Sting Operation Law and Legal Definition

Sting operation is a deceptive operation designed to nab criminals. Generally, a law-enforcement officer or cooperative member of the public play a role as criminal partner or potential victim and go along with a suspect's actions to gather evidence of the suspect's wrongdoing. United States recognizes sting operation as a viable means of crime prevention. For instance, 18 U.S.C.S. § 1956(a)(3) stipulate that, in establishing the basis for money laundering sting operations, requires that the government agent represent that the property involved in the transaction is the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, or property used to conduct or facilitate specified unlawful activity. The statute further defines the term “represented” as any representation made by a law enforcement officer or by another person at the direction of, or with the approval of, a federal official authorized to investigate or prosecute violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1956. [United States v. Arditti, 955 F.2d 331 (5th Cir. Tex. 1992)]