(en) Cops make, sell crack cocaine with court approval

Lyn Gerry (redlyn@loop.com)
Sun, 17 Aug 1997 20:08:56 +0000


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------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Sat, 16 Aug 1997 23:38:27 -0500 To: bwitanek@igc.org From: Michael Novick <mnovick@laedu.lalc.k12.ca.us> Subject: Cops make, sell crack cocaine with court approval Cc: "Lyn Gerry" <redlyn@loop.com>

Saturday, August 16, 1997

Court Upholds Sting That Used Drugs Made by Police By THAO HUA, L.A. Times Staff Writer =A0 SANTA ANA--An undercover operation in which Santa Ana police manufactured and sold rock cocaine in order to snare prospective drug buyers was upheld Friday by an appellate court panel. =A0=A0=A0=A0=A0The decision, hailed by prosecutors and police but criticiz= ed by public defenders, overturned an earlier ruling by Orange County Superior Court Judge David O. Carter, who called the program "outrageous" and essentially forced police to end it two years ago. =A0=A0=A0=A0=A0But the 4th District Court of Appeal ruled that the operati= on is within the limits of a California law, Associate Justice Thomas F. Crosby Jr. wrote. =A0=A0=A0=A0=A0The issue dates to a 1995 court hearing for Robert Ramos, o= ne of more than 400 people arrested during sting operations using the manufactured drug. A jury convicted Ramos, a self-employed carpenter, of buying $15 worth of the drug. But Carter refused to grant police a court order enabling them to continue turning powdered cocaine into its rock form and lambasted the practice. =A0=A0=A0=A0=A0Carter's opposition and other roadblocks eventually led pol= ice to shelve the program. =A0=A0=A0=A0=A0In appealing his case, Ramos argued that the sting constitu= ted "outrageous police misconduct." =A0=A0=A0=A0=A0The justices disagreed. They said police investigators some= times must break the law--for example, by posing as addicts or sellers--in order to uphold it. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.

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