Can a confidential informant sell you actual drugs for personal use small quantity and have the police arrest you at a later date?

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Can a confidential informant sell you actual drugs for personal use small quantity and have the police arrest you at a later date?

Can a confidential informant sell you actual drugs for your own personal use small quantity, and have the police arrest you at a later date? Basically, I heard a drug dealer was being watched by the police. Could that drug dealer be allowed to sell actual drugs to a person and then tell the police, which would lead to the arrest of the buyer at a later date? Basically, this would be the opposite of what is known as a controlled buy. How typical is this type of situation? And since there would be no physical evidence of the drugs would this scenario even be possible to prosecute or worth the time of the police to intervene?

Asked on August 25, 2017 under Criminal Law, West Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes: confidential informants can and do sell drugs and then their buyers may be arrested and charged with drug possession. This is one of the things the police use CIs for, and while the CI could him/herself also be prosecuted for drug possesion (and distribution) if the police or prosecutor wanted, that does not change the fact that his/her buyers are criminally liable for the drugs they bought. As for whether that is worth the authorities' time or effort--that depends on this police dept. and these prosecutors, and what they personally think is worth pursuing.


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