By their very nature, Transporters could be used for a variety of criminal means, such as:

  • distorting a person's appearance (for fraudulent or malicious acts)
  • or even destroying a person.

Is there any proof that a Transporter can be used to commit criminal acts?
The answer can be from any Star Trek material.

  • 2
    I agree that this question is rather broad, nevertheless, a list of major crimes will suffice. Hence, I disagree that it is too broad Apr 15, 2014 at 8:37
  • 2
    @PaulD.Waite: Probably something along the lines of what (unintentionally) happened to poor Commander Sonak in the first movie? Apr 15, 2014 at 14:02
  • 4
    Does transporting Tribbles onto a Klingon Bird of Prey qualify as a crime? Apr 15, 2014 at 14:31
  • 1
    I disagree with this being on hold. There is a very short, direct answer to the question: yes.
    – Dacio
    Apr 16, 2014 at 17:41
  • 2
    @MajorStackings no, but it DOES qualify as hilarious.
    – Omegacron
    Mar 19, 2015 at 19:30

9 Answers 9


Off the top of my head, I can think of at least two occasions where transporter technology is used to commit mundane crimes (e.g. as opposed to using them as a weapon of war or as a tool of espionage)

In Gambit Part 1, we learn that a criminal gang have modified their phasers to activate a transporter on their ship. They're using this technology to steal religious artefacts from archaeological dig sites as well as kidnapping Picard in a way that makes it look like he's dead.

In Ménage à Troi, a Ferenghi Daimon named Tog uses a transporter to kidnap Lwaxana Troi and Deanna Troi. He then transports them out of their clothes. At the very least this would be considered a form of sexual assault.


The season seven episode of DS9 - Field of Fire - has a twist.

The killer is using a rifle that transports the bullet from the muzzle of the rifle - conserving the bullet's muzzle velocity and allowing the shooter to hit targets through bulkheads.

  • 3
    Good call, I would say that's a good example of the use of a transporter to perform a crime. Plus I love that episode. I've re-watch DS9 several times from beginning to end. It's the BEST! Apr 15, 2014 at 7:43

Another DS9 example is from S05E11, when the serial killer puts a remat detonator on one of his victims so she'd die horrifically when transported.

The remat detonator is a vicious weapon of sabotage that disrupts transporter rematerialization, causing a relatively slow and painful death that leaves the victim unrecognizable. They're incredibly small devices that are easy to hide on someone without their knowing it and are allegedly popular with the Romulans (I can definitely imagine the Tal'Shiar using this terrifying execution method).


I'm not sure if you consider it a crime or simply an aggressive act between warring parties, but in VOY: Maneuvers the Kazon Nistrim use an illictly obtained transporter module to execute the leader of a rival sect by beaming him into space.

  • I consider this another excellent example. The only slight reason why this is not strictly a "crime" is that it happened in a basically lawless region of space dominated by warring clans. Apr 15, 2014 at 14:05
  • @O.R.Mapper Yes, I recognize that fact and in fact anticipated it; hence the "I'm not sure if you consider it a crime or ...". That said, whether or not it's canon, there's obviously little technical reason why something similar couldn't happen in more "civilized" parts of the galaxy as well.
    – user
    Apr 15, 2014 at 14:07

In Data's Day, a transporter is used to mask the smuggling-out of a Romulan spy - a direct act of espionage that Picard and Data uncover in that very episode.

And more indirectly, in Devil's Due, Ardra uses transporter technology, along with many other space-faring technological tricks, to run a con on a devil-fearing planet and the Enterprise, which definitely counts as a crime.


In The Undiscovered Country (The Final Frontier) film the transporter is used to perform a murder on the Klingon ship by going there. The transport is not the arm, but it is used for a crime, which is what you asked.

  • 3
    That's rather The Undiscovered Country. Apr 15, 2014 at 14:06
  • True, my fault. I know the films in spanish and messed the translation. Edited.
    – Envite
    Apr 16, 2014 at 6:09

Captain Kirk uses the transporter in the course of committing most of his many violations of the Prime Directive.

  • Unless he was using ships phasers, as 'A Piece of the Action' demonstration rather well. Apr 15, 2014 at 7:39
  • That's not a crime. At worst, it would be disobeying an order.
    – DougM
    Apr 15, 2014 at 12:12
  • Captain Kirk also transmitted two men into space in "And the Children Shall Lead." Which may be negligent homicide. scifi.blogoverflow.com/2012/08/… Apr 15, 2014 at 21:41
  • If they were the writers of the episode, no space jury would convict him!
    – Oldcat
    May 22, 2014 at 22:47

I'll add another, TOS 'The Menagerie'. Spock apparently uses the transporter to take Captain Pike to the Enterprise. I say apparently since there's no scene showing the actual transport. However, it appears likely since the female office depicted below is monitoring Pike in his room. We see her viewing him in the room, she briefly turns away and when she turns back to the viewer, Pike is gone. Almost immediately after that, Mendez gets a communication that the Enterprise is warping out of orbit (implying Pike & Spock are now aboard). While some time compression for sake of TV time is understandable, this all happens quickly and appears to make use of the transporter the only viable explanation.

Pike consistently told Spock 'No' (using the light on his chair) to the escapade. Although Pike decided in the end to stay on Talos IV, the initial act of taking him to the Enterprise would constitute kidnapping since Pike was not willing to go.

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  • Retention by an officer of Starfleet personnel, even against their wishes, isn't really a crime.
    – DougM
    Apr 15, 2014 at 12:14
  • @DougM Can you provide some reference to back that up. I could understand if Spock had some authority to do what he did but that wasn't the case.
    – Stan
    Apr 15, 2014 at 12:19
  • Sadly, I don't have a copy of Starfleet law books laying around. However, it's a fairly simple extrapolation forward from the US legal system; if a US navy commander forces you to board a vessel at gunpoint against your wishes for some valid reason, he's not going to see a court martial.
    – DougM
    Apr 15, 2014 at 12:22
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    @DougM Disagree, would depend on what authority the Navy commander was operating under. If he had some legal authority to 'force' you, that's one thing. If he was operating with no legal authority, that's another. Assume an Ensign (with no order from someone higher up in the chain of command) forced an Admiral at gunpoint and against the Admiral's wishes to board a ship. Are you really asserting that that Ensign wouldn't see a court-martial ?
    – Stan
    Apr 15, 2014 at 12:32
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    And what if no reason can be 'clearly and reasonably stated' or what if the provided reason was clearly illegal under some 'general order' ? Not going to go further with this discussion.
    – Stan
    Apr 15, 2014 at 12:41

This is a direct example.

In one episode, Dr Beverly Crusher is helping treat illness in a remote lab, and becomes irreversibly sick due to damage caused by the pro-active immune systems of the experimental humans. The transporter is used to reproduce her in the pre-ill state, based on the data held in the transporter memory from her last trip - the one to the lab. The argument used to commit this serious breach of policy was that Dr Crusher was an essential crew member, and a replacement doctor was not possible.

However, because it is a fictional TV series, it isnt a "real" crime. The Orwellian "1984" label "crimethink" could be applied.

  • 4
    That was Polaski, not Crusher. And there is no law against using transporter data to cure someone of an illness. Apr 15, 2014 at 9:38
  • 2
    In fact, "use of private data to cure illness" is a fair definition of a doctor's job.
    – DougM
    Apr 15, 2014 at 12:15
  • In the episode it was made very clear that it was a punishable offence.
    – 497362
    Apr 15, 2014 at 12:31
  • 1
    chakoteya.net/NextGen/133.htm I'm unable to find where in the episode they make it very clear this is a punishable offence, or, for that matter, indicate there's anything even falling into an ethical or legal grey area.
    – PeterL
    Apr 30, 2014 at 15:21

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