United States v. Oliva, No. 10-30126 (9th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Defendant was convicted by a jury of drug-related crimes involving the distribution of methamphetmaine, cocaine, and marijuana. Defendant appealed the district court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained from a series of electronic surveillance orders authorizing interception of communications over cellular phones associated with him and his alleged co-conspirators. Defendant contended that these orders by their terms authorized more than standard intercepts, permitting more intrusive roving intercepts without meeting the statutory prerequisites of 18 U.S.C. 2518. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) if the government seeks authorization for the use of new technology to convert cellular phones into roving bugs, it must specifically request that authority, the court must scrutinize the need for such surveillance, and the authorization orders must be clear and unambiguous; but (2) in this case, the district court did not err in finding that the orders were intended only to authorize standard interception techniques and that the government did not do otherwise.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on December 17, 2012.