Police arrested 250 people on drug charges during three days of Phish concerts at Virginia's Hampton Coliseum over the weekend. They seized $68,000 in cash and claim to have found drugs worth $1,213,882.80—because if you're going to pull a number out of your ass, why not make it ridiculously precise? Tom Angell of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) told The Raw Story that overestimation of drugs' retail value "is definitely something our members have encountered before." Remember the pot that Ohio state police valued at nearly $3,000 an ounce?
The Raw Story also consulted a defense attorney on the question of whether it amounted to entrapment when "an undercover police officer offered to sell concert tickets in return for drugs, then arrested the man who tried to buy them." The answer:
"[In this] scenario presented, entrapment did not likely occur because the law enforcement officer only presented an opportunity for an individual to demonstrate that he/she was in possession of a controlled substance," Pennsylvania attorney Brian W. Carter of Goldfein and Joseph, P.C., told RAW STORY.
"If the individual was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, making an offer to exchange a concert ticket for the controlled substance would not be entrapment because the individual was in possession of the controlled substance prior to the individual being approached by the law enforcement officer," he wrote.
So it's not entrapment. But as the folks at LEAP could tell you, it's not really police work either.