A squad car with flashing lights or a police officer wearing a utility belt and gun holster can be intimidating, making our palms sweat and causing us to sit up a little straighter, make sure we are doing everything by the book. Police are aware of the fact that citizens are not going to act the same way in front of a uniformed police officer as they might when they think they aren’t being watched.

Undercover operations or stings are a very common took utilized by police officers to try to catch someone in the act. Targets can be previously chosen or random, but the thing is that they may never know that they are speaking to someone with the authority to arrest them. When the individual is revealed as an officer, it is easy to assume that it would take the suspect by surprise, make them act on impulse.

Is that what happened in an undercover sting in south Greeley this week?

In April, three women were arrested by Greeley police. These women were suspected of prostitution that was facilitated by the website Backpage.com. Police suspected that the exchange of money and sexual services occurred and was continuing to occur at several hotels and motels in the area.

In a larger investigation, police set up an undercover operation targeting others involved in soliciting prostitution. A sting was held on the evening of Wednesday, May 21. A female police officer went undercover and came into contact with an alleged male customer. When the true identities were revealed, the man brandished a firearm, and in this case, the suspect suffered fatal injuries.

While a weapon may not be a factor in every criminal offense situation such as this one, the nature of the unexpected confrontation might prompt any individual to say something that could be used against him or her later or do something that might lead to more problems. If they can, individuals should remember just one thing: they have a right to an attorney.

When faced with an unexpected situation such as this one, the best action is to ask for an attorney and refuse to answer questions until one is present. If a situation is already past that point, it still doesn’t change the fact that a criminal defense attorney can prove to be a very important ally.

Source: Greeley Tribune, “Greeley police shoot, kill suspect in undercover prostitution sting,” Nate A. Miller, May 21, 2014