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Name: United States v. Staves
Case #: 03-50470
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 09/09/2004

A wiretap application was supported by probable cause and did not require suppression of evidence. The defendant here argued that the agents who sought the wiretap application had not satisfied the necessity test under Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510-2520 because they could have had a confidential informant provide him with an illegally cloned cellphone, which under defendant’s theory could have been legally monitored without a wiretap application because use of a cloned cellphone constitutes consent to its monitoring. The court rejected this argument, holding that permitting cloned cellphones to be monitored without a court order would undermine the privacy protections of Title III. Further, law enforcement officers are not required to exhaust every possible investigative technique before applying for a wiretap, and the issuing judge did not abuse her discretion in authorizing this wiretap. Further, the omission of this “creative but illegal investigative strategy” is not a false statement as contemplated in Franks v. Delaware (1978) 438 U.S. 154.