Can a cop who has arrested a suspected drug salesman, use the phone of said person to lure potential “customers” in for an arrest?

Moral standings aside, is it illegal for a cop to do this? There were no messages on the phone regarding “purchasing” from the owner of either phone, therefore I see no probable cause for the officer to charge conspiracy to purchase. Am I wrong? I’m trying to help a close friend who has found himself in a poor situation.

Asked on August 18, 2012 under Criminal Law, Tennessee


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, if a person has been arrested for illegal drug sales, all information obtained from the arrest can be used for the particular trial of that person as well as further investigations as to other illegal activities where the arrested person's cellular phone can be used to lure "customers" to law enforcement for possible arrest.

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