As discussed in my last blog, Paul Hinkel of Connecticut (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) has been convicted of traveling to Massachusetts with the intention of having sex with what he thought was a 15-year-old girl; the girl did not exist, but a federal agent did in her stead.

We have discussed the issue of age in the past. Sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl is another word for “rape“. A child cannot consent to sex. A 15-year-old girl is a child.

This was all the result of a federal sting operation which was planned by a federal law enforcement agency.

In this case, said agency was Homeland Security.

Attorney Sam’s Take On The Many Faces Of Law Enforcement

The United States is said to be at war with terrorism. In the early days of that war, the Department of Homeland Security (hereinafter, the “Department”) was created. The Department was given great powers. They were even given special rules which only applied to them. Rules which impinged on peoples’ fundamental Constitutional rights.

This was explained because they were, after all, charged with the responsibility of keeping us safe. Primarily safe from the terrorists.

While there have been countless acts of terror around the globe, we have been relatively safe in recent years. At least…in terms of foreign powers. Most people would agree that the Department has done a pretty decent job.

Keeping the homeland safe…particularly from terrorists.

I do not know much about the Defendant’s background, but I have yet to hear anything tying him to either foreign powers or terrorists. Nor have I heard that such entities plan on attack the United States through sexual acts with minors.

Finally, I have seen and handled a great many other federal and state authorities who tend to spearhead such investigations and prosecutions.

In other words…what is the Department doing spearheading this investigation by posting advertisements and setting up sting operations?

“Well, what difference does it make, Sam? Law enforcement agencies often share resources and work together in investigations. What’s the big deal?”

The “big deal” is that the Department is not like other agencies. It has more power. It is easier for it to do things which, if some other agency did it, could be considered a violation of Constitutional rights. As I recall, they were given the Patriot Act not so long ago which threw open floodgates of private information and, for the sake of national security, made the information available which would otherwise necessitate a court order.

“But crime is crime, right? After all, isn’t any criminal act something that adversely effects the country?”

Sure. But the Department was not created and given special abilities to fight something that adversely effects the country.

The powers given to the Department were supposed to be exceptions to the rules purely because of what national security was seen as then.

“So, what’s the point here? Have you changed from ‘Attorney Sam’ to ‘Candidate Sam?’

Heaven forbid.

The purpose of this argument is to let you know who and what is out there watching…potentially for you.

“So, you are just trying to warn all the criminals, huh?”

I maintain that not everyone accused of a criminal act is a “criminal”. Mistakes are made. Routinely.

That is why “true believer” defense lawyers like me are important. And it is why the general population needs to understand the realities of law enforcement.

The fact is one never knows where a criminal investigation or, simply, an allegation will come from. That being the case, you cannot know what “facts” the investigators believe to be true when they come to approach you.

It is more important than ever not to try to out-wit, out-talk or out-race them.

Be polite. Make it clear that you will respect their authority.

And then, get an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately!

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