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Co. drug ring bust relies on wire taps, pole camera surveillance

People living in Colorado Springs have a right to expect privacy in their own homes. In order for authorities to enter, they must have a warrant. Where this gets a little hazy is in the issue of pole cameras. These types of surveillance devices are usually mounted to a utility pole and are placed in areas where authorities suspect illegal activity. Law enforcement reasons that a long as the cameras cannot view the inside of the home or pick up sounds inside the home, the cameras are no different than having a police officer sitting on the street observing the property.

What determines whether a pole camera requires a warrant to be placed is whether or not a reasonable expectation of privacy is expected. This point can be argued in court and evidence obtained through this method may be thrown out if it can be proved that the person was the subject of illegal search and seizure.

Some of those arrested in a huge drug bust in Colorado recently may wish to argue this point. Pole cameras were used to confirm the whereabouts of two suspects. The two were later arrested after wiretaps on their phone indicated that they were part of an elaborate drug ring.

In all, 36 people were arrested and indicted by a grand jury. They face charges ranging from drug possession with intent to distribute to conspiracy to violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act. Authorities are still looking for others involved in the ring. The organization is suspected of obtaining pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine from Mexico and selling them in Colorado.

Those arrested in this sting would do well to hire a lawyer to represent them and advise them on the best way to proceed with their case.

Source: The Daily Sentinel, "36 indicted in huge drug sting," Paul Shockley, April 24, 2013

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