Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyers
What Is A Sting Operation?

What Is A Sting Operation?

What Is A Sting Operation?

For some serious criminal offenses, law enforcement may engage in a sting operation. Let’s discuss what that means, and how it differs from entrapment.

Sting Operations

A sting operation is typically an undercover investigation of a specific individual or individuals who are believed to be committing crimes. While conducting a sting operation, law enforcement is able to collect evidence against the individual long before they know they are a suspect.

During sting operations, law enforcement may tempt the suspect to commit the crime so they can catch them ‘red-handed’ and make an arrest. This is highly criticized as many people see this as coercive and deceitful.
Some examples of sting operations include:

  • Posing as a child in a chat room to attract a sex offender
  • Leaving an expensive car vulnerable to being stolen, then arresting the person who attempts to steal it
  • Hiring someone underage to ask an adult to purchase them alcohol

A commonality in many sting operations is that the police will pose as someone else to try and entice the criminal to commit a crime.

When Are Sting Operations Used?

There are a few main types of crimes for which sting operations are most commonly used.

  • Online solicitation of a minor
  • Prostitution
  • White-collar crimes
  • Drug offenses
  • Theft offenses

Sting Operations vs. Entrapment

Sting operations are legal, but are often compared to entrapment, which is illegal.
Entrapment by definition is when police coerce someone into committing a crime that they otherwise would be unlikely to commit.

This definition is similar to that of what a sting operation is, but differs in that entrapment coerces a law-abiding citizen into committing a crime. A sting operation is used when the individual is highly likely to commit a crime.

Still, because there is a fine line of difference between the two law enforcement strategies, criminal defense attorneys are sometimes able to argue entrapment as a defense in cases where a sting operation took place.

Kansas City Defense Attorneys

If you were arrested following a sting operation, it is crucial you contact legal representation immediately. Law enforcement has likely been building a case against you for weeks or months prior without your knowledge. Call Stein Law, LLC today at (913) 583-0465 to speak with our experienced Kansas City criminal defense lawyers.


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