Free Minds & Free Markets

How Cops Hide Surveillance Snooping From Courts: New at Reason

Strejman/Dreamstime.comStrejman/Dreamstime.comIn 2004, Ascension Alverez-Tejeda and his girlfriend were stopped at a traffic light in Oregon when their car was rear-ended by a drunk driver. The police arrived and arrested the drunk, but while Alverez-Tejeda was outside dealing with the situation, a thief jumped in his car and tore off down the road.

Police recovered the car and, after obtaining a search warrant from a judge, found in it cocaine and methamphetamine that Alverez-Tejeda was trafficking from California to Washington.

It looked like a case of very bad luck for Alverez-Tejeda. The truth didn't come out until the trial: The whole thing had been staged. The only ones who weren't in on the plot were Alverez-Tejeda, his girlfriend, and the judge who signed the warrant. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), relying on surveillance and wiretaps, had tipped off local law enforcement to Alverez-Tejeda. The cops then constructed an elaborate ruse to gain probable cause to search his car, writes C.J. Ciaramella for the April print edition of Reason.

Photo Credit: Strejman/


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