The blurry line between entrapment and law enforcement

It goes without saying that law enforcement, both local Minneapolis and St. Paul police forces and the FBI, are tasked with keeping us safe. Since 9/11, the FBI has been actively involved in searching for and stopping homegrown terrorists, so much so that anti-terrorism initiatives now compose the majority of the FBI’s budget. Although it is important that the federal government takes its responsibilities so seriously, the tactics the FBI uses could be seen as entrapment.

Some critics of FBI tactics point to the fact that the individuals arrested and charged with these serious federal crimes are the types of people who are utterly unable to do anything on their own. Yes, they may have been in contact with paid FBI informants and expressed a desire to cause harm to individuals in the United States, but all of the supplies and nearly all of the plans have been provided by the informants or the FBI itself. In this case, who is really responsible for an attempted terroristic act?

Stepping in to thwart the plot before there is any chance of it succeeding. In many cases, the government provides the would-be terrorists with disabled weapons or fake bombs, yet these individuals are arrested and charged with the crimes they may have committed had all of the weapons been real.

Fighting for American safety is important, certainly, but it is also important that individuals who are incapable of causing harm not be treated as if they are the next terrorist threat.

Source: Business Insider, “The FBI Goes to Disturbing Lengths to Set Up Potential Terrorists,” Paul Szoldra, March 11, 2013

If you would like more information about this story, please see the source above, but if you would like to learn more about the serious nature of federal crimes in Minneapolis and St. Paul, please visit our website.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.