According to a recent ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court, police can tap additional cell phones without a new warrant when a suspect “deliberately switches phones to avoid surveillance.” The court held that New Jersey’s Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act allows officers to switch which phones are monitored during an ongoing wiretap investigation, as long as they notify a judge within 48 hours that the suspect has changed phones.
The court did not agree with Hector Feliciano, the leader of a Camden drug organization who was indicted on multiple drug charges based in part on evidence gained via roving wiretaps. Officers had gotten an initial warrant while investigating Feliciano and other suspects in the drug ring. However, the suspects constantly switched cell phones because they thought they were being tracked. While waiting for the presiding judge to issue an updated warrant, the police monitored the new phones.
Feliciano tried to challenge the evidence, arguing that allowing for roving wiretaps eliminates court oversight and gives investigators too much discretion. However, the presiding judge denied Mr. Feliciano’s motion and held that law enforcement was able to switch which phones they were monitoring because Feliciano was purposefully trying to evade police interception of his communications.
If you or a loved one was charged with a drug-related offense in New Jersey, contact the skilled criminal defense attorneys at the Rosenblum Law Firm today. We will defend your constitutional rights and do what he can to have your drug charges dismissed. Email or call today at 888-979-7551.