Buys and busts, a popular, controversial police tactic

By Joni Deutsch

For decades, police in big cities and small towns have relied on buy-busts to investigate street-level drug dealing. In Buena Vista, Va., a local task force has used the tactic to snag an increasing number of women, many of whom are buying and selling prescription drugs. Prosecutor Christopher Russell and local defense attorney David Natkin acknowledge that there are pros and cons to using informants to combat drug dealing.