Federal prosecutors may introduce cell-site data obtained without a warrant in the retrial of a District of Columbia drug dealer who was the subject of one of the Supreme Court’s biggest electronic privacy decisions in decades.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the District of Columbia is a victory for prosecutors who are shifting their focus to warrantless cell-tower locational tracking of suspects in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that law enforcement should acquire probable-cause warrants from judges to affix GPS devices to vehicles. (.pdf) Just after the high court’s January decision, the FBI pulled the plug on 3,000 GPS tracking devices.
Huvelle’s ruling came as part of pretrial proceedings in the prosecution of Antoine Jones, the previously convicted drug dealer whose conviction and life sentence was reversed by the Supreme Court, which found the government’s placement of a GPS tracker on his vehicle was an illegal search.
Judge OKs Warrantless Cell-site Data | DFI News.