized conversation?

    1. …You’re being sarcastic, right?  Or trolling?  Because if you’re not, you’re incredibly ignorant.

      1.  I think Ian is being TOTALLY sarcastic since our current sitting president has admitted to smoking pot in the past.

          1. And I never have. To think that I might have been President if I had just tried smoking pot.

      2. Pretty sure it’s sarcasm.  Everyone knows just about every modern President and many Presidential candidates have admitted to at least “trying” pot.  Not to mention business leaders like Steve Jobs who smoked pot and took acid and then went on to become one of the most successful businesspersons in the world.

        And, it’s very obvious that all of the current Republican candidates are high on a strain of weed so powerful that even I would fear a toke of it.

          1. Ok, THAT’S IT!!  I can’t take this anymore!!!!

            In protest, I am going to smoke myself to death with marijuana and overdose!

            Does anyone have two tons of weed I could use?


      Good. No one who has smoked pot has ever gone on to do anything significant.

      Oh yea, what about BoingBoing?!

      Just sayin’, of course.

        1. Nah, got the sarcasm. I was just trying to come to grips with that funny smell, which is not to say that I’m implying at ALL that the founders of BB have some, er, familiarity with the subject. Nope, not at all!

          Sorry if my original sarcasm was a bit subtle. Guess there are solar flares about.

  9. Student has learned 2 Lessons:
    The police are your enemies.Women who act nice to you cannot be trusted.

    That should lead to a well adjusted life later on, right?

    1. If you had ever known a cop, you would know that the answer is a resounding NO. Do not believe all of the advertizing of cop TV shows. These are actors, not real cops.

  10. What are they charging him with? He wasn’t selling it to her, he was giving it. Isn’t that just distribution, not selling?

    1. They cops claim that he took money from her. (He admits to having done so but claims it was only after the cop badgered him to take the money.)

      1. Well, there’s a lesson that’s worth passing on to your kids at least – If you’re giving away pot, never ever accept compensation for it, ever.

        certainly better than the other possible lessons one could derive from this, like that you can never trust anyone.

    2. Perhaps someone else can confirm, I was just told by a coworker that the This American Life story said he did take the money.

  11. I’m sure there’s quite a few businesses that would love to hire a person of good character and adaptable like he is.  He didn’t want to take money for his charitable efforts (good character), showed initiative and is adaptable (found marijuana despite not having any experience in that field) and is willing to take calculated risks.

    Sounds like a great kid.

    The undercover cops, on the other hand, I wouldn’t trust those pieces of shit with the most basic job.  You know… working for a living and contributing to society?  Things like that.

    1. Any Mutants out here authority to hire people?

      I like Cowicide’s suggestion of hiring this kid on.

    2. This whole thing is creepy on so many levels it boggles even my cynicism. It’s like an SNL skit but real and not funny (well, okay, SNL usually isn’t funny either).

      At the absolute minimum that cop should be fired, loose her pension and be prohibited from contact with children. And whoever ordered the investigation should get the same reward; it does not good if you only punish the spear carriers.

      And the citizens of wherever this is in Florida need to get their local government to stop their police from starting relationships with their children! Lots of people hardly trust adults who admit who they are with interacting their kids (teachers?), but they trust some sleazeball who pretends to be their peers with the express intention of starting a relationship?!!! Is there going to have to be a case of statutory rape before this town gets a clue? Actually, that goes for the whole English speaking world.

      And because the police were at least savvy enough to use a woman to entrap a boy, there will be be all those chauvinist jackasses who chime in (though not here, I think) with I wish older women were chasing me when I was his age or yeah, but it’s different ’cause it’s a boy.

    3.  No one that matters with regards to getting a job cares about your personal qualities. You don’t get to that stage until you pass through several stages of HR, including the initial automated resume check (software that scans your resume for keywords).

      I think (?) things like being of good character, being adaptable and resourceful, showing initiative, etc. used to matter. But if it still mattered, I’m pretty sure I’d have found a job in the past two years because I’m all of those things (if I may say so myself).

      1. True, but we do need to keep in mind the way things /should/ be so if we can ever get off the defensive game of keeping critters from eating the internet to start making positive changes.

        At the very least we can each do this in our communities where we can. Right?

      2. No one that matters with regards to getting a job cares about your personal qualities.

        Depends on the type of job and which type of business, etc. Sure, large corporations are going to treat everyone like a number (even after you get the job, for that matter).

        Smaller businesses (which also happen to offer the overwhelming majority of jobs in this country) tend to be much more personal than giant corporations, etc.

        I hope you have better luck with your job search.

    1.  Actually they are remaking that into a movie. I hope it’s two hours of undercover assholes setting up HS kids for a gram of weed. And that a lot of food gets thrown at the screen.

      1.  That would so make an excellent movie, in an Emperor-has-no-clothes kind of way.

        A skilled filmmaker could do the biting social commentary and dark humor thing in one masterful stroke.

        1. I know!
          I actually think it would be a great parody short film, where a huge effort is made with expensive technology, undercovers, and THE WIRE type suspense; over the top, dramatic edits and music, etc. Maybe even a rolling $ counter adding up the costs of the investigation as it goes?

          And the payoff is a 17-yr old with a couple of joints.

          Just to point out the waste involved in this war on drugs, and how our morality police is a pretty expensive option. Maybe have the cops break out a few beers and toast the arrest for extra hypocrisy?

          1. There’s this rather interesting 2009 Romanian film called Police Adjective in which the cop doesn’t want to arrest a young man for offering drugs to his friends because it’ll ruin him for no good reason. But his boss insists. Of course this is fiction.

          2. MAKE THIS HAPPEN!

            No. Seriously. Get somebody wanting to direct. Get a kickstarter going. And just go to town.

  12. I wonder what would have happened if he has swallowed all the propaganda and reported the love of his life to the authorities for trying to obtain an illegal substance…

    1.  Perhaps the word in high school should be “Don’t sell drugs to anyone who doesn’t have sex with you first!”  That would have solved this kid’s problem.

      1. Given the recent stories about government agents fucking and impregnating members of the groups that they were infiltrating, that filter is no longer working.

        1.  yeah, but at least the kid would have had something to show for it. Yes, a broken heart, a record, but at least an orgasm as well.

  13. You know they’re just doing it so that when the kids lives are ruined and they need welfare because they can’t get student aid with a drug-related felony on their record, they’ll have to pay for a urinalysis.

    It all gets back to those damned urinalysis companies.

  14. I’ve got a story. When my father was a kid in crappy crappy Oklahoma (just post dust bowl days), he and a friend of his were playing in a telephone booth (pretending to be Superman). Some cop showed up out of the blue and yelled at them. Being kids they ran.. and the cop shot at them. Shot at kids who were playing superman in a telephone booth because they ran.

    Well he didn’t hit anyone. Turns out my dads friend was a recent immigrant from some horrific third world country, and a revolutionary guerilla fighter. As in… this poor 10-12 year old kid had somehow escaped with his family from some oppressive regime in some third world tropical s**thole… maybe it was, in fact, Florida.. I dont really know. In any case… two days later the police station mysteriously burned to the ground.

    Not sure why this story reminded me of that one… 

  15. But…WHY??? Have they nothing better to do? How did the planning meeting for this go? “Hey, I watched that highschool-movie where a totally hot undercover agent infiltrates a school and busts the nerds there and shit.” – “Yeah, that sounds totally awesome, bro!”

  16. Another big issue for me is, was the school actually aware that police were being planted in their classrooms? I have a hard time believing police could pull this off if school administration (and teachers) weren’t in on it. If so, they’ve also destroyed any shred of trust that teachers and students shared, and created a learning environment where students are going to doubt the priorities and intentions of their school (not that students shouldn’t be doubting them anyway…)

    1. From the transcript at the TAL site: 
      “Police officers were there undercover because parents and principals had complained about drugs being sold at the schools. Only the principals at the schools knew of their presence. No teachers knew it, no parents knew it.”

      1. It’s a good thing they did, taking marijuana can ruin your life, kids. Not as badly as the police can ruin your life, but still…

  17.  I like EH’s point.  It’s like the police, in participating in the social Panopticon of modern law enforcement, have forgotten that we can see and analyze their behavior… even if the inertia of modern population makes it difficult, even impossible for us to change their behavior.  Bad form.  When I was listening to the story I was first imagining undercover officers keeping black tar heroine or cocaine out of the hands of irresponsible minors, not quarter sacks from seniors.
    But..  In a strange anthropological way this story gives me hope.  If the drive to procreate, to achieve the biological imperative at any cost is this strong, even unto the blinding lunacy of a bad pot transaction…  maybe it means humans aren’t ready to give up yet.  

    1. It’s interesting how quick you are to believe a cop and the cop’s bosses, who hold all the power, over someone who doesn’t hold any power.

    2. If the cops came out and said, “No there was never an undercover agent working at the high school”, then it would be a issue of who to believe, which could be resolved by records and facts.

      As it stands, the police seem to have admitted that they infiltrated a high school, and that attractive undercover officers flirted with high school students over a long period of time for the purpose of busting them on drug offenses.

      The minor details of the cop vs student narrative are relatively easy to ignore, because the behavior that the police have actually admitted to is skeevy in the extreme.  Even if I were to believe the police account completely, I still think what they’ve done is both incredibly wasteful, and frankly despicable.

  18. There’s really something wrong in our society when an honor student gets screwed over with a felony for something which he didn’t want to do in the first place and the folks who caused massive losses in our financial system get bonuses.

  19. It’s for situations like this where I hope when Obama gets his second term he immediately starts doing pardons. Entrapment much?

  20. Just when you think they cannot go lower, they do. Amazing and really tells of the moral quality of the “officers” that get a police job. Agree to do something like this under any context and you know, you are human trash.

  21. Huge TAL fan, was a little disappointed how they handled this story. I didn’t find it cutesy, I found the tale absolutely deplorable. The show has been doing a bit more muckracking stories (ie Ira Glass’s recent great expose of a corrupt judge), maybe they should look more into this?

    1. The people who produce segments for TAL and a lot of other NPR/APM shows like to fancy themselves as “real journalists” which in their minds means showing both sides of a story, even when as is the case here, there is a glaring matter  of right versus wrong and an obvious case of entrapment. To put such a huge stain on this young mans life for a plant that grows out of the ground is beyond the pale.

      1. I take your criticism for NPR in general (the “view from nowhere” infuriates me and I find All Things Considered often right of center) but TAL is not really a news program and it seems to be independent; when they tread into current events its with their own take.

  22. Just to make sure, the objectionable points here (some disputed) are:

    A) The fact that marijuana is illegal even for adults
    B) The fact that it is a felony charge
    C) The fact that a disproportionate amount of police resources are spent trying to enforce marijuana restrictions
    D) The fact that a felony charge, regardless of verdict or circumstances, causes as much damage as it does
    E) The apparent severe violation of ethics involved in this particular sting operation

    Am I missing anything?

    1. F) The fact that the police and prosecutors have the resources to pursue these insane entrapment operations, while the public defenders are overwhelmed, defendants are not informed of eligibility requirements and deadlines, and so on. I don’t know what legal representation, if any, the kid had, but competent representation should have stopped this nonsense.

      G) The fact that pre-trial detention can be used to extract guilty pleas.

      H) The suggestion that the school cooperated with this nonsense.

      I) The suggestion that one person’s word, against another’s, can get the second convicted. One issue here is that the courts are ignoring reasonable doubt. Another issue here is that, in choosing ‘more trustworthy’ and ‘less trustworthy’ individuals, there’s a widespread tendency to assume that higher-status individuals [including police] are more trustworthy and that people from certain groups [the poor, minorities, lgbt people, autistic people, etc.] are inherently untrustworthy. So the same considerations which lead to discrimination in day-to-day life get reproduced, if not amplified, in the courts.

      1. F is good, but I’d move it to after C and rephrase it a bit as “the fact that the defense is not supplied with resources to match those of the police and prosecution.” Might want to juggle some of the others, too. So that leaves us with…

        A) The fact that marijuana is illegal even for adults
        B) The fact that it is a felony charge
        C) The fact that a disproportionate amount of police resources are spent trying to enforce marijuana restrictions
        D) The fact that the defense is not supplied with resources to match those of the police and prosecution
        E) The fact that a felony charge, regardless of verdict or circumstances, causes as much damage as it does
        F) The use of immoral tactics to extract unreliable confessions before trial for evidence
        G) The disregard to reasonable doubt in courts
        H) The amplified effects of prejudices resulting from said disregard to reasonable doubt
        I) The apparent severe violation of ethics involved in this particular sting operation
        J) The school’s apparent cooperation with said operation

        How’s that?

    2. J) The fact that marijuana, unlike alcohol, has never killed anyone in the history of mankind
      K) The fact that binge-drinking is viewed as a normal part of teenage life
      L) The fact that no kid will ever have a felony conviction for getting an underaged girl a drink

      ps… I wish I could sign a petition or send this kid some college money or something.  Just feel so bad for him.

      1. Er… I’m thinking J isn’t that objectionable, unless you’d rather it had killed people. And K and L may be relevant if you’re specifically arguing against alcohol usage, but aren’t really the things to object to here. Maybe you could amend A to say “… given that alcohol, which is more dangerous, is not,” but they’re not directly relevant.

        Yeah, I get why you’re bringing them up. But they’re not the things to specifically object to regarding this case.

  23. That is the very reason I moved 3000 miles away from Florida and then moved my son here as soon as I could. Police there are predatory. One small example. I received 13 moving violations in a five year period in Florida. In 11 years in California, I’ve been cited once. 

    Another example, a friends brother got busted with a gram of pot, got probation then got caught with another gram of pot and did 18 months in prison. For two grams of pot. Fuck Florida. If I didn’t have family there, I would never step foot in that state again.

  24. For those of you who are wondering, this is why we have juries, and why there are rights of the accused.  We should take opportunities like this to fix the criminal justice system. 

    1. Judges should not be allowed to “instruct” juries.  This is a violation of the separation of powers.

    2. Neither prosecution nor defense should be allowed to dismiss a juror.  See above.  Only a judge should be so allowed, and only if there is egregious conflict of interest.

    3. Trial juries should have the same power to subpoena, examine and indict as Grand Juries do.

    4. All juries should be presented with standard notifications upon convening, including the right to nullify and the possible penalties associated with the charges before them.

    Cases such as this would never be brought before a jury so prepared.  

    All that said, is anyone else just slightly alarmed by the concept of “attractive undercover police officers flirting with high school students?” In any other context, the very suggestion of any adult “flirting” with a high school student would have been met with howling outrage and breathless nationwide round-the-clock coverage.

    It was noted with some amusement they chose to flirt with male students. If they are so concerned with justice, why not send a 25-year old male police officer to the school to flirt with the 18-year old girls for weeks?

    It wouldn’t be because it’s much more difficult to blame a female cop would it? And male students are much easier to villify? The double standards in this story are so thick it’s unreal.

    1. Have sex, have kids, and then abandon them, even. It’s disgusting that those kind of people get paid from taxes.

  25. “She tried to give him $25 for the marijuana”

    That should have told him something was seriously wrong. Just sayin.

    1. how was he charged with distribution if neither money or services were exchanged….possession is the only charge that would stick, all he would have to do is (a)not snitch(b)plead not guilty my bet would be that the prosecuter would back off and either throw it out completely or offer a plea for possession. also, was the exchange on school property?may justify more chaerges, but still not distribution.

  26. Those cops were lazy, they should have gone after the REAL honey pot: those kids could have been potential murderers, she could have tricked them into killing someone.  Unfortunately now we’ll never know if they could have been murderers.  What a waste.

    1. I know, I know. It’s terrible how they’ve pissed it away. She could’ve tricked him into gambling with international economies, losing trillions, and walking off with millions. But oh, no, they’ve got to go for their (airquotes) quick result. Sheesh, some public authorities, eh? Watcha gonna do?

  27. what is this I dont even…Except I do.  I know exactly what’s going on here.  Blatant Waste of Resources.  Obvious Entrapment.  An Adherence to the Letter of The Law, While Completely Ignorant of The Spirit Of It.  Weak Cops Fighting Weak Crime.

    Real Cops you see…they fight real crime.  I have been a partisan of Law Enforcement workers: and still am, because of the difficulties that they face, and the necessity of their existence in a modern society.

    But…This…Is…Pathetic.  Shame on you lady: You are not a good police officer.  I hope for your sake your Higher Ups MADE you do it…and needless to say Shame On Them Too.

    What kind of cops do this???  How is this helpful to anyone?  

    ‘Ohh, but, marijewhanna use is a real problem in our schools!!’  Says you, you sorry excuses.

    First of all: That. Plant. Is. The. Least. Of. Your. Worries.

    HOW MANY GUNS ARE THERE IN FLORIDA???  How many illegal guns, held by dangerous baddies?  How many abusive drunkards?  Are there any hard drugs in Florida…just curious, because, you know…it might be cool to FIGHT REAL CRIME!!!

    You see, I just smoked some mary jane before I wrote this screed, to clam me down (edit: calm) and get mentally situated to cap on your penny-ante asses for Acts Detrimental To Decency and Justice…YES: OUR LAWS ARE OFTEN OUTDATED, EXCESSIVELY PUNITIVE and at times full of shit.  But whatever genius thought this one up has been watching too many cop shows and not nearly enough time earning their salary using empathy and bravery to do their jobs properly.

    1.  > First of all: That. Plant. Is. The. Least. Of. Your. Worries.

      seriously, the bigger problem is that there are fellow US citizens (or anyone in this world) willing to do what those disgusting undercovers did. I am morally nauseated.

  28. Shit, even in Growing OP they were going after big time dealers, not the kid. What good does it do them to go after a kid who otherwise would have nothing to do with pot? Why wouldn’t they go undercover to find the source of the weed, if that’s the real problem? Nope. The only thing they are doing is unnecessarily ruining lives.

  29. This is the result of the privatization of prisons. There’s a corporation making lots of money from each kid that is incarcerated. They charge a lot more to house and feed people than when the state was in charge of these matters. Gotta keep those prison cells filled!
    You can bet there are police higher-ups and judges in on the take, as well. 
    Ain’t small government grand?

  30. you know what would be awesome? If someone somehow uncovered those women’s names and got some photos, so that wherever they go, someone would happily remind them of why they should feel ashamed.

    1. This poor, brave policewoman is obviously just doing her job defending the public from people prone to being manipulated through overly-elaborate schemes.

    2.  Don’t forget, they’re cops. They could, quite literally, murder anyone who tries to make them ashamed and get away with it. They will never have to deal with the consequences of their actions. Ever. If they’re already doing stuff like this, I doubt they’d have any problem with murder, or even have the capacity to feel shame. Not enough humanity left in there.

    3.  I’m less interested in extracting personal satisfaction by victimizing this cop than I am in changing the system that led her to be placed in that school. There was an entire apparatus that went to work – the police department, school, legal system – to screw this kid over. Individual life-ruining might help you get your rocks off, but I’m not convinced it has any relationship to producing a just society.

  31. My favorite part about this story is that they paid new officers to sleep in classes at taxpayer expense. How valuable to improving the atmosphere of the classroom. A massive waste of money.

    However, this only gives the boy’s side of the drug deal.

    Pot has been illegal for over fifty years. If you want to smoke or deal, you know the consequences. Your opinion of pot laws won’t protect you from legal action.

    1. >Pot has been illegal for over fifty years. If you want to smoke or deal, you know the >consequences. Your opinion of pot laws won’t protect you from legal action.

      Yeah, that’s really the point

  32. if the authorities were serious about stopping the drug trade, they would go after the big players…I’d like to see these officers infiltrate juares mexico.

    1. They should stop supplying narco-cartels with guns, for starters.
      And stop using US army to grow heroin.
      Face it folks. War on drugs is a scam. The greatest beneficiary of global illicit drug trade and its main sponsor is the US, its intelligence services in particular. They learned their lesson well from the prohibition. They saw how the mafia got rich and powerful on bootlegging and decided to manufacture a similar cash cow for themselves. Hence “War on Drugs” initiated by no one else but Tricky Dick himself. “Sickening” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

  33. ah… the war on drugs…  like most branches of our government, they create justification for their existence through ever increasing bureaucracy, regulation and obstacles to common sense… 

    this story is just sad…

  34. I love the comment at the end of the clip, that despite this kind of thing happening, we know that undercover work is very successful because there have been so many arrests. Not because violent crime, drug dealing etc. has gone down, just that more kids are finishing school with felonies. They must be really proud.

  35.  Nearly the exact same thing happened to me in the late 80’s. Thankfully I was 17 and had a good lawyer. They wanted to try me as an adult. Had they been successful, I would have been facing 5-15 years on each of 5 charges. I wish I could get outraged at this story, because it is outrageous, as it sits all I can really think is “still?”

  36. I know this is frustrating, but I want to remind you that you are in charge of your country and you can stop this if you all stand up at the same time.

  37. Is this a joke? I hop it is, bcause a more demoralizing, taxmoney-waste and sick thing to do I cant hardly think of.. America, america what the fuck !

  38. In our society there are bad and good of all professions. After reading some of these comments its clear that we are jaded in our understanding of this fact, (which in my opinion is creating more damage than the bad people). 
    Now obviously we could quibble over terminologies and degrees of damage, like (pedophiles, and rapists) but that is a whole other spectrum.
    My main point is, I for a while was thinking about becoming an officer of the law but the attitude of society towards the “pigs” soared me. 
    Its unfair for us to tar everyone with the same brush, don’t get me wrong I think its sick what these officers have done but its the bad people not the profession.

  39. I would like to ask this cop whether she is happy with her life. How well she sleeps at night, that sort of thing. Whether she is proud that she has helped protect society  by locking up a dangerous criminal.

  40. Surely this will lead to public moral outrage about how undercover police are corrupting American youths?

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