Judge rules drug sting unconstitutional

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A Vermont District Court judge has ruled a sting operation unconstitutional because police conducted electronic surveillance without first obtaining a warrant. The ruling dismisses five counts of selling heroin against 20-year-old Ashley Rush of Derby.

In December 2002, the Orleans County sheriff’s department police conducted a sting with the cooperation of an unidentified individual. Police outfitted the individual with electronic surveillance while he or she allegedly bought heroin from Rush. Police say they did not tape the transaction.

After the initial surveillance, police say they got a warrant to use a wire when the same individual allegedly bought heroin from Rush on several other occasions later that month. The judged ruled that these later sting operations were tainted because police did not have a warrant during the initial wire surveillance.

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