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updated: 5/21/2014 6:09 PM

Court hears arguments on stash-house stings, race

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Associated Press

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has heard oral arguments on whether agents engage in racial profiling by staging stash-house drug stings overwhelmingly in black neighborhoods in Chicago.

Wednesday's arguments stemmed from prosecutors' appeal of a trial-court finding in the case of Paul Davis Jr. and his co-defendants. They were charged with planning to rob such a fictitious stash house in Chicago last year.

Trial Judge John Darrah ruled lawyers could explore the possibility of using unconstitutional racial profiling as a defense.

Stash-house stings entice suspects into planning the theft of narcotics that don't actually exist. Davis' attorney, William Theis, argued Wednesday that agents rarely stage the stings in white neighborhoods.

But prosecutor Meghan Stack countered "the defense showed zero evidence of discriminatory intent" by agents.

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