Father upset after Lake Orion Police use 14-year-old in sting

Father upset after Lake Orion Police use 14-year-old son in drug sting

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35-year-old Edward M. Watkins was arrested after police set up a drug sting involving an underage boy. 35-year-old Edward M. Watkins was arrested after police set up a drug sting involving an underage boy.
LAKE ORION, Mich. (WJBK) -

By pulling a sting, Lake Orion Police were able to arrest 35-year-old Edward M. Watkins for selling marijuana. An ex-con out on parole, he has a long rap sheet and was wanted on a felony warrant.

To do it, they enlisted the help of a 14-year-old boy. Now the boy's father, who was not aware, is furious that his son was used to work for police in a drug sting.

"He said he was confident and everything, but he's naive. He's 14 years old," he said.

The boy's parents are divorced. His ex-wife went to Lake Orion Police when she learned her son bought marijuana from Watkins. Police Chief Jerry Narsh approved a sting.

The decoy called Watkins under police supervision and asked to buy more marijuana at a park in Lake Orion. Police arrested Watkins after they saw him drive up and sell marijuana to the boy.

"The kicker is that the guy had a warrant," the boy's father says. "All they had to do was go arrest the guy, they didn't have to use my son to go up and do a controlled drug buy."

David Malhalab, a retired Detroit police sergeant, says that using a teenager in a drug sting is dangerous and not very smart.

"Any time you get involved with a drug situation you don't know what's going to happen," he says. "You never can trust a drug dealer. He has no conscience, no moral compass. You're simply a dollar sign to him, and if you threaten him, he'll take the money and do what he needs to protect himself. And that means eliminating you or hurting you."

However, Narsh stood by the decision and issued the following statement:

"This is not the norm, but the mom agreed. This worked out okay. No one was hurt. We took a drug dealer who sells to kids off the street."

Still, the boy's father says he never would have agreed to have his son used in a drug sting.

"It's just crazy that you can leave your kid in the car and go in to get a pop and that's child endangerment," he says. "So I think what he [Narsh] did was child endangerment."

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