Wednesday, June 29, 2005

US v. Gonzalez

No. 04-10041 (6-22-05). The 9th upheld a suppression of wiretap evidence. The district court suppressed the evidence because the US Atty's Office (D.Az) played fast and loose with the facts in the affidavit for a wire-tap, downplaying all the investigative steps it could have taken, such as surveillance, infiltration, and even search warrants, in this investigation of a bus company allegedly smuggling in illegal aliens in a sophisticated scheme. The gov't had actually had success in some of the investigative tools, but the anted to listen in. The court said that violation of the statute was clear, and suppression was the remedy. In reviewing the suppression, the 9th agreed. The wiretap statute has certain clear requirements, and the purpose is to limit the use of wiretaps., Here, the gov't was not exactly forthcoming in all the steps it had taken, and the success, and so the 9th upheld the district court's finding that a lot of little steps could have been taken. Given the recent spate of wiretap cases, in which the 9th admonished the gov't for sloppiness but upheld the application, this is a rare instance of the courts holding the gov't to the requirements of the statute, and their obligation to be forthright, in suppressing.


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