An upstate NY State woman sued the DEA for creating a fake Facebook profile of her, using pictures of her young son and niece as well as suggestive pictures of her to try and lure drug dealers (see link and picture below).
Authorities had taken her phone after she was arrested for her role in a cocaine drug ring.
In her suit she said the government put her life in danger in pursuit of drug traffickers. That would seem like a reasonable concern given the government was using her as bait to catch some likely seriously bad people.
The government said that the Facebook page served a legitimate law enforcement purpose (it probably does), but acknowledged that she never gave them express permission to use her name and pictures. The government said she had “implicitly” consented to their use by granting access to her phone and cooperating with the investigation. One assumes that was why she received probation and no jail time.
The U.S. Treasury is now $134,000.00 lighter.
Some might say that because she was caught selling coke she doesn’t have any rights, but it is not very much of a stretch to suggest that if the drug dealers found out that she was part of a DEA sting, they would put out a contract on her and/or her kids. She would be at greater risk because she was not even aware that they were using her and her kids as bait.