The Tragic Case of Rachel Hoffman

After being caught twice with a “baggie” of marijuana, 23-year old Rachel Hoffman was reportedly told by police in Tallahassee, Florida that she would go to prison for four years unless she became an undercover informant.
Parents say police used their daughter as bait to catch drug dealers.

The young woman, a recent graduate of Florida State University, was murdered during a botched sting operation two months ago.

Her case will be profiled Friday on 20/20.

“The idea of waging a war on drugs is to protect people and here it seems like we’re putting people in harm’s way,” said Lance Block, a lawyer hired by Rachel’s parents.

The Florida Attorney General’s office says it is reviewing the procedures and protocol of the Tallahassee police.

Rachel’s case also has raised new questions about state and federal laws related to marijuana possession.

“I’m calling her a criminal,” Tallahassee police chief Dennis Jones told 20/20, who maintains that both drug dealers and drug users are considered criminals to his department.
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Under Florida law, possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony.

Rachel was also found in possession of two ecstasy pills, a felony under Florida law no matter the quantity because it “has a high potential for abuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”

The Tallahassee police chief says Rachel was suspected of selling drugs and she was rightly treated as a criminal.

“That’s my job as a police chief to find these criminals in our community and take them off the street, to make the proper arrests,” Jones told 20/20.

Rachel’s case also is raising questions about how police recruit and use informants in undercover operations.

“There need to be some safeguards here,” said Block, the Hoffman family lawyer.

The young woman received no training before being sent to an undercover meeting to buy a large amount of drugs and a handgun from two suspects.

Police says Rachel was killed by the very handgun she was supposed to buy.

“I don’t think she understood the risk or danger that she was in,” said Block.

Duration : 0:4:2


Post Author: mark

25 thoughts on “The Tragic Case of Rachel Hoffman

    carriernoob

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    the real criminals …
    the real criminals are the police. they think a badge gives them the right to have no morals. you could understand her going to buy an ounce. who was the genius that thought this up. cannabis shouldn’t be talked about like its heroin crack cocaine and so on. tommy chong is over 70 and still looks healthy. a heavy tobacco or alcohol user would be dead long before that. sad and angry at the same time.

    defexorcist

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    These are our kids, …
    These are our kids, goddammit! These sicko swine cops knew exactly what they were doing and should be burned at the stake! This little girl is waiting for those pigs and prosecutors, somewhere between here and Hell. This is sick.

    dmetzger1000

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    NIGGERS KILLING …
    KILLING JEWS!
    DIE JEWS!

    potheed29

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    Remember kids,

    Remember kids,
    shoot informants, not drugs.

    onyachamp

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    cops up, …
    cops up,pretty clear to see that.hope the guilty spend the rest of their natural lives rotting in jail eating cock

    potheed29

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    swtchsk8er

    swtchsk8er
    enlighten us, please

    swtchsk8er

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    you stupid ignorant …
    you stupid ignorant people belittling something you know NOTHING about.

    fuck you all

    potheed29

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    Lets look at it …
    Lets look at it from the otherside. A rich white jewish girl shows up with 13K in cash, marked bills, and says”I want to buy all the drugs you have, X, crack, pot, whatever. Can I buy a gun too?” Within moments they would have found the wire. She would have put them away for life, so they killed her.

    potheed29

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    The girl was a rat, …
    The girl was a rat, and this is what happens to rats. And the police don’t care, because she’s a “criminal”. How many people’s lives would she have ruined to save herself? As many as it took.
    She was way out of her league, and she got what was coming to her.

    potheed29

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    Prop 2 in 08 did …
    Prop 2 in 08 did not go far enough. To get to the poss., someone has to grow it(OMG!) and then someone has to sell it (OMG!)

    potheed29

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    Lets say your at …
    Lets say your at the hempfest, smoking pot, a man approaches you, “can I hit that?” he askes.
    You hand it to him, thats distribution of class D. BTW, he’s a plainclothes police officer.
    Now your in handcuffs. He finds a joint in your pocket=poss with intent. Boston common is surrounded by schools=school zone. Your looking at two mandatory minimum jail sentences, then the police officer takes the money out of your wallet!

    April5729

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    I live in Mass. and …
    I live in Mass. and pot is just a $100 fine, here. It is not worth a young girls life in any state. I hope the two men that pulled the trigger get the death penalty and the cops loose there jobs and do some time their selves. God rest her soul.

    LauraArendt

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    Sorry. I was …
    Sorry. I was talking about Market Speculation. Economic development based on increasing the population (Adam Smith) will eventually destroy the environment, especially if manufacturers use tricks to artificially increase the demand (push consumers to buy; make consmers feel inadequate so that they will buy to compensate; particulincrease the number of consumers (immigration)). All these behaviours that fuel production unnecessarily will eventually destroy the environment.

    citricsystemz

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    “speculation is be …
    “speculation is be in breach of moral principles established in the Bible ? ”

    sorry,but i don’t follow you

    you think speculation is a sin?

    I see speculation as the thing that makes us human. How else have we conceptualized god if not through speculation?

    are you talking about economic speculation?

    LauraArendt

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    I agree with you …
    I agree with you 100%. I am absolutely against ostentation and speculation, but I don’t know the solution to these problems. I am not sure I remember correctly, but I think speculation is be in breach of moral principles established in the Bible ?

    citricsystemz

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    There is also a …
    There is also a direct correlation between economic prosperity and environmental destruction.

    bmorgan2814

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    The police in …
    The police in Tallahassee should be indited for murder. It is the fault of these stupid policies of this failed drug war. When will Americans wake up and end this senselessness? Drugs aren’t killing our nation, the drug war is. Shame on every police officer directly or indirectly involved with this girls death. Her blood is on your filthy hands.

    LauraArendt

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    It is important to …
    It is important to respect other people’s freedom of thought and expression, we are in a democracy. Insulting is bullying and, according to some research, bullying is one of the reasons why middle class children resort to drugs. Imposing your opinion upon others is preventing others to form their own opinion. That is the first step towards tyranny. There is a direct correlation between conformity to the law, respect of others’ fundamental rights and economic prosperity.

    dunngar

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    when you forfeit …
    when you forfeit your right to ask questions, merely because the state has deemed something illegal.. you have already taken a step towards tyranny. The very act of allowing the state to pass new laws on a daily basis, without your input.. is a way of denying your rights. When you argue for the state by condemning people who ignore the rules of the state, then you might as well be paid by the state for being an oppressor/prosecutor/police. You’ve given up your abilities to think for yourself.

    dunngar

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    on the contrary …
    on the contrary Laura, when social stratification has been shifted so thin, that you have an a majority who have no skills nor a way of making money.. especially urban com. Then you have people who give up on society and use drugs. On the other hand, if you have someone selling an herb that the state deems illegal.. someone stupid like yourself will adhere to all rules, and then criticize the seller because of their supposed social status, what you think it ought to be..Its racist and mainstream

    dunngar

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    laura, you’re a …
    laura, you’re a dumb bitch

    Vampyrekai

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    Laura, you make me …
    Laura, you make me sick. You are a twisted and evil sack of for what you just said. A criminal? You make her sound like a rapist… She smoked cannabis! A plant that causes Neurogenesis in the brain. I have studied neuro science and I know the effect of THC on the brain. Its only illegal because Timber companies want to cut down the rain forrest to sell toothpicks to pieces of like you. A Government’s laws DO NOT reflect actually morality. People used to be jailed for being black!

    splifaniuos

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    noone got in …
    noone got in trouble for this serious lake of good judgement. one look at her and you know she don’t need a gun. thats why she’s dead

    DandDskeeto

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    I did not justify …
    I did not justify it in any way. If you can read, you’ll see I stated that I think the war on drugs is an abject failure. I also stated I didn’t think anything was wrong with pot. I just said it is illegal because there is a law against it ……not that it is right or proper or any thing. Unfortunately, they have the ability to make the law. It has to be changed at the ballot box.

    TheTerminator97

    (March 5, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    oh, she was a jew?

    oh, she was a jew?
    Then i don’t care

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