Friday, November 20, 2015


New court disclosures from the government admit that over two hundred hours of recordings were made from secret devices placed by FBI agents around a federal courthouse during a federal criminal investigation of possible bid rigging in public foreclosure auctions. Needless to say no federal judge authorized the unlawful bugging of private conversations because the Justice Department and the FBI never sought permission. They knew all too well that permission would have been denied.

Unknown FBI agent gathers evidence
Why stop there? Why not place recording devices in every washroom, stairwell and elevator of the federal courthouse? Why not bug the courtrooms and the chambers of every federal district judge? Why not bug nearby restaurants and coffee shops? Why not use solar panels to power bugging devices on nearby streets of every courthouse in America so that the government can be properly informed of any defenses those accused of crimes may articulate when speaking with their defense counsel?

The Defense lawyers filed with the federal judge a brilliant motion with memorandum of law to suppress the improper evidence, so well written that I plan to steal as much of it as I can the first crack I get. The federal district judge hearing the criminal case should not only throw out the 200 hours of private conversations recorded but every federal indictment derived from possible information gleaned from those recordings. Prosecutorial misconduct from the Justice Department should never be tolerated by federal judges. Further, those involved in this travesty of justice should not only be disciplined, reprimanded or fired, but face the same criminal consequences any citizen would face. 

Clearly, those federal agents and prosecutors were involved in a criminal conspiracy of criminal conduct themselves. In fact eavesdropping by electronic surveillance via video, audio or data is a crime. What do you think would happen to a typical citizen found guilty of placing secret recording devices at Clearwater's Pinellas County Courthouse or Tampa's Federal Courthouse for the Middle District of Florida or just outside a store at International Plaza? 

Don't believe that this over-reaching to prove possible criminal conduct is just something our federal government does. It also happens locally when police repeatedly use improper surveillance techniques to create fast strike shake and bake criminal cases especially in drug cases. For example, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office detectives used inappropriate surveillance techniques based on where people shop to find evidence in marijuana cases. They set up video cameras to take vehicle tag numbers in front of a store selling hydroponic plant supplies on the theory that marijuana grow house owners were likely users of these plant supplies: then the detectives used the trumped-up information to further their investigations and obtain search warrants. 

In our age of faced-paced technological advances American federal and state judges must stand up for our liberty and freedom by stopping over-reaching government sanctioned surveillance. Although the Florida Supreme Court stopped officers from using our GPS in cars and phones to spy and track Floridians, our government continues to find new, devious and determined ways to undermine the sanctity of our privacy. 

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