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Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer > > Sex Crimes > Undercover Officers Arrest Four Central Pennsylvania Men After Online Sting Operation

Undercover Officers Arrest Four Central Pennsylvania Men After Online Sting Operation


Police often engage in undercover operations to gather the evidence they need to make an arrest.  In an undercover operation, a law enforcement agent pretends to be a willing accomplice who is seeking out a drug deal, soliciting clients for commercial sex, or otherwise attempting to engage in an illegal activity that, by nature, requires more than one person.  It isn’t easy to defend yourself against charges resulting from an interaction with an undercover cop.  It is hard to argue that the police did not have probable cause to get a search warrant when they showed the judge a record their text message exchanges with you about an illegal drug deal or the exchange of child sexual abuse images.  You can’t really deny that you said something when an undercover officer or police informant wearing a wire captured an audio recording of you saying it.  In some cases, though, you can argue that you would not have committed the crime if the undercover officer had not manipulated you into doing it; this is the entrapment defense.  Undercover operations are common in online solicitation cases, but the entrapment defense is somewhat less common.  If you are being accused of Internet sex crimes as a result of an online conversation with an undercover officer, contact a Pittsburgh sex crime lawyer.

Does the Entrapment Defense Work in Online Solicitation Cases?

You can be charged with online solicitation if you offer, in the course of an online chat or text message exchange, to pay for sex.  If the sexual favors you are offering to pay for involve a minor or a victim of human trafficking, the charges are even worse.  The entrapment defense applies if the undercover officer bullied you into making the offer, such as by threatening you with violence or threatening to report you to the police.  It is not entrapment if an undercover officer merely offers you an opportunity to commit a crime.

In the News

Four men from Centre County are facing criminal charges after a sting operation this month.  In this sting operation, some undercover officers engaged in online conversations in which they pretended to be teenagers, while others pretended to be adults offering to arrange meetings with minors for purposes of commercial sex.  When the defendants arrived in person to meet their chat partners in person, they were arrested.  The defendants arrested in connection with this sting operation are Christopher Crispen, 33, Walter Sitosky, 58, Rober Mansberger, 66, and Gregory Wilson, 50.  As the court set their bail amounts at $100,000 or higher, and none of them were able to post bail.

Contact Gary E. Gerson About Internet Sex Crime Cases

A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you were arrested after an online conversation with an undercover law enforcement officer.  Contact the law offices of Gary E. Gerson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania about your case.



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