AZ High Court uses “constructive possession” standard in reverse-sting operation case.
In State of Arizona v. Keven Ottar and Ruan Junior Hamiliton, recently, the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed the Appeals Court decision to continue prosecution of Marijuana Possession charges, even though the defendants did not leave with the drugs.
The case involved a “reverse-sting” operation where law enforcement officials went undercover and acted as dealers to sell illegal drugs, rather than buying them. The defendants met with undercover detectives who agreed to sell a large quantity of Marijuana to the defendants. The defendants and undercover detectives completed most of all transactions of the sale. However, the defendants were arrested before they could leave with the drugs. Given this was a reverse-sting operation detectives did not allow the defendants to actually take and leave with the Marijuana. Multiple charges were handed down in the arrests, including Marijuana Possession charges.