Court Rules Law Enforcement Can Track GPS Signals From Phones Without Warrant

The DEA tracked a drug dealer based on a burner phone he used. He was stopped with 1,100 pounds of marijuana. The Sixth Circuit Court ruled no constitutional violation occurred.


Drug dealers, beware. Your pay-as-you-go phones probably have GPS. And, according to a federal appeals court in Cincinnati, police can track the signal they emit without a warrant.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled thatthe Drug Enforcement Administration committed no Fourth Amendment violation in using a drug runner's cellphone data to track his whereabouts. The DEA obtained a court order to track Melvin Skinner's phone, after finding his number in the course of an investigation of a large-scale drug trafficking operation.