Several months back, the Osceola County Sheriff's Office conducted a sting operation that resulted in the arrest of the homeless and the poor. Osceola officers left about $350 sticking out of a purse at a bus stop off of U.S. Highway 192, baiting desperate individuals into a trap.
Defense attorney Don Waggoner caught wind of this and decided to take on the case pro bono.
"When I initially read about what happened I was upset and spoke to the sheriff and we disagreed. You shouldn't be allowed to stop crime by creating crime and that's what they did."
Now, Circuit Judge Jon B. Morgan dismissed the felony charges against the seven defendants, stating the operation entrapped these individuals:
"OCSO officers…had no prior knowledge of or suspicion regarding any of the defendants subsequently arrested, but set up the 'bait' to see who might take it."
Spokeswoman for the Osceola County Sheriff's Office Twis Lizasuain stated this in response to the ruling:
"While we do not necessarily agree with Judge Morgan's ruling, we respect his opinion and will take his findings into consideration in order to enhance the way in which we conduct future operations. The Osceola County Sheriff's Office will continue to work to make our community a safer place, not targeting a particular group or groups other than those who violate the law."