Military Involved In 2014 Sex Sting Investigations

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Military Involved In 2014 Sex Sting Investigations
In a decision decided last Friday, September 19, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the “Posse Commitatus” law prohibits military investigators from widespread and pervasive intrusion into State Criminal investigations. As a Sex Crimes Attorney, that is the exact issue I raised in a recent case now pending in Pinellas County. I found out that Air Force OSI investigator William Glidewell has been used as the “chatter” in four Florida sex sting operations involving cases in Lake, Osceola and Pinellas Counties. His actions are illegal and a violation of Federal law. The case in Pinellas could impact a number of other prosecutions in both the State and Federal Courts. If Glidewell was the chatter in your case, contact your attorney and let him know about the case I now have pending in Pinellas.
The Federal law, 18 U.S. C 1385 was passed after the civil war to prevent Union soldiers from enforcing State laws. It makes it a Federal felony for the military to enforce purely State laws. Glidewell is actually in the operational plan which on its face documents the military involvement. This could be an important decision. A 2014 hearing is now set for late October in Circuit Court in Pinellas. Another issue is whether or not the law enforcement officials that used him have violated the Federal law. Each Sheriff who approved the use of the military could be found to be in violation of the law. Fat chance they will be prosecuted because that decision is left up to the U. S. Attorney who will never in million years prosecute a Sheriff or Chief of Police. The law is good law and still in force and should be upheld.
Take a look at the recent Ninth Circuit decision. It can impact a number of cases around the country. As a Florida sex sting lawyer I have raised a unique issue that could impact a number of cases. If your jnternet sex sting case involves OSI investigator Glidewell, have your lawyer call me Peter D. Aiken at my office and I will send him the sex sting defense information I have gathered so far. It seems all of law enforcement wants to jump on the sex sting band wagon but the Air Force has made a huge mistake and Glidewell could be prosecuted if a prosecutor had the courage to do it.
I will keep everyone advised as to how this plays out in October.

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How to Defend a Sex Sting Case

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How to Defend a Sex Sting Case
Not all criminal lawyers really understand how to defend Internet sex sting cases. Lawyers, just like doctors all have a basic degree and basic understanding of the law but that does not mean that they have experience in particular types of cases. All lawyers are not created equal and the level of experience can vary greatly. There is no substitute for actual hands on experience in defending sex sting cases. I have been defending these types of cases for over ten years ever since the famous “To catch a predator” TV show.
Every sex sting case is uniquely different. You may have a valid defense and not realize it. The real issue in most cases is “who is doing the luring, seducing and enticing”? Everyone thinks that entrapment is some magic bullet that will automatically get the case dropped. You may have and entrapment defense but setting it up and winning is quite another story..
Just because the police were posing initially as an adult is not an automatic win. Just because the police contacted you, entrapment is not a sure win. In defending these cases you have to really understand the ICAC standards and procedures as well as the methods the police use in running the stings. I have been involved in sting cases in Lee County, Manatee County, Sarasota County, Polk County, Hillsborough County and Pinellas County as well as other smaller counties in Florida and have defended quite a number of these types of criminal cases. There are a number of factors that come into play in defending the “Sting”
Here are a few of the factors that need to be taken into account:
Did the police post in an adult site? Did they certify they were and adult?
Did the police initiate contact? Was it a “pay” site?
Did the police immediately disclose age? Did the police reinitiate contact?
Did the police invite travel? Did the police tempt you?
Did the police bring up sex? Did the police tell you that you were “cute”
How many email exchanges occurred before they disclosed age?
Did the police ask you to bring condoms? Did the police ask you to send a pic?
When you were arrested, did they advise you of your rights?
Did the police seize your car? Do they have evidence of “predisposition”
Did you send penis pics? Did they send you a seductive picture of a minor?
To win a sex sting case many factors come into play.
I have a case coming up next week in Pinellas County where the police enlisted the help of a military air force investigator. That happens to be illegal and a violation of the “Posse Comitatus” law. If you have questions, call me, Peter D. Aiken, at my Sarasota office at 941 366 3506

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Should I Talk to the Police?

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Should I Talk to the Police?
There is no standard answer to this question. It all depends on your individual circumstances and the nature of the investigation. In internet sex sting and child pornography investigations, almost always, you should consult with a qualified criminal attorney first. This is particularly true if there is some type of allegation of improper conduct with a minor. For example, a girl under 16 cannot consent to sexual contact, no matter how mature she seems to be, even if her mother or father approve. If you are over 24 years old the young lady must be over 17. Many times the police try and trick you by saying you forced her to get you to respond that she consented. In those situations, if you are accused of any conduct with a minor, speak to an attorney before any questioning.
If you get a visit from the FBI, Homeland Security or any other Federal agency and they want to talk to you about being on the Internet, immediately contact and attorney. Never surrender your computer unless the police actually have a search warrant. Do not assume that you have erased your search or visit history. If you accidently get child pornography on your computer and think you have erased it, chances are you are wrong and it is still there. Google now tracks the hash values of almost every image sent or exchanged and sends a report to ICAC about suspected computer users who may have sent or received an illegal image.
If you are arrested, it never pays to try and talk your way out of an arrest. Once you are taken into custody, the police are not going to change their mind and release you. You will only be hurting your chances of winning by making statements. When you hear the words, “You have the right to an attorney” pay attention. They have to warn you for a reason. As a criminal sex sting, child pornography defense attorney, I can’t tell you how many times I get cases where the most damaging evidence is a post arrest admission during a post arrest statement. Admitting you possessed something, admitting something was in your car, admitting Internet contact or admitting identity can provide the missing piece for a criminal prosecution. Most criminal lawyers, including myself and my partners at Aiken, O’Halloran and Banyai, get calls every day asking for advice. Most criminal sex crime lawyers do not charge for an initial consultation. Often hiring an attorney early in an investigation can make a difference in whether or not an arrest is ultimately made. I have handled sex crimes and Internet sex sting cases in Sarasota, Manatee, Pinellas, Polk, Hillsborough, Lake county, Brevard, Seminole, orange, Hernando, Pasco and Lee Counties. In the last month, I have answered Internet Sex Sting questions in Montana, Utah, Arizona California, Florida,Washington, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Mississippi.  If you are under investigation, call today for a free consultation at our Sarasota office 941-366-3506 or Ft. Myers 239-334-8890. or click one of the links below for a direct phone mobile link.
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Can the Military Police Conduct 2014 Internet Sex Stings ?

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Can the Military Police Conduct Internet Sex Stings  2014?
This is one of the issues that will be addressed in a hearing coming up in Pinellas County on February 19th, 2014. There is an Air Force OSI agent by the name of William Glidewell that has been working with the State in four sex stings in the last year as the Internet “chatter”. He started with the Central Florida ICAC task force administered by Sheriff Grady Judd and “chatted” first in a case in Lake County. Recently, he participated in two stings in Pinellas County as well as four Federal cases in the Tampa Division of the Middle District of Florida. Many of these men facing sex sting related charges which may lead to life altering court records and future of possible Florida probation and sex offender registration.
I have challenged his legal authority and the legality of his participation in purely “State” criminal investigations. There is a Federal Statute that was created just after the Civil War that makes it illegal for the military to conduct state criminal investigations. In the Pinellas case, Glidewell chatted with a man for two days and lured him to travel to Clearwater and did not disclose age until the man arrived outside the “take down” location. The Clearwater case also involves a motion to dismiss based on “Entrapment as a matter of law”. I expect a ruling on both the Federal issue as well as the entrapment issue within the next month.
The Federal Statute known as the “Posse Comitatus” law could impact a number of State cases across Florida in that Glidewell’s participation could be considered a felony violation of the Federal Law. There has never been a prosecution under the Posse Comitatus law but that does not mean that this will not be the first. It is unlikely the United States Attorney will do anything because Glidewell is a witness for them in a number of cases. Maybe the Department of Justice will get involved and bring this to a head. In the meantime, I am contacting the Air Force to alert them to the fact that military investigators are not supposed to be enforcing State laws.
The Internet Sex stings are out of control and many innocent men are being entrapped by undercover officers that are actually luring and enticing them to travel to meet minors. Sex is powerful bait and the law is being abused regularly by local law enforcement. The time and effort would be better spent educating young girls about the dangers of the Internet.
If you or someone you know is facing charges after a Florida Internet Sex Sting of traveling to meet a minor, improper use of a communication device, internet solicitation of a minor, attempted child abuse or potential charges as a result of an arrest after a cyber child sex sting operation and need to talk about your options, please call me, Peter D. Aiken at 941-366-3506 today for a free consultation.
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