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Law School Case Brief

State v. Henderson - 955 So. 2d 1193 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2007)


There are two different theories of entrapment. Objective entrapment analysis focuses on the conduct of law enforcement and operates as a bar to prosecution in those instances where the government's conduct so offends decency or a sense of justice that it amounts to a denial of due process. Subjective entrapment, on the other hand, is applied in the absence of egregious law enforcement conduct and focuses on inducement of the accused based on an apparent lack of predisposition to commit the offense.


In February 2004, Ruben Jaramillo entered a plea of guilty to trafficking in cocaine and, as part of the plea, entered into a substantial assistance agreement with the State whereby he agreed to act as a confidential informant for the Sunrise Police Department. Jaramillo provided the police with a list of 75 to 100 names of potential "targets" he felt he could "pursue" for the sale of illegal narcotics. Jaramillo compiled this list by going through old cell phones and rolodexes, listing persons that he had either bought drugs from or sold drugs to in the past. Defendant Matthew Henderson's name was on that list. He and Jaramillo worked together at a restaurant in the mid-1990s. Jaramillo stopped working at the restaurant in 1995 and occasionally sold drugs to Henderson during the time they worked together and "shortly thereafter." Jaramillo and Henderson last had contact in 1998 or 1999 when Jaramillo purchased methamphetamine from the Henderson. After Jaramillo entered into his substantial assistance agreement, he placed a series of calls to Henderson and met with him in person to arrange the purchase of methamphetamine. On Feb. 19, 2004,Henderson delivered methamphetamine to Jaramillo and was arrested.

The State of Florida charged Henderson with trafficking in methamphetamine and Henderson sought dismissal of the charge on entrapment grounds. The trial court granted Henderson's motion and dismissed the charge. The State appealed arguing that the trial court erred when it dismissed the trafficking charge.


Did the trial court err when it dismissed the trafficking charge against Henderson?




The judgment of the trial court was reversed and the cause was remanded. The appellate court held that the record, as established by the sworn motion to dismiss and the State's traverse, failed to demonstrate the use of any methods or tactics which could have been considered inducement for subjective entrapment, as defined by § 777.201, Fla. Stat. The most that could have been said in support of Henderson's subjective entrapment argument was that a person that he had worked with years earlier and with whom he had no contact for the last five or six years, reached out to him. But, that fact alone was not enough to prove inducement, and, absent a demonstration of inducement, Henderson's claim of subjective entrapment should have failed.

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