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Feds Tell Local Cops To Lie To Judges

By , June 21, 2014. (8 comments)

The feds are asking local law enforcement to lie to judges, lawyers and defendants about the unconstitutional use of cellphone tapping and tracing equipment.

At the request of the U.S. Marshals Service, officers in Florida who use “stingray” devices are telling courts when they ask for a warrant that they received their information from a “confidential source” rather than from the devices.

The ACLU obtained a series of e-mails that show federal agents asking the North Point Police Department to seal accurate warrant applications and file false ones to hide their activities from the public.

“Concealing the use of stingrays deprives defendants of their right to challenge unconstitutional surveillance and keeps the public in the dark about invasive monitoring by local police,” the ACLU writes. “And local and federal law enforcement should certainly not be colluding to hide basic and accurate information about their practices from the public and the courts.”

The stingray devices simulate a cellular tower and can track mobile phones and all other mobile devices, whether they’re on or not. They’re portable, so they can be moved from neighborhood to neighborhood, sucking up information about thousands of people.

In one case. it was discovered a warrant application was filed disclosing the use of the Stingray. The feds were none too pleased. In the e-mail, another police agency contacts the North Point Police about the Marshals’ request:

“In the past and at the request of the U.S. Marshalls (sic), the investigative means utilized to locate the suspect have not been revealed so that we may continue to utilize this technology without the knowledge of the criminal element. In reports or depositions we simply refer to the assistance as ‘received information from a confidential source regarding the location of the suspect.’ To date this has not been challenged, since it is not an integral part of the actual crime that occurred.”

The Sarasota officer then requests that “If this is in fact one of your cases, could you please entertain either having the Detective submit a new PCA and seal the old one, or at minimum instruct the detectives for future cases, regarding the fact that it is unnecessary to provide investigative means to anyone outside of law enforcement, especially in a public document.”

Capt. Robert Estrada, at the North Port Police Department, later confirmed in an email, “[W]e have changed the PCA within the agency after consulting with the [State Attorney's Office]. The PCA that was already within the court system according to the SAO will have to remain since it has already been submitted. At some point and time the SAO will submit the changed document as an addendum. We have implemented within our detective bureau to not use this investigative tool on our documents in the future.”

It seems to me that at some point, the Obama Administration will decide that too much information is still getting out and try to clamp down on ALL releases of information in ALL jurisdictions. Will local agencies comply? What will we do then?

  • Asperger

    At this point, is it still possible that anybody is surprised that any segment of our GOVERNMENT, down to the smallest organization, LIES!
    THE FISH STINKS FROM THE HEAD TO THE TAIL

    • Lex Gnosticos

      Amen to that !! Our govt. is the biggest threat to the safety and wellbeing of the People of this country. They, all sections of govt. are openly advocating and instituting the overthrow of law, due process etc. We are revisiting Nazi Germany, or some low life Banana Republic

  • Lex Gnosticos

    This is the perfect example that shows that at all times anybody accused of anything should always challenge everything i.e., jurisdiction. standing, confidential sources – EVERYTHING
    Additionally, everyone should keep a copy of this story and other attendant info available for reference to show to a judge – this creates grounds for review i.e. reasonable doubt.
    Finally, you at this point have no idea where the govt. will take this, or how far or pervasive use of this will become..Better prepared than sorry.
    Remember this : In politics ( govt.), if something happens, it was planned that way.

  • Las Vegas Gal

    The only way to prove a wire tapping case is to get the ‘listener’ to act on fraudulent information said only on the line of the one tapped. A better question is WHO ordered that agency to do the tapping? Hmmmmm…

  • Leo

    If that is the fact then there is NO Law left to abide by.

  • Adam Bieber

    So basically ZERO 4th amendment is what I’s hearing?

  • Kodi

    Big Brother is here and more dangerous every day. Like HAL in the movie, our government has evolved into a perpetual machine that exists for its own reasons.

  • handymanherb

    Cops not following the law, what else is new