United States v. Cuevas-Perez, No. 10-1473 (7th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Suspecting the defendant of drug trafficking, federal agents attached a GPS device to his vehicle while it was parked in a public place. The GPS tracked the defendant from Phoenix to Illinois, where the state police took up live surveillance, stopped the defendant for a traffic violation, searched the vehicle after a canine unit alerted to the presence of drugs, and found nine packages of heroin. The district court refused to suppress the evidence. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The GPS surveillance conducted in this case was not lengthy and did not expose, or risk exposing, the "twists and turns" of the defendant's life. The purpose of the GPS was only to record the trip, so no warrant was required; real-time information from a GPS is exactly the kind of information that drivers make available by traversing public roads.