A sting operation is an operation by law enforcement designed to catch a person committing a crime by having a law-enforcement officer or cooperating civilian act as a criminal partner, potential victim, or transactional counterparty in order to induce an individual to commit a crime. Sting operations are used to prosecute a wide variety of crimes, including auto theft, hacking, drug dealing, prostitution, child molestation, and even terrorism. The most basic type of sting operation involves an undercover agent posing as a drug buyer in order to induce a drug dealer to consummate a transaction. A reverse sting operation is a variant on the sting operation whereby the government agent poses as a seller rather than as a buyer.

Sting operations are very effective because, by ...

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