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Inside a controlled buy leading to a search warrant


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#1 Sidestreet

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 10:17 AM

The following is adapted from an actual state criminal case involving a confidential informant (C.I., a/k/a "rat") who was arrested and agreed to cooperate with the drug squad in order to avoid prosecution.  The C.I., a medical marijuana patient and caregiver, got in trouble over the number of plants she was growing.  She was told that she would have to participate in five successful controlled buys in order to avoid going to jail.

 

 

The passage is a paraphrase of testimony given by a county narcotics agent at a preliminary exam.  A preliminary exam is a hearing in a lower court where a magistrate determines whether probable cause exists such that a defendant can be bound over, or held for trial.  Remember that probable cause is a reasonable basis, given the totality of the circumstances, that a crime has been committed.

 

 

The passage describes, in the agent's words under oath in a court proceeding, what happened from the time the CI showed up to perform the controlled buy until the time the CI completed the buy and the evidence (a small bag of herb) was being processed.  There's not a ton of information but I thought it was an interesting look at investigatory technique.

 

 

 

Ms. Pretzel met me at State Police Post 711.  I strip searched her and no money or drugs were found.  I then gave her $200 in pre-recorded buy funds.  At that point, the rest of the team was briefed on the controlled buy before I drove her to the house located at 7499 Moher Street in an unmarked police vehicle.  She got out of the car, knocked on the door on the north side of the residence, and was let inside.  A short time later Ms. Pretzel exited the building and walked directly back to the passenger side of the squad car.  She got in and I drove away from the area.  At that point she handed me a paper bag and advised me that the marijuana was inside.  I took her back to the Post 711, where I again strip searched her and no money or drugs were found on her person.  I opened the bag, which contained what I believed to be marijuana that the confidential informant had just purchased.  I field tested the substance and it did field test positive for marijuana.

 

 

On the basis of this buy, the officer wrote a search warrant and affidavit.  He swore to it by telephone and the judge signed the warrant.  The building was searched and now the owner of the building is being charged.

 

 

Informants are one of the most important tools law enforcement has and so LE has a well-developed skill for intimidating and compelling defendants to cooperate in this way.  The prosecution does its part by attempting to charge priority defendants as harshly as possible.


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#2 fungi2bwith

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 11:32 AM

Sometimes, possibly most times, the C.I. also wears some type of recording devise.....I know this from one of my buddies being busted by a controlled buy from another one of our friends that turned "rat".  They had him on audio, as well as video.....


Edited by fungi2bwith, 28 August 2016 - 11:35 AM.

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#3 dead_diver

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 11:35 AM

It seems the rules have changed. It used to be that law enforcement had to actually witness the CI make the purchase.
Searching the CI before making the buy shouldn't be relied upon as proof the CI didn't supply the contraband themself that was supposedly purchased at the residence.
Who is to say that the CI didn't plant the contraband in the dwelling prior to being driven to the location by the police?
I think a good lawyer $$$ could get that evidence dismissed if the police didn't actually witness the transaction.
I guess making sure the person making a buy comes alone isn't good enough anymore. If this is true then the only way to be protected against a CI is to play by the old school mafia rules.

Edited by dead_diver, 28 August 2016 - 11:41 AM.

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#4 Heirloom

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 12:00 PM

I have heard of Rats being searched before going in to ensure that evidence isn't planted.

Audio is still used and with cell phones its even easier to record conversations.  I know people who won't allow cell phones around them.

With out Rats there would be a lot less busts.


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#5 Sidestreet

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 01:08 PM

 

Who is to say that the CI didn't plant the contraband in the dwelling prior to being driven to the location by the police?

 

Oh wow, I'm gonna have to use that one.  Good call DD.

 

In another part of the transcript, the cop/agent is careful to say that the CI was with him the whole time, went inside and came directly back out.  Except for being in the place, the snitch was never out of her handler's sight. 

 

Of course, if the defendant actually was set up, he would probably be telling his lawyer non-stop and the lawyer would be asking a lot of questions to draw that out.



#6 Heirloom

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 04:14 PM

When a controlled buy is made here they record the serial # of the cash , possesion of said cash is evidence of a transaction.

Finger prints or dna on the package is further proof of a sale.

If you want try to eat the pie in the sky , you can try.

I have been busted and went through the system.

I wrote a better post but it got lost. I was telling how to do drug deals and avoid rip off and police. Determine who informants are  and so on. I wrote about security.

 No need to write all that again.

Want to avoid being busted ? Tell no one, make no sales.

I am out of here, peace





 


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#7 Zen_

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 08:15 PM

Also relevant: https://www.theguard...MP=share_btn_tw

 

 

Stingray documents offer rare insight into police and FBI surveillance
Court documents ordered released by a judge in Oakland, California, have revealed rare insights into how local police and the FBI use a sophisticated surveillance device known as Stingray.

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 9.14.42 PM.png

 

 


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#8 Juthro

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 08:30 PM

Big brother is truly watching..... whether it's legal by their rules or not.  

 

There is no accountability when "the man" breaks the law, because "the man" enforces the law.

 

And they say their doing this to protect us........


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#9 CatsAndBats

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 08:30 PM

Considering what @zen just posted, using a double encrypted messaging service and / or VPN would be wise.

Plus using uncommon slang and not dropping key words I imagine.

Edited by catattack, 28 August 2016 - 08:32 PM.

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#10 Zen_

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 08:49 PM

Signal iOS: https://itunes.apple...ger/id874139669
 
Signal Android: https://play.google....crime.securesms
 
 

Signal is an encrypted instant messaging and voice calling application for Android and iOS. It uses end-to-end encryption to secure all communications to other Signal users. Signal can be used to send and receive encrypted instant messages, group messages, attachments and media messages. Users can independently verify the identity of their messaging correspondents by comparing key fingerprints out-of-band. During calls, users can check the integrity of the data channel by checking if two words match on both ends of the call. A Chrome app that can link with a Signal client is also in development.

Signal is developed by Open Whisper Systems. The clients are published as free and open-source software under the GPLv3 license.

 

Read More: https://en.wikipedia...gnal_(software)

 

https://whispersystems.org/

 

TSwSvib.png


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#11 CatsAndBats

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 09:01 PM

Exactly.
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#12 Sidestreet

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 09:31 AM

 

Big brother is truly watching..... whether it's legal by their rules or not.

 

In any case of an unconstitutional invasion of privacy by LE, criminal liability is simply not an issue for them.  The only "punishment" that any agent or agency would face (if anyone even found out about it) is the exclusion from court proceedings of any evidence obtained. 

 

On the other hand, an unconstitutional invasion of privacy can lead to information that can then be used to facilitate a constitutional invasion of privacy, leading to admissible evidence.

 

So, there is actually an incentive to violate the constitution.

 

Of course, on a local level, many agencies simply don't have the resources or technology to do the things we're talking about here in this thread.  Even in bigger cities there are priority cases and non-priorities.  So, don't be that big, juicy, low-hanging fruit.


Edited by Sidestreet, 29 August 2016 - 09:32 AM.

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#13 CatsAndBats

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 09:41 AM

Stick to invitro cakes.
;)
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#14 Microbe

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 10:02 AM

I use signal app also!

http://www.infowars....-discuss-trump/

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#15 Pan1

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 10:04 AM


Big brother is truly watching..... whether it's legal by their rules or not.


So, don't be that big, juicy, low-hanging fruit.

Agreed and that is so true. They have already started doing it in my country with cannabis boards, one day there going to sweep down on all of us, and those that are easy to get will be gone.

Edited by Pan1, 29 August 2016 - 10:06 AM.

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#16 MushPuppy

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 12:30 PM

Considering what @zen just posted, using a double encrypted messaging service and / or VPN would be wise.

Plus using uncommon slang and not dropping key words I imagine.

Thanks to CatsAndBats for directing me to this thread. I always use a VPN on my devices, and at a minimum I use the Burner app for peer-to-peer anonymity.

Signal or a similar app that provides messaging and VoIP encryption combined with a VPN on a pre-paid phone would be even better. And don't forget to disable your GPS and location features. Using a VPN doesn't mean anything if you're volunteering your coordinates to the world.

I think this is sound advice for all fish, big or small. Just keep it low low profile, don't sell or distribute anything, and be smart.
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#17 OysterFarmer

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 05:22 PM

I have heard of Rats being searched before going in to ensure that evidence isn't planted.

Audio is still used and with cell phones its even easier to record conversations.  I know people who won't allow cell phones around them.

With out Rats there would be a lot less busts.

I'm starting to get that way.  Paranoid?

 

A friend had a fucking ap on her phone.  That Pokemon thing.  Coast To Coast had an entire show on how the thing was spy ware developed by a subsidiary of the defense industry.  It allowed the ap to turn on your phone and listen at any time for any or no reason.  And people are just lah dee dahh but its Pokemon.

 

I know of a biker group who I personally hate and despise due to problems they've caused in town.  And they all think their clubhouse is bugged.  LOL its not your clubhouse guys.....

 

Fucking stupid.  I don't know what they are involved in but apparently they think they are involved in something worth being spied upon and yet they carry their smart phones with them every where they go.


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