Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Friday, August 27, 2010 8:59 pm

The rotating corpse of Thomas Jefferson is lighting a small New England town

For crying out loud. What part of “warrant” do you people not understand?

Law enforcement officers may secretly place a GPS device on a person’s car without seeking a warrant from a judge, according to a recent federal appeals court ruling in California.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Oregon in 2007 surreptitiously attached a GPS to the silver Jeep owned by Juan Pineda-Moreno, whom they suspected of growing marijuana, according to court papers.

When Pineda-Moreno was arrested and charged, one piece of evidence was the GPS data, including the longitude and latitude of where the Jeep was driven, and how long it stayed. Prosecutors asserted the Jeep had been driven several times to remote rural locations where agents discovered marijuana being grown, court documents show.

Pineda-Moreno eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy to grow marijuana, and is serving a 51-month sentence, according to his lawyer. …

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal twice — in January of this year by a three-judge panel, and then again by the full court earlier this month. The judges who affirmed Pineda-Moreno’s conviction did so without comment. …

A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., arrived at a different conclusion in similar case, saying officers who attached a GPS to the car of a suspected drug dealer should have sought a warrant. Experts say the issue could eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

Relatedly, you know those full-body scanners for use in airports? Law-enforcement agencies are buying them to use on the street … again, without warrants.

Let’s see if this subject comes up at the Glenn Beck rally …


  1. Yes, a divergence of opinions among the federal circuit courts will, maybe, reach the SCOTUS.

    Not a lot of difference between “bird dog” devices and GPS’s. I who was blessed with common sense agree with the surprising finding of the 9th Circuit. Police Chief magazine flushes out the complexities here pretty good.

    Oh crap we lost the kidnapper, serial killer. WTF is wrong with that damn Ouija board, Sarge? I dunno, call IT and our counsel for advice.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, August 27, 2010 9:50 pm @ 9:50 pm

  2. Stupendous post title.

    Comment by Fec — Monday, August 30, 2010 4:35 pm @ 4:35 pm

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