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Category: Criminal Law
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In the regular course of their job, do undercover police officers/agents

Resolved Question:

In the regular course of their job, do undercover police officers/agents get arrested to keep their cover? In this instance, the person in question was brought into custody because they were indicted by a Grand Jury. A trial date has been set, although the case has been issued a continuance twice already. What are the chances this person is actually working undercover? It doesn't seem right to me. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. Although it is not unusual for an undercover officer or agent to be arrested in a raid or a sweep of the illegal activity they were investigating, it would be extremely unusual for them to make it as far as a grand jury. In other words, the arrest is for "show" so that their cover is not blown, but an actual indictment by the grand jury is an actual felony charge by a group of people who the prosecutor would present evidence against this person showing that they were guilty of a crime without immunity. It just never happens, unless the indictment information that is released is a sham, that the undercover agent is indicted just to keep their cover.

That said, undercover agents have been arrested and prosecuted when they actually do start engaging in illegal activity outside the scope of the permission related to their investigation. So, for example, if an undercover agent were investigating politicians and kick backs, and the politician found out this guy was a cop and offered him money to look the other way and the undercover cop took it and didn't report that, then they have actually done something criminal and could be prosecuted.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In this instance the charges were brought to the grand jury a year after the offense date. After he was indicted, he was arrested. He has no arrest record prior to this. I could see him getting caught up in the net at a raid, but wouldn't expect this scenario. I fear that this person, who is my mother's fiancé is actually a drug dealer who has convinced my mother that he was only arrested because he works undercover. What should I do? I am not sure if she is aware of anything other than his arrest.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello again and thank you for the rest of the story. Although I can't tell you what to do since I don't have all of the facts, including your relationship with your mother and whether this other person is dangerous, I would be very suspicious as well. As I mentioned, this just doesn't happen. If this person were really an undercover cop or agent, there would be no "real" indictment. Indictments can definitely happen a year or two down the road, since the statute of limitations is long for felonies, but again, legitimate law enforcement do not really get indicted just to retain their cover.

The only option is to try to go the the State or Federal prosecutor (depending on what forum he was indicted in) and talk to someone there about your concerns and see what they say. Confronting them or telling your mother without proof probably won't get you too far since this guy is probably a pretty good liar. So, better to try to get the authorities involved or the straight answer from them.
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 17516
Experience: Licensed attorney with 28 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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