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NYPD Cracks Down on Craigslist Drug Dealers


The law enforcement business, like other businesses, follows trends. Sometimes the police are focused on locking up squeegee men, other times it is gambling, and sometimes it is catching those who deal in child pornography.

These days it appears the NYPD is going after drug sellers on Craigslist.

NYPD's recent sting operations on Craigslist are catching many New York City sellers of illegal, controlled substances in the net of the criminal justice system. These cases seem to follow a pattern: the police post an advertisement on Craigslist seeking drugs - such as Oxycontin, Ketamine (special K), Ecstasy (MDMA), Xanax and other popular prescription drugs - then the seller responds to the police post, text messages are exchanged between the undercover police officer (UC) and the seller to agree on price, quantity, and a time and place to conduct the exchange of drugs for cash. The UC ultimately hands the seller a sum of marked money in exchange for the drugs. The UC then makes a secret signal to the field team, the police within a minute or two seize and arrest the seller - who usually is still in possession of the marked money and sometimes additional drugs (stash).

Defending these cases in the New York criminal courts is difficult given the paper trail created by posts, emails and texts, and by the recovery of the marked money. While some of these cases may go to trial based upon defenses of misidentification, entrapment, alibi, plant, etc.; I expect the lion's share of these prosecutions to be resolved via plea bargain given the circumstances of these cases which favor the prosecution. An experienced New York City Criminal Defense Lawyer can help a defendant charged with a Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance case arising out of these Craigslist stings evaluate whether the defendant has a viable trial defense or should consider plea negotiations to avoid a potential prison sentence

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