Trafficking charge against Grammy winner dismissed, ruled entrapment
A trafficking charge was dismissed against a Grammy award winner, after it was ruled he was the victim of entrapment.
In May 2016, Randy C. Cantor, 59, was expecting a night of romance after he delivered methamphetamine to a woman he had met years before on a dating site, but instead found himself behind bars.
Cantor was arrested on a trafficking charge for selling 57.9 grams of methamphetamine in the MontBleu Casino parking lot.
According to court documents, a 38-year-old Dayton woman promised romance and companionship to Cantor in exchange for methamphetamine, while she was secretly using his arrest as a means to obtain her own freedom.
She was arrested in Carson City in April 2016 for felony possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell.
TriNet detectives gave her an option: she could be tried and potentially sentenced to life, or she could help them arrest other dealers.
According to trial testimony, the woman told detectives she could get them Cantor, who she said she had used with in the past, and who potentially had a source. She said he had never sold to her before, or possessed a large enough amount to sell, but he had previously had a romantic interest in her and he would most likely go through with the deal.
Cantor said they met online through a dating app, and the first thing she told him was that she was a user of crystal methamphetamine. He told her he didn’t have a problem with it, but he didn’t want her to shoot up around him. He said that while he would work on music, she would come over and paint or draw, and sometimes use drugs.
She told Cantor she’d come into some money, and needed 2 ounces of methamphetamine. As he had never been a drug dealer before, Cantor said he didn’t even know what the street value of that amount would be, and asked her what she thought a fair price would be.
It came down to $900 total, $450 per ounce.
According to Cantor, he called the woman and told her he didn’t want to pick up the drugs for her, that he didn’t feel comfortable with it. He said she told him if he didn’t “these people would kill her” and he’d be responsible for her death.
She told the detectives he’d need gas money, but detectives had forgotten about that part of the deal and only given her enough money to make the purchase. So she told Cantor to take an “eight-ball,” approximately an eighth of an ounce, for himself from the methamphetamine, instead. Cantor claimed he didn’t even know what a measurement of that would look like, and said she had told him to take it aside so she could “party with it later.”
During the text message exchanges between the woman and Cantor, it appeared Cantor had a romantic interest in her, and she told him they would get a room at the Hard Rock Casino after the deal was done. They met in the parking lot of the Mont Bleu Casino, and she gave Cantor the money for the drugs. She told him to “hurry up and not to lag,” because half of the money wasn’t hers and she’d need to deliver the drugs to the other party before they could “hang out.”
Some time later, Cantor returned with the drugs inside of a large yellow flashlight. As soon as the flashlight was turned over, TriNet descended and cuffed and arrested them.
“I’m a super creative person, obviously, I have ADHD and traits of Aspergers, and I have no sense of boundaries,” said Cantor. “I can’t say no to people. When I moved here, I had no friends, no family, I had just gone through a bad break-up. My heart was crushed. She was smart, funny, a brilliant artist. She manipulated me and took advantage of me. I knew it was probably drugs, but I didn’t think about it, I couldn’t say no. I was stupid. She set me up, knowing I was gullible, knowing I wouldn’t say no. I had always helped her in the past when she needed me before.”
In order to use the entrapment defense, two elements must be proven. The first element is that the state presented the opportunity to commit a crime, and the second is that the defendant was not otherwise predisposed to commit the crime.
“The court determined that as a matter of law the state entrapped the defendant by inducing him into committing the statutory violation,” court documents said.
It was proven that Cantor did not have a history of criminal convictions and that the woman first suggested the crime to him on behalf of the state.
Cantor did not profit financially from the deal.
As stated in court documents, “Rather than being predisposed to commit the criminal transaction, the testimony and evidence revealed that Randy Craig Cantor was motivated by a romantic interest. The court found (she) had long used false promises of a romantic relationship to manipulate Cantor.”
The court found that the sexual favors offered in exchange for the drug deal by the woman was in violation of the rules set by the state in working with a cooperating individual.
“It was concluded that Randy Craig Cantor undertook the criminal act not for financial gain or any reason other than to be with (the woman), who had unilaterally promised an evening in a hotel room with a hot tub following the criminal transaction, along with encouraging Cantor to believe there would be physical intimacy, including a game of ‘Naked Twister.’”
Due to the arrest, despite the fact it was dismissed, Cantor said he had lost work because when people Google his name, the first thing to pop up is his record of arrest.
The woman ended up receiving a suspended sentence as a result of her drug arrest.