You are a police officer assigned to a task force that is investigating major drug trafficking operations in your jurisdiction. As part of the investigative process, a judge has issued a wiretap order for a suspect’s phone. You are assigned the responsibility of monitoring phone conversations, and you overhear the suspect as well as other individuals who may or may not be involved in the drug ring. Before obtaining enough evidence to arrest and prosecute the suspect, you hear evidence related to other types of criminal activity.
- What constitutional issues are involved in the scenario that dictates what you can and cannot do related to the evidence of other criminal activity outside the scope of the original wiretap order? Explain.
- If you arrest the other individuals for the crimes not associated with the reasons for the wiretap, what happens to any future evidence that might be obtained from the wiretap? Why?
- If you fail to arrest the other individuals, are there any potential risks involved? Explain you answer.
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The constitution contains some rules that are to be followed regarding a case. All these is contained in a wiretap. In all cases, the wiretap warranty must contain every single information on how the case is supposed to be handled. It clearly stipulated the kind of information that one is allowed to listen to in a conversation and for how long one is supposed to listed to that conversation. It is thus not advisable to go beyond the limits(Ferrera, Lichtenstein, & Reder,1999) The stipulated time has to be adhered to as well as the type of information to be gathered from the conversation has to be strictly adhered to. If by any chance these limitations are exceeded then the evidence will not be used in the court of law.
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Legally, it is always advisable to only collect evidence that is related to what you were assigned to look for in the wiretap. If there is any more evidence that is collected, it will be followed up later but also it will be protected so as to prevent an occurrence of any form of crime. We can take this for example, if you have been given a legal order to listen to the conversation and in then you here one Mr. Jackson saying he is going to kill Joseph, Joseph can be looked for, warned about the planned murder and above that be protected from Jackson(Hubbard, Brauti,& Fenton, 2000)
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If it happens that the other individuals are arrested for a crime that was not legally authorized for investigation, then they will not be charged. Any further evidence collected will be discarded until a warranty for investigating that case is given(Stevens, & Doyle, 2002) This is because the whole of that process will be termed as illegal since no authorization was made and there was also n warranty for arrest of the individuals. Legally, they have the right to be free.
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The risk involved in this case will occur if nothing is done about the evidence and Jackson goes ahead to commit this crime, then the evidence that was gathered will be termed useless. This is because any evidence collected that was not legally authorized by the judge and a wiretap order given is considered illegal(Hubbard, Brauti, & Fenton, 2000). The law does view this as illegal as there are limitations of acquiring this evidence.
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