Electronic communication has changed the way law enforcement does its job
and the way crimes are investigated and evidence gathered. One man in
Indiana found out the downside of technology, particularly with regard
to texting, when he is said to have sent a text message allegedly to the
wrong person. The text resulted in the man being accused of
The 34-year-old man purportedly sent a text in error to an off-duty patrolman.
Apparently, the officer didn't recognize the number but noted that
the text seemed to be about drug activity. The patrolman responded to
the text by arranging for a meeting with the sender.
The man who sent the text met with the patrolman at a park, per the meeting
arranged at the officer's request. The man was arrested at the scene
of the meeting. A passenger in the man's vehicle told the police the
man was selling prescription medication. The accused man now faces felony
When it comes to drug crimes, the circumstances under which meetings are
arranged and evidence is discussed and exchanged can play a major role
in what type of charges may result. In Indiana, felony drug charges can
result in jail time, high fines and other criminal consequences -- but
only if and when a criminal conviction is obtained. Every aspect of the
encounters between the patrolman and the accused man will likely be scrutinized
by defense counsel, including the electronic communications. The burden
of proof remains with the prosecution, and no conviction may be returned
against the man without competent and relevant proof that meets the strict
requirements of our criminal justice system.