The Champion

August 2010 , Page 42 

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Grid & Bear It

By Mark P. Rankin; Rachel May Zysk

Let The Seller Beware: Sentencing Entrapment And Manipulation in Federal Court

Attorneys who practice long enough in federal court notice a pattern in narcotics cases — small-time dealers who are seemingly overnight promoted to the big leagues of drug distribution, then arrested and charged with selling large quantities of drugs. They will also frequently see a defendant who has never before been an armed trafficker bring a firearm to a deal. How and why are these peons of narcotics trafficking so quickly working their way up in the world? How do defendants with no history of firearms end up selling a gun along with the drugs? This happens most often because the government itself has asked them to do so. The result? A lengthy prison sentence fit for a true drug kingpin is imposed upon a low-level street dealer.

It is called sentencing entrapment or sentencing factor manipulation.1 This article describes the messy state of the law regarding these related argume

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