Florida Woman Murdered in Undercover Drug Sting

A Florida woman arrested for possession of marijuana and ecstasy was pressed into service as a drug informant, then murdered during a sting operation where she was told to purchase 1,500 ecstasy pills, cocaine, and a gun from a pair of drug dealers.

ABC News reported May 13 that the body of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman, 23, was found two days after she disappeared following a meeting with the drug dealers. Hoffman had agreed to take part in the staked-out drug buy in return for leniency in her drug case, where she faced possible prison time for possession of 200 grams of marijuana and a handful of ecstasy pills.

The dealers changed the location of the meeting at the last minute, and Hoffman went along with them despite a warning from investigators. “Safety is paramount,” said Tallahassee Police spokesperson David McCranie. “The investigator said 'Don't do it.' We call these things off all the time. But Rachel went ahead and met [the dealers] and that ultimately lead to her murder.”

The Tallahassee police have been sharply criticized for placing the recent Florida State University graduate in danger and failing to inform her attorney about the leniency deal.

“They're asking her to do something that would put her in a life-or-death situation,” said lawyer Johnnie Devine. “I have never had any time where the police department has not called me to tell me this is what's happening … She had never worked as an undercover agent. She had no experience or training in this matter.”

The Florida Attorney General's office plans to conduct an independent investigation into the case.

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