1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Is this undercover scenario too elaborate?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Ryan Elder, Sep 3, 2015.

    For my story, after a gang member is arrested but then released for not being able to get her to speak up, she then has to lay low and not make contact with the rest of the gang, unless it's an emergency, because the police now know who she is, and could survey her.

    They send in an undercover cop to meet her, let him know he is one of the gang members, but a new one, since she has not spoken to the gang for a few weeks, or maybe even months, if that's better. So he came to her to warn her that the cops have evidence on her, and is lying of course, to try to get her to give up certain information. However, during the course of him meeting her and trying to get her to talk, she figures out that he may be an undercover cop, since he cannot answer certain questions about the gang's previous activities, that he would likely know, if he was a member. So she tries to flee him, but he chases her down to try to convince. She attacks him and a fight breaks out.

    Three other men then come and chase down the cop. These three men then tell her that they are gang members, but newer ones since she last saw the gang. They came to save her from the undercover cop, since the cops are all over her, they say. They then try to find out what she told the cops, or what they know from her.

    However, these three men are also undercover cops, and it was a contingency plan, in case she was not fooled by the first cop and they had to do something to prove they were the gang, like committing violence against an imposter. However, is this set up way too elaborate, even for police standards?

    The crook is guilty of participating in an infamous kidnapping and that is her only crime. But in order to bust kidnappers, would they go to such elaborate lengths? Obviously I want them to, to an extent for entertainment, but is this too much for the audience to buy as plausible for police methods?
     
  2. Matt E
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    Matt E Stormblessed Supporter

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    I don't think a police department would try something so complicated. It seems more like the type of thing an intelligence agency might do. It's possible that the FBI might, as they handle many kidnapping cases. If you did have the FBI do it (or another country's equivalent) then I think you'd need to develop how desperate the agency was for that particular case. The operation would require the involvement of 4 agents bare minimum (not counting the ones running the operation from the background), which is a lot.
     
  3. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    If making it the FBI helps then I might be able to do that. However this case originally starts out as a traffic stop, that goes wrong and leads to an arrest. But then the investigators on the case find out at that something much bigger is going on. The FBI does not do regular traffic patrol. So if I make it the FBI that means I would have to switch investigators from the police to the FBI, about half way through and thereby dumping characters and POVs, and introducing new ones. I don't think it would be a good idea to do that. I would like to keep the same investigators throughout the story, if possible.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  4. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Weeks or months? This sounds like a plot like to a series which has a lot more time to dedicate to character relationships.
     
  5. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have to agree. They wouldn't have the budget for it, for one thing. For another, that's not how cops think.
     
  6. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Happens often in movies. Guy gets kidnapped, tortured, someone rescues him, asks him same questions as they "get away" and they end up back where they started, whether the kidnapped answers or not.
     
  7. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. In fiction though, I have seen the police and FBI do way higher budgeted things than that though. Mine is low key compared to some stories, at least I assume in terms of budget. How is this so expensive, compared to what they do in other fiction?
     
  8. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sorry. I thought you wanted to know if it was realistic.

    If you're just comparing to other fiction, you only have one limit: make the reader believe. Set it up well enough and you can get away with anything.
     
  9. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I have seen this done twice before in 24, and in the movie Enemy of the State. So it's not really new I guess.

    There was one real life case though where the RCMP of Canada, went undercover as a whole gang itself. They actually made up a gang in order to recruit a new member, and get him to talk. So it doesn't seem that unrealistic, if a whole gang can be formed in real life as a cover by the police, at least not to me it doesn't.

    What about this to try to get her to talk:

    The police do not know any of the gang members though, so when they talk to her, they cannot identify anyone in the gang to confirm they are a part of it. The only gang member they know is currently on trial, and the trial starts tomorrow. Can they use this to their advantage while undercover? Like maybe they could get her to talk by telling her that they are new gang members, and the reason why the others did not give them their names when they were recruited was because since one of them is on trial, it is for security reasons. The tell her that the police have more evidence for the trial since she was arrested, so she must have given the cops something without knowing it.

    Will this be a good reason to get her to talk?
     
  10. Matt E
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    Matt E Stormblessed Supporter

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    I've seen some similar stuff done in series' like Jack Reacher, where the cops will stop someone, and the FBI will either get called in pretty quick, or will butt their heads in uninvited. Could be a good source of conflict between the police and the FBI actually, although would be a little bit unoriginal.
     
  11. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Well if I must have the FBI, I only want them for this one part of the investigation and then after it is done, they should get out so the main cop characters can resume I think. If that's how it can work realistically.

    Another writer made a suggestion to me. They say that the woman would be too smart to talk to a stranger about the gang business. However one writer suggested to me that the woman would not give up any information until she spoke to the leader of the gang. If she names the leader while talking to the cops, saying she won't speak to anyone but him, then that's good enough. If the cops have the leader's name from her, then they have enough info for the story to continue. What if she just said that, and that would be enough? Would that work?
     

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