Entrapment is making a comeback.
As a defense I mean. It started making a comeback as a government tactic shortly after September 11 before it migrated to the non-national security law enforcement world.
And the Seventh Circuit appears to be the new home of the entrapment defense as it rises, phoenix-like, on the shores of Lake Michigan. In United States v. Barta, the Seventh Circuit again affirmed the new strength of an entrapment defense in that part of the country.
If you remember one quote from this opinion, remember this one: “The point is that the government is supposed to catch criminals, not create them.”
Mr. Barta’s Business
James Barta founded a company called Sav-Rx. Sav-Rx was a “prescription benefit management business.” I believe that means that they help businesses that offer a prescription benefit to their employees with that.
Mr. Barta Meets with the FBI (Unwittingly)
In any event, Mr. Barta came to meet with a man named Castro. Or, referred to as Castro, since he was actually an undercover FBI agent. Castro was known as a guy who could deliver contracts with people at Los Angeles County. He delivered those contracts by bribing them.
When Mr. Barta first met with Castro he told him, right off the jump, “I’m not trying to sell you anything.” He said he was merely there to tell Castro what Sav-Rx does.
Castro told Mr. Barta that he could connect Sav-Rx with the Los Angeles County government because he knew a guy and he’d need to be paid. Barta left twelve minutes after the meeting started.