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Wisconsin drug charge without drugs: How does that happen?

What happens when police arrest someone for selling drugs in Wisconsin and it becomes apparent that no illegal drugs were involved? That question is at the center of a criminal case now pending in Waukesha County. The drug charge stems from an incident in which police acknowledge that the supposed drugs involved in the alleged transaction with a police informant were fake.

The arrest is said to have come about as the result of a police drug crimes sting operation. The undercover operation was set up in late September through the Waukesha County Metro Drug Unit. Authorities say they used an informant to make a drug purchase from a suspect in a parking lot. The expected transaction allegedly involved the purchase of four ounces of marijuana for $1,200. However, when the deal occurred, the informant claimed that he paid the money for fake drugs.

Police say they pursued the suspected seller as he left the scene in his car. After he was stopped, two passengers in the vehicle were apparently interviewed by police. One reportedly said he did not know why they’d been in the parking lot, while the other is quoted as saying he knew the driver intended to sell drugs. There was no information indicating any drugs were found in the vehicle or on any of the occupants. It isn’t clear what the nature of the product sold was. It also is not clear what happened to the $1,200 that was supposedly paid.

The driver was charged with a single count of falsely presenting a non-controlled substance. Should a conviction on that charge ultimately be obtained, a sentence of more than three years in jail and a $10,000 fine could be imposed.

The defendant in this case faces a difficult road ahead. Among the first things he will need to do is be sure he understands the charge. It’s very likely that he has never heard of the charge of “falsely presenting a non-controlled substance.” To learn more and explore his possible options, he should be consulting with an experienced Waukesha¬†Drugs attorney.

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