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The funny, surprisingly successful tactic some police are using to catch drug dealers

A sheriff's department has an innovative way to go after drug dealers: have them snitch on their competition.

Seriously. Earlier this month, the Franklin County, Kentucky, Sheriff's Office posted a flier on Facebook letting drug dealers submit anonymous tips to get "a free service to help you eliminate your drug competition":

A form that lets drug dealers snitch on their competition.

Franklin County Sheriff's Office

Ridiculous, right? Except it apparently worked. The New York Times's Katie Rogers reports:

When the sheriff in Franklin County, Ky., posted a flier on Facebook asking local drug dealers to snitch on their competition, the response was more than a little incredulous.

That is, until a tip sent to a phone number on the flier led to an investigation that helped the sheriff arrest a local drug dealer. The authorities recovered crack cocaine, cocaine, four pounds of marijuana and four firearms, the sheriff, Pat Melton, said on Thursday.

This isn't the first time a police department has tried the tactic. Last month, the Charlton, Massachusetts, Police Department posted a similar flier on its Facebook page. And the McIntosh County, Georgia, Sheriff's Office published another flier as an advertisement in a local newspaper — drawing an appearance on Fox News.

It's funny and ridiculous. But as police departments around the country spend billions on the war on drugs and get few results, especially in the face of rising heroin use, it's hard to blame them for wanting to try something new.

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