Cayuga County sheriff asks drug dealers to snitch on competitors

AUBURN, N.Y. – It's an unconventional approach to curbing drug activity that's being used by police agencies nationwide.

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The Cayuga County Sheriff's Office is the latest law enforcement agency to ask drug dealers to report their competitors to the sheriff's department.

"Is your drug dealing competition costing you money? We offer a free service to help you eliminate your drug competition," reads a flyer posted on the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office Facebook page Thursday afternoon.

Dealers can use their department's anonymous tip service to rat out their competitors in the drug trade, according to Cayuga County Sheriff Dave Gould.

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Photo courtesy of the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

While Sheriff Gould's methods might seem unusual, he's not the first law enforcement officer to try out the tactic.

A sheriff's department in Georgia posted an ad in a local newspaper asking drug dealers to snitch on their rivals. One month later, a police department in Massachusetts posted a similar flyer on its Facebook page.

For the sheriff's department in Franklin County, Kentucky, posting the flyer actually resulted in an arrest.

Cayuga County Undersheriff James Stowell said they decided to try out the method after seeing the Steuben County Sheriff's Office post a similar flyer on its Facebook page.

Stowell says Cayuga County has been dealing with increased drug activity; specifically, heroin has become a major problem for the area.

"We'll see what kind of results we get here in Cayuga County," Stowell said in a phone interview Thursday afternoon. "It can't hurt, that's for sure ... Everybody is trying to find different ways to curb the problem with heroin that we're having."

Stowell says they also plan on posting the flyer in the local newspaper.

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