Massiah (defendant) was indicted for violating federal narcotics laws. With the assistance of counsel, he pleaded not guilty and was released on bail. Unbeknownst to Massiah, a co-defendant, Colson, had agreed to cooperate with the police. A few days after Massiah was released on bail, Colson, wearing a wire so the police could hear what Massiah said, initiated a conversation with Massiah where Massiah made incriminating statements. These statements were then introduced at trial. Massiah was convicted of several drug offenses. The court of appeals affirmed the convictions. Massiah argued that the statements were introduced at trial in violation of his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights.