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Tactics Police Use to Catch People Buying & Selling Drugs in Florida

Police use a number of tactics in Florida to catch people buying or selling drugs. In 2013, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), drug crimes accounted for almost 30% of all arrests (not counting traffic offenses) in Florida. If you were arrested for buying or selling drugs an experienced criminal defense attorney at Moses & Rooth will work with you to build a defense.

Two of the most common tactics police use to make drug busts are informants and undercover cops. These two strategies allow the police to get closer to suspected criminals than any other approach used.


The use of informants gives law enforcement officers a unique insight into the world of the persons they are trying to apprehend. A confidential informant is a person who provides information about criminal conduct to a law enforcement agency. Police are able to obtain informants when a person is trying to avoid arrest, prosecution, or to lower a sentence that will or has been imposed. Informants supply law enforcement agencies with information about suspected or the actual criminal activity of suspected criminals that they are familiar or connected with. Drug informants are often buyers or low end dealers that supply information to police about bigger dealers or players in the drug business.

Being an informant can be dangerous and may not payoff in the end. After a 23-year-old Florida woman, Rachel Hoffman was murdered in 2008 while assisting police as an informant Florida enacted “Rachel’s Law.” Rachel’s Law requires special training for law enforcement officers that recruit confidential informants, the adoption of policies by law enforcement agencies that use informants, informants to be notified that reduced sentencing may not be provided for their cooperation, and informants to be allowed advice of legal counsel.

Undercover Cops

The use of undercover law enforcement is another tactic used to apprehend buyers and sellers of drugs. Local police and other agencies use undercover officers to pose as either a buyer or seller of drugs in order to make arrests. Cops will pose as buyers to bust suspected drug dealers. Also, officers will go undercover as drug dealers and arrest buyers in order to deter drug crimes in high activity areas.

The use of informants and undercover police officers both pose the question of entrapment. According to Florida Statute, entrapment happens when a law enforcement officer, a person cooperating with law enforcement, or an agent of a law enforcement agency induces or encourages a person and as a direct result causes that person to commit a crime that they would not have done otherwise. An experienced criminal defense attorney can sit down and go over your arrest with you to determine if you are a victim of entrapment.

There are countless other tactics that law enforcement agencies use to catch people suspected of engaging in drug activity including phone taps, vehicle searches, screening of power usage, surveillance, monitoring social media, and many others. Law enforcement make mistakes when executing these procedures and may have violated your rights in doing so. If you have been arrested for a drug crime let the experienced criminal defense attorneys of Moses & Rooth examine your case for errors in police procedure. Contact us today to create a plan for your defense.

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Andrew Moses

Andrew has been practicing criminal law his entire career. After graduating from law school he began working as an Assistant State Attorney prosecuting cases in Orange and Osceola Counties. During his time as an Assistant State Attorney, Andrew handled all types of cases ranging from misdemeanors to such serious felonies as drug trafficking and armed robbery. His experience as a prosecutor helped him gain perspective of the criminal justice system and how the government established its cases.

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