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ATF Stash House Stings Were Legal, Federal Appellate Panel Rules

December 05, 2014  | 

Federal agents who lured suspects into plotting a robbery of a fictitious drug stash house did not commit "outrageous" misconduct, a federal appellate panel ruled Thursday, reversing a district court judge’s finding that the two men's due process rights were violated when they were nabbed in a sting, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstates the criminal cases of the Los Angeles-area men -- Antuan Dunlap and Joseph Whitfield -- who had their cases thrown out earlier this year in a rare ruling by Judge Otis D. Wright.

The judge had strongly rebuked the tactics used by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to entice the suspects to rob a non-existent house, writing that the sting tempted poor individuals with the promise of a quick payday and that agents had goaded defendants into acquiring weapons for the job.

The three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit wrote, "The ATF targeted individuals who had already demonstrated an interest in committing robberies, and did little more than 'set the "bait"' by inventing a fictitious cocaine stash house they could rob."

Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

TheRookie @ 12/6/2014 7:38 AM

If it was civilian law enforcement it'd be dismissed & the cops would have to have daylight pumped to them. The feds say, It's my ball & my court.

sherry @ 12/7/2014 5:37 PM

I would like to know how they "lured" the men into such an act? I guess this means no matter how hungry you are or how close your family is to being on the streets,, when someone says, Iknow of a sure come up at this one house. You are to say, No Way Man, I'd rather eat dirt then rip off a criminals stash. WOW I find it ddisturbing that Officers at the Arizona boarder hide in bushes, NOT to bust the illegals bringing dope over to the U.S.A but to bust other people that come to jump the illegals and take there dope. CRAZY

Jody Williams @ 5/21/2015 5:53 AM

I agree sherry, there are real drug houses that need to be closed down as well as keeping illegal drugs from reaching the U.S.A but to set up minorities, in underprivileged living status, when the ideal was not of there own, there was no drugs, no house. you can not make me understand this job, there is so many real crimes that should be handled, that are not made up situation by law enforcement. It should not be legal for the law enforcement to put together a fictitious crime to incarcerate people. That is ENTRAPMENT, I could go on and on about this nonsense

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