Can undercover cops smoke?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by gange_King88, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. Flyingdonk

    Flyingdonk New Member

    Stupid question, but when you mean agency-to-agency are you comparing the FBI to the DEA for example, or Wyoming police to North Carolina police, or possibly both?
  2. Chronik

    Chronik New Member

    My post was a response to the OP which was asking if undercover cops were allowed to smoke weed, which I still believe is not allowable. I cannot see how anyone would want to disclose that officers were using drugs casually undercover, it destroys their credibility in court. As said before, my neighbor who was former CIA said this was a no-no for them and anywhere he knew of, and if I recall there was a documentary that touched on this. It was about an FBI agent who went undercover in Hell's Angels I believe, and stated in the movie what I was saying about not being able to use drugs except in imminent danger. There was one story he told about actually pretending to snort *unmentionable* and instead scooping it down into his hand; he couldn't take it because it was a non-threatening situation because the person was not armed. So FBI and CIA seem to abide by no drug use as far as I can tell
  3. BartSimpson

    BartSimpson Sr. Member

    Not a stupid question at all - we Yanks have such a screwy government (and speak horrible English).

    Each "Agency" should be "Law Enforcement Agency", either Federal, State or local. A policy such as "Under Cover Drug Consumption" would only be required for an agency that actually enforces drug laws - and only impact the LEO primary assigned that duty. A patrol officer cannot smoke off-duty and use the policy as an excuse if caught - "hey, I was just investigating my friend here".
    7 people like this.
  4. Andrew87

    Andrew87 Sr. Member

    Despite Phuzz01 confirming that in some places/circumstances it IS in fact allowed, OK….

    Think about what you’re saying for a minute.

    If undercover police officers were truly not allowed to use drugs during the course of an investigation, that would be ammo for the drug dealers. All a dealer would have to say to a potential customer, is “let me see you use it,” and this would be an essentially flawless way of weeding out real users from police agents.

    Ineffective, dangerous, and stupid.

    Oh really, I thought you said he was FBI and Secret Service? :rolleyes:


    Actually, I believe I also watched the show you are talking about, except it was an ATF agent, and the gang he infiltrated was not Hell’s Angels, but another biker gang.

    However, you seem not to comprehend Phuzz’s original answer, which I reiterated for you: IT VARIES FROM AGENCY TO AGENCY.

    I’d say you’re drawing that conclusion a bit prematurely, but it doesn’t seem like anything that anyone tells you is going to change your mind.

    EDIT: Flyingdonk, BartSimpson answered your question pretty well - every law enforcement agency (ranging from a small town department to the FBI) has its own policies and procedures. The DEA might have different policies than the FBI, California Highway Patrol might have different policies than LAPD, so on so forth. As Bart wrote - our government layout is screwy. :D
    4 people like this.
  5. Chronik

    Chronik New Member

    Ok I suck at multi-quote so here we go. Yes, I look like an idiot and liar when I said two different agencies, I was stoned is my best excuse, and to clarify it was Secret Service and CIA, sorry. As to my understanding of what Phuzz says, it's great that he is a policeman and provides a lot of info but I just don't believe this is acceptable in any agency. Should he clarify a little more that'd be great, I'm not trying to start an argument I just want more detail if it's true, 'varying from agency-to-agency' is not definitive. Show me something like a case where an officer used drugs in a non-threatening situation that stood up in court. As for trying drugs that is definitely depending on a situation, garuntee you someone who is selling crack or heroine is not gonna try it, many dealers don't use their drugs. I would agree with less harmful drugs like weed would seem strange if they didn't, before I get flamed. I'll ''change my mind'' with a more complete answer, I have nothing to gain arguing for no reason, but trying to talk down to me probably won't help your point :D
  6. Andrew87

    Andrew87 Sr. Member

    So basically, you are saying that Phuzz is wrong, and you are right. Somehow, I don’t think that’s accurate.

    If agencies are allowed to create their own policies regarding drug use by undercover officers, then I believe it is reasonable to presume that there is no case law prohibiting it. If it is not illegal, it will not be thrown out at trial.

    What you’ve written here does not even slightly resemble what I described. Re-read what I wrote a little slower, and try again. :rolleyes:

    2 people like this.
  7. midnight toker420

    midnight toker420 New Member

    As far as I know, any undercover agent is permitted to break the law (to an extent) if it helps the cops in the criminal investigation. There are extents to this and I don't think they they can suck you into things as this would be entrapment. When I smoke pot with someone that is a friend of a friend or someone I don't really know I ask them if they are law enforcement, even though if they were a cop they wouldn't have to admit it. I then tell them that if they are a cop that they are entrapping me currently and I will pursue any and all defensive measures with my attorney to hit them for entrapment. But I don't know if I could even throw entrapment at an undercover cop and expect to get anywhere because after all they are the authority. But I do seriously doubt that your friend would have been investigated for selling such a small amount of pot. Most law enforcement is looking for greater amounts. Call your friend out on this.
  8. gange_King88

    gange_King88 New Member

    They asked him to wear a wire while for his friend, who was the "bigger fish" they were after. Also, he was definitely an undercover as he showed his badge to my friend during the interrogation process, so it wasn't some sort of a narc.

    I would like to thank everybody on here for your help in answering my question. The reason i posted it was that i couldn't believe that a cop would be allowed to smoke, but (from what the majority seem to be saying) it looks like i was wrong. Thank you all for your input.
  9. Chronik

    Chronik New Member

    Wow kind of sounded like I said I wanted more proof? You act like playing devil's advocate is a crime. I said I didn't believe this was correct, I'm simply saying from my understanding, which could be incorrect, that doesn't seem logical. But I guess asking for more proof is grounds for sarcasm?

    The problem I have here is the federal laws that no one is supposed to break. Vaguely it can be correlated to the situation in Cali, although mj is legal there state law cannot override federal law, so my theory is that while it may be acceptable by some agencies it's still not legal and would hurt a case. I have simply never heard or seen policies allowing drug use in a non-threatening scenario. If you know any specific cases that deal with it I'd love to review them but I've heard of none.

    I would challenge you to do the same thing, because it's a valid response. Considering more major undercover stings involve 'harder' drugs than marijuana, it would be stupid for a heroine dealer (for example) to try and make someone shoot up to weed out undercovers. This would be an essentially flawless way for a dealer to lose business, considering most big transactions are kept in close circles and gangs in the first place. Like I said before, with MJ and more regularly used drugs, yeah I don't know what would happen, but I posted in hopes of getting more info and discussing this.

    Disclaimer: I indeed could be wrong, but would like to have more proof before I'm convinced, so please leave your smart-ass responses elsewhere and carry on a grown-up conversation
  10. phuzz01

    phuzz01 Sr. Member

    As I said before, every law enforcement agency that conducts undercover narcotics investigations has VERY specific and detailed policies outlining what is acceptable and what is not (and under what circumstances). Some agencies are much more restrictive than others. However, no, I will not get into the specifics of any particular agency's policies, as they are not public record and I am not authorized to disseminate those policies to the public.

    EVEN if an undercover officer violates his department's policy by using drugs during an undercover investigation, that does NOT mean that the case would be thrown out. Evidence can only be suppressed if the defendant's rights were violated. Using illegal drugs may be a criminal act, and the officer could be fired or arrested for violating his agency's policies and the law. But unless that act specifically violated one of the defendant's constitutional rights, then the evidence is not suppressed and the case is not thrown out. I cannot imagine an instance in which an officer using illegal drugs would constitute a violation of the defendant's constitutional rights.
    6 people like this.
  11. blondie0420

    blondie0420 Locks of Gold

    What federal laws? Look them up and post them here if you think any exist that would pertain to this situation.

    Your problem here is you're trying to make a comparison of two situations that are simply not enough alike to compare in this way.

    Because they are internal policies that exist in every police department. Only the people in each department have access to each department's INTERNAL policies. It's the same with any other agency or business. Do you have a copy of the internal policies that the employees at Macy's have to follow? You wouldn't unless you were an employee.

    If you know of any specific cases that deal with a case being thrown out as a result of an undercover police officer's drug use during the course of the investigation, I'm sure everyone would love to hear those too. In fact, since you seem to be the only one claiming that no police officers anywhere can use drugs in their investigation, when everyone else has given you plenty of reason to believe that your original opinion was wrong, perhaps you should be the one to find some of those cases and show them to us.

    Well, consdering the punishment for dealing hard drugs is far greater than the punishment one might receive for dealing marijuana, why WOULDN'T a dealer want to make his customers use his product in front of him so that he could confirm that they were not undercover police officers, if in fact undercovers could not use drugs ever in their investigations. If what you're saying is somehow true and police officers can't use drugs in their investigations, then wouldn't dealers be stupid to NOT try and make someone shoot up to weed out undercovers?!?!?!?

    You're making baseless assumptions here. Even if big transactions did take place in the way you describe, there are literally thousands upon thousands of small transactions that do not - any of which undercover officers might be interested in (they don't always go after the drug dealers that use forklifts to move their stash, they go after the guys who sell far less too). Those transactions do not always occur in close circles or gangs, and in those situations, using drugs with or in front of your dealer is pretty common. (I know, because I actually have been around those kind of transactions in the past, which it sounds like you haven't.)

    You have been given plenty of proof and at this point, you are simply grasping at straws. A police officer himself gave you your answer - he even repeated it and clarified it many times - and you still won't accept that you are wrong. If you want to carry on a grown-up conversation, then perhaps you should do what grown-ups do and admit your mistake so that we can all move on. :shrug:
    7 people like this.
  12. BartSimpson

    BartSimpson Sr. Member

    I think the folly for some of the youthful who are posting in this thread is two-fold:

    1.) The lack of understanding for the huge amount of documentation and oversight that is taking place during the "undercover" and routine drug enforcement process. Half of law enforcement is documentation, so you can bet that any undercover use must be reported and documented. They likely have to file a special report for such use and report it to their supervisor immediately, and the incident is reviewed by the next level of management including the District Attorney in charge of the case. There is a paper trail of that use that follows all the way to the courtroom and is part of the prosecution's case - the State is not going to hide from this, they will likely use it in their case in chief.

    2.) LEO's in drug enforcement are subject to routine frequent drug testing, so unless there is an appropriately documented undercover use, then the undercover officer who smokes otherwise is going to be disciplined like any other officer for testing dirty. I would surmise that any such undercover use is rare, and not part of most routine investigations, so the State will have a very recent drug test showing the Officer was clean prior to the undercover use.

    See what I did there; I just outlined what is probably the basics of an Agency policy using Occum's Razor.
    7 people like this.
  13. king cola

    king cola Sr. Member

    If this was on the history channel they did a show on the biker gang called The Outlaws, another biker gang aside from the Hell's Angels. They did a show on both those biker gangs. There were a few cops that went undercover in the Hell's Angels but as far as drug use went they wanted the cops not knowing they were cops to do a hit for them. The day it was going down the cops pulled the bikers over and delayed them and the gang thought it was just bad luck and it saved the undercovers from getting exposed because as a cop or any other human being it's wrong to kill someone. If they didn't go through with the hit they themselves were going to be killed by the gang. After they were pulled over and delayed from the hit the gang decided to call it off and never went through with it. Some undercovers were also pulled from being undercover in the biker gang because they were starting to forget who they were. They were getting caught up in the biker life and was starting to question what was right from wrong. Not trying to go off topic on this but thought I would throw that in there since some of this is about how far a undercover can go. Cops can probably use drugs if it's a life and death situation but they can't do other crimes like commit a murder. Drug use isn't about taking someones life. If a cop needs to take the drug to prove to a gang that he or she is not a cop or if they don't take the drug they will be killed I agree that the cop shouldn't lose their job for it or get in trouble for it.
  14. Capton CutClass

    Capton CutClass New Member

    Great Post, I believe I heard somewhere that in some places certain undercover officers who go deep undercover need time away from their job just to detox all of the substances in their body, Granted I don't know the specifics of the agencies or what it may be but I'd have to imagine that the officers who go deep undercover are allowed to do large amounts of the drug. I've even heard stories of officers becoming addicted and having to seek treatment but I don't think these officers are penalized because they are putting their health and well-being on the line to get the job done, plus Id have to imagine willing undercover cops must be hard to find and good undercover cops are probably even harder to find, I could be wrong but my guess is that they would just say look you need to take time away from the job and get your health in check before you return.

    I don't think it makes much sense from a law enforcement standpoint, to worry about an officer of the law abusing these substances, in the grand scheme you wouldn't want an undercover officer trying to walk the line of not ingesting these substances in question when in a situation that could compromise his well-being, his life, and the case. When your trying to make a bust of massive amounts of narcotics it seems to me that the best way is to let the officers do what is necessary to make the bust and get the evidence necessary to complete the task at hand. I've always been under the impression that the best undercover cops are the ones who go very deep into that part of the criminal world and if it means being addicted to a dangerous substance then so be it, its a job and its a dangerous job to begin with.
  15. FunkySkunky

    FunkySkunky Gentille, allouette

    Those dudes were ATF and they were deep cover for over two years. They admitted to using illicit drugs in certain situations and indeed one of them was so caught up in it that the ATF staged his murder so that he could pull out of the situation. I'm sure situations like that allow certain margins for illicit drug use since the ATF can't stay in close contact with the undercover agents for risk of blowing the cover.

    As far as the OP is concerned, I don't think anyone busting a small-time dealer or even trafficker would have the authority to use a drug without being in immediate danger. The undercover that busted the OP's buddy was probably "smoking" but not inhaling. An even simpler solution is that the OP's buddy was lying...:rolleyes:
  16. Kiefer Suthrlnd

    Kiefer Suthrlnd New Member

    I took a criminal justice class, my teacher was retired ATF.. When he was younger right after he got out of their academy he worked in Rural Georgia busting motorcycle gangs with large amounts of guns...his exact quote was "if you gotta smoke some dope, you smoke some dope..I did it" he would work undercover for months at a time... he even had girls thrown at him whole time...

    you can do illegal things as long as you are focused on the purpose of the op..

Share This Page