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Court: Undercover agents can break some laws

By The Associated Press
Published On: Dec 21 2012 04:21:15 PM MST
montana supreme court
HELENA, Mont. -

The Montana Supreme Court says an undercover law enforcement officer can break some laws in the course of an investigation.
    
The justices reversed a lower court's ruling and said an officer did not engage in outrageous government conduct by using a fake drivers' license to fraudulently obtain a medical marijuana card.
    
The agent used the card to arrest two Havre medical marijuana providers selling above the legal limit.
    
Delaine and Malisa Fitzpatrick say the agent's conduct violated their due process.
    
But the Supreme Court said Thursday the agent violated state law but not the Fitzpatricks' rights.
    
The justices say in the 7-0 decision it was the type of illegal conduct necessary for the agent to infiltrate a criminal enterprise.
    
The justices say similar conduct has previously been upheld in court.