Internet Entrapment And Pornography Defense
According to a Florida statute, “A law enforcement … agent … perpetrates an entrapment if, for the purpose of obtaining evidence of the commission of a crime, he or she induces or encourages and, as a direct result, causes another person to engage in … [a] crime by employing methods of persuasion or inducement which create a substantial risk that such crime will be committed by a person other than one who is ready to commit it.” Talk to an attorney to determine whether police engaged in illegal entrapment when they gathered evidence to build a case against you in any type of sex crime involving a minor, such as:
- Internet luring of a minor, such as through text messages
- Craigslist-related pornography distribution
- Sexting with a “minor” (who was actually a police investigator posing as a minor and sending you prohibited images)
- Possession or distribution of illegal material
You have many options for building a defense if you were arrested during a drug or sex sting operation. It is, unfortunately, all too common for law enforcement officials to attempt to lure people into committing crimes for the purpose of making an arrest on charges involving:
- Traveling abroad for “sex tourism”
- Human trafficking violations
- Luring or enticement of a child and other sex crimes involving children
- Drug manufacturing and distribution
- The alleged trafficking or importation of a controlled substance
- Internet drug crimes, such as impersonating a physician online, and illegal prescriptions
When police officers go too far in their attempts to create an opportunity for such an arrest, it is called entrapment. A determination of entrapment would lead to a dismissal of charges.
When An Online ‘Friend’ Turns Out To Be A Real-Life Challenger Of Your Freedom
You may have been charged with sexual exploitation of a child or enticement of a child on the basis of interactions you allegedly engaged in with a convincing online personality. You may have believed you were merely exchanging playful sexy banter with an online “friend,” only to discover, when you allegedly traveled to meet a minor for sex, that the person was actually a police officer. In an attempt to catch online sexual predators and protect real children, many police departments conduct online sting operations using techniques that border on entrapment. Claims of criminal entrapment are powerful defense strategies in many cases.
Were you fooled into appearing to commit a crime that you never would have otherwise? If you sincerely believe that you never intended to commit a crime involving a child or any other type of crime and that police tricked you into committing out of character, talk to an attorney.
Criminal Defense Lawyer For Craigslist Crimes
Craigslist and similar websites where strangers interact and strike deals with each other are ripe grounds for criminal activity. Craigslist itself may seem to be simply a neutral conduit of online exchanges between people. However, this online resource is named again and again as a key piece of the puzzle after certain serious crimes occur.
Recent crimes in Florida and elsewhere, facilitated by Craigslist-triggered encounters between people, have included:
- A South Florida man who had bought gold from many people through advertisements that he posted on Craigslist was beaten and robbed by someone who answered one of his ads.
- A Marine, also in South Florida, was shot multiple times in the chest and abdomen when he tried to sell a gold chain to someone who had placed an ad on Craigslist.
- A young woman was killed – stabbed 89 times – by a man she had met through a personals ad on Craigslist.
- A former seventh grade teacher pleaded guilty to soliciting a child for sex through Craigslist. (The “14-year-old boy” he thought he was going to meet turned out to be an undercover police officer.)
- A 35-year-old man in Clearwater was arrested for soliciting sex from a girl via Craigslist. (The “14-year-old girl” he was interacting with, after connecting via an ad on Craigslist, turned out to be an undercover police officer.)
- Twenty-eight women were arrested after allegedly advertising sexual services for pay on Craigslist.
- A single mother who had borrowed money to buy her daughter a car as a graduation present was swindled by a “car seller” who advertised on Craigslist and then persuaded the woman to send payment by way of Western Union to an “agent” in Spain. She lost all the money, and no car was delivered to her.
- Two women stole hundreds of identities nationwide through a Craigslist scam and used them to file fraudulent tax returns seeking more than $500,000 in refunds and opened credit cards and other loans worth more than $75,000.
- In an extensive cyberspace sexual predators’ sting in the Tallahassee area, law enforcement agents posted fictitious ads on websites such as Craigslist, offering respondents the opportunity to solicit “children” for sex and/or engage in sexual discussions that included pornographic photos sent from the respondents to the “children.” Many people who took the bait were arrested.
The list of Craigslist-related crimes grows longer with the passage of time. You may have arrived at this website seeking defense after being accused of a crime facilitated by Craigslist. Whether you have been charged with a sex crime, a financial scam or an assault crime, if interactions on the internet were involved, your criminal case may require detailed computer forensics work.
Our Team At O’Brien Hatfield, P.A., Can Protect Your Rights
The sooner you consult with an attorney about possible police entrapment in your child pornography case, the more opportunities you may have for a favorable outcome. The alternative is to let a criminal case run its course – and to likely end up in prison. As a former prosecutor, attorney Mark J. O’Brien is prepared to fight on your behalf in support of the presumption of your innocence.