In the United States, illegal drug possession can carry penalties as serious as prison time or as mild as a small fine. Citizens wishing to anonymously report offenders may do so through various channels.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Computer with Internet access
Find your local U.S. Customs and Border Protection office and file an anonymous tip. If you prefer, call 1-800-BE-ALERT, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Leave a tip with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (see Resources below).
Contact your local police or sheriff's department. Ask for the crime reporting division and inquire about your right to remain anonymous.
Leave a tip with Crime Stoppers. Check its official Web site for your local chapter to obtain more information (see Resources below).
Report drug possession anonymously to WeTip. Call 1-800-78-CRIME or visit the Web site (see Resources below). Tips are accepted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Inquire as to whether or not you are eligible for a reward. Often, law enforcement agencies offer rewards to generate leads. If your tip leads to an arrest or conviction, chances are promising that you may be eligible for an award.
Tell 9-1-1 operators you want to remain anonymous. Otherwise, your identity may not be protected, and the responding law enforcement agent may make public contact with you.
Protect your neighborhood. If you notice drug activity increasing in your neighborhood, children's school district or near your place of employment, start a local chapter of an advocacy group like Neighborhood Watch or Crime Stoppers.
Pay attention. Suspects often repeat behavior. Record any new information about the suspect and relay it to the agency where you made the initial tip.
Request any identifying information, such as codes or case numbers, for your tip. This allows you to track the progress of the information you provided.
Confide in someone you trust. If you don't feel secure about your anonymity when providing a tip, ask a trusted person to do it for you. Your local school officials or any judges or lawyers you personally know may be able to help.
Tips and warnings
- Confidentiality is not the same as anonymity. Always request to provide a tip anonymously before relaying the details. You can retain your right to anonymity only by requesting to do so first.
- Drug possession is a punishable offense and is considered a felony under certain circumstances. Employers doing background checks may refuse to hire applicants with prior convictions or arrests.