Major Ruling Expected on Stash-House Stings

Mar 12, 2018

  CHICAGO - A federal judge in Chicago is slated to issue a first-in-the-nation ruling on whether law enforcement stings where suspects are talked into robbing non-existent drugs from non-existent stash houses are racially biased.

Monday's ruling could determine whether agencies nationwide curtail their reliance on such stings.

The stings are overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. They typically involve agents posing as cartel couriers.

Defense attorneys contend the stings are discriminatory because they overwhelmingly target blacks and Latinos.

Suspects can even be charged with trying to distribute the fictitious drugs, subjecting them to stiff mandatory prison sentences.

The Chicago federal court's chief judge, Ruben Castillo, is issuing the ruling.