Investigators use a number of different tactics when pursuing someone accused of a crime. Sometimes investigators follow a suspect around while other times they get information on bank accounts. Another strategy involves undercover officers or agents who try to get information directly from the suspect.
Undercover agents were used in the investigation and arrest of a Wisconsin man late last year. But just recently the man was given a 5-year prison sentence and 5 years of supervision, to be completed after the prison sentence if served, for an internet crime involving a minor.
Over a period of three months, the man exchanged communications online with someone he believed was a young girl. But the individual the man believed he was chatting with was actually a police officer posing as the girl. After several exchanges of pictures and alleged solicitation, the undercover officer set up a meeting at a nearby hotel. When the man was apprehended, he allegedly told police that he intended to meet with a young girl.
He was charged with the internet crime and pled guilty this past summer. This is an example of how being charged with a crime can lead to serious consequences. Legal sanctions often include jail time, extended supervision, and mandatory rehabilitation programs.
But accusations of a crime, even if there is no conviction, can also permanently damage a person's reputation. For this Wisconsin man, the allegations of soliciting a minor will likely follow him for the rest of his life, affecting opportunities for future employment and ability to live where he chooses peacefully.
Source: Wausau Daily Herald: "Rothschild man arrested in Internet sting gets 10-year prison sentence," Sept. 15, 2011