In part one of this post, I discussed how six men were arrested in Washington, DC on charges of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and possession of firearms during a crime of violence (PFCV). Both crimes are serious Washington, DC felonies. Armed robbery could result in up to 30 years in prison depending on the defendant's criminal record (rap sheet). PFCV carries a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 30 years in prison. In this case, the defendants were arrested as part of an undercover operation. Their weapons were missing firing pins and the location they were trying to rob was actually set up by the police. Criminal defense lawyers in Washington, DC are often told by their clients that the police entrapped them. The problem with this defense is that you can only be entrapped if you had no intention of breaking the law, and the police convinced you to commit a crime. If you already have the intent to commit a crime, then it is probably not entrapment under DC law. In this case, the robbery crew were allegedly already planning to commit the robberies but asked the undercover police to provide handguns and rifles. They already allegedly possessed what the law calls "actus reus," or a guilty mind, when the undercover cops approached them. For that reason, the police did not convince an innocent minded person to break the law, and it is probably not entrapment. This is the same as when a person driving around the streets of DC looking for a prostitute gets approached by a female undercover MPD officer who arrests the driver as soon as they agree on a price. Because the man was already out looking to solicit prostitution, it is not entrapment. As I mentioned in other posts, the cops are allowed to lie to you. They do it all the time. Despite what TV tells us, they do not have to say yes when asked "are you a cop?"
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