Police officers in Jacksonville arrested several people at a WalMart on Philips Highway for trafficking in cocaine after setting up a reverse sting at the store, according to an article on News4jax.com. The article indicates that the five people were arrested after an undercover Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent posed as a cocaine dealer who was going to sell five kilograms of cocaine to the buyers. After meeting at the WalMart, the suspected cocaine buyers were arrested and the $50,000 in cash they brought and their vehicle were seized.
Police in Jacksonville and other areas of Florida use the reverse sting technique to make various drug arrests involving cocaine, marijuana and other illegal narcotics. The plan often begins when police make an arrest of someone who provides information on another suspect and then work undercover to make a drug purchase, ior in the case of a reverse sting, make a drug sale. When the suspect arrives to buy or sell the illegal drugs, the undercover officer makes an arrest of uniform officers staioned nearby come to make the arrest.
However, these cases are not always as open and shuit as they seem. Although the police are in control of setting up the sting, criminal drug cases that result from these incidents are often lacking in evidence. One might expect to hear audio recordings of conversations between the undercover police officer and alleged drug buyers or sellers. One would also expect to see video of the actual drug deal since the police set up the meeting in advance. However, this evidence is often missing for some reason. In a case where the police set up a drug buy or sale in advance, it is not always clear to everyone the purpose of the meeting and who is involved. Without the proper evidence of criminal activity, one should not assume that each person arrested was involved in a drug deal.