What Type Of Cases Use Surveillance During Investigations?
Many times, people are not aware that there is surveillance on them until they’re picked up and charged. However, detectives and police officers will do many things. They will stake a place for hours to get in a certain position. A lot of surveillance happens in Camden County or Mount Holly where there are abandoned buildings and corners that are notorious for different types of drug activities. The police will get into a position where they’re able to observe exactly what’s going on. They may see the same person go up to five different cars. Before each time, they might go to a step, grab something from behind it, and then go to the car.
Another technique that the police use are wiretaps. They will put a wiretap on a dealer’s phone without them having any knowledge about it. The dealer doesn’t know that they’re listening in. And so, they’ll make transactions and arrangements on their phone to meet people, talk about the amount of drugs they want to buy, and how they are going to distribute it. There are rules and laws concerning wiretaps. The police have to get approval for the wiretap to stay in place.
Another common way to surveil someone is a confidential informant (CI). A CI is someone who usually knows the person and has gotten in trouble themself. The CI may have been stopped with the drugs on them and in an effort to get out of trouble, they will buy drugs from the person they know sells it. Before they go, they’ll be searched and kept in the view of the officers. They’ll walk up to the person they know and make the purchase. When they’re done with the purchase, they go back, empty their pockets to the law enforcement officers, and the officers write it up as an undercover or a CI buy.
A confidential informant sometimes introduces an undercover cop to the dealer. They’ll say, “Hey, it’s my friend Johnny. I’ve known him for a long time. He wants to get a little something from you.” Once the CI makes the introduction, Johnny can buy directly from the drug dealer. He doesn’t need the CI involved. He can see for himself whether the person is distributing drugs.
Should You Work With Law Enforcement And Tell Them Everything?
In my opinion, it is not a good idea to agree to work with law enforcement without consulting an attorney first. Certain police departments will ask everybody they arrest to work with them or give them information. I do not believe it’s a good idea for someone to do that right off the bat. I tell clients that if they want to help them or cooperate, they need to tell me first so that I can let the police know that somebody’s watching them. That way, my clients get credit for what they do. Police officers are notorious for taking, taking, and taking. They’ll take the information from someone who’s in trouble, use it, and never give them the credit they promised. When dealing with the police, you’re in an uneven bargaining position. The playing field is not even between someone who’s arrested and the police officers. Police officers hold all the power. They can decide whether you’re charged at a superior or municipal court level. Therefore, it isn’t a good idea to cooperate with the police unless we talk about it first.
I tell them if you want to cooperate, then I will go there and get the terms in writing so to make sure that everything’s above board for you to get the proper credit to get you out of this trouble.