One of the most tragic tales I’ve reported in my time at the Stash Blog is the tale of Rachel Hoffman. She was a 23-year-old college student in Florida who got caught selling small amounts of pot. Cops terrified her with threats of prison, but offered her a way out by helping them as a “confidential informant” – a snitch – against two known violent drug dealers. She was sent on the sting to buy 2 ounces of cocaine (which she never did or sold), 1500 ecstasy pills, and a handgun. Cops found her shot, execution style, in an empty lot after the dealers got Rachel to go off the sting’s plan and accompany them in their car. The cops were supposed to be following and watching her the whole time, but they lost the suspects and didn’t find Rachel’s body until 36 hours later.
Unfortunately, the tale of Rachel Hoffman isn’t a singular tale I can file and forget. Some story like it seems to pop up every six months or so. Here is the latest, from Detroit, where a teen girl was found murdered, mutilated, and set on fire in retribution for her snitch work, which she agreed to when terrified by police about her inevitable time in prison for smoking pot.
(Detroit News) Shelley Hilliard, 19, a transgender woman, was about to be arrested for possession of marijuana Oct. 20 when police offered a way out, according to testimony during a court hearing Thursday. She could set up a drug deal.
With the police listening on speaker phone, Hilliard used her cellphone to call Qasim Raqib, telling him she had someone (an undercover agent) who wanted to buy $335 worth of cocaine and marijuana, according to testimony during Raqib’s preliminary examination Thursday in 36th District Court.
Of course, Raqib was released shortly after his arrest, as drug dealers often are, since they can afford to make bail. He then went and bought a burner cell phone and called Hilliard and lured her to meet him. God only knows why, but she agreed.
She was driven to the site by Robert Mullen, a taxi driver who testified during the hearing that he took Hilliard on all her calls.
During the drive, Hilliard told Mullen she was worried about payback by Raqib for turning him in. Mullen arrived at the dark neighborhood to find three people, but couldn’t identify them.
Soon after dropping Hilliard off, Mullen got a call from her sounding scared, testified Mullen. The phone then sounded like it fell to the ground and went dead, he said.
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