How undercover cops in a Florida city make millions selling cocaine

Police in a Southern Florida community outside of Fort Lauderdale have been using a controversial tactic to conduct cocaine sting operations and have been raking in millions of dollars in the process.

For years, the Sunrise, Fla., police have been conducting what are called "reverse stings." Undercover police detectives play the role of cocaine dealers and try to lure in potential buyers who drive or fly in from all over the country with wads of cash. If the stings are successful, informants can receive large payouts and police can seize cash, cars and other non-monetary assets. The busts have pumped millions of dollars into local coffers.

The Sun Sentinel was the first to report the Sunrise Police's lucrative sting operations after the newspaper conducted a six-month investigation into the department's drug seizures.

"The police are not actually finding these drug dealers on their own but they rely on paid and unpaid informants to tell them about people that might be looking for cocaine, and it became obvious to us that the reason they are doing this is because of the money," said Megan O'Matz, one of the reporters who broke the story.


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