Using kids in drug stings not a good idea

A downstate lawmaker’s plans to introduce legislation barring the use of minors in drug stings seems a lot like common sense to us.

State Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake Township, says he will introduce the bill as early as this month. He has stated publicly that he wants to set a minimum age for use of persons in drug stings or as confidential informants.

It’s worth noting that some other states have similar laws.

The Associated Press reported that all of this comes after Detroit police used a 14-year-old in a drug sting in mid March. AP stated in a recent story that the sting came to light after a parolee was arrested for trying to sell marijuana in a Lake Orion park.

Edward Watkins is charged with selling drugs to a person under the age of 18, a felony punishable by up to 8 years in prison. Watkins’ criminal history dates to at least 1992, with convictions for larceny, assault with a dangerous weapon and receiving and concealing a stolen motor vehicle, AP reported.

Detroit police have defended the decision to use the child but others, including prosecutors and Kowall, have been critical. We have to agree.

Getting kids involved in these kinds of dangerous activities seems like an unreasonable risk, even though the potential rewards might make it seem worthwhile.

We hope the bill, whenever it’s introduced, finds favor and is approved.