Wiretap Investigation Cases
a. Protect the privacy of Wire, Electronic, and Oral Communications.
b. Setting a uniform basis for the circumstances and conditions under which the interception of Wire, Electronic, and Oral Communications may be authorized.
The Wiretap Act is governed by statutory requirements that comprise:
a. Prohibition of unauthorized, non-consensual interception of Wire, Oral, or Electronic communications by government agencies and private parties.
b. Mandatory Procedures for obtaining warrants to authorize Wiretap Interceptions by government officials.
c. Regulation of the disclosure and use of authorized intercepted communications by investigative and law enforcement officers.
Importantly, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510-2523 – Wire and Electronic Communications Interceptions and Interception of Oral Communications control the authorization and subsequent interceptions of Wire, Oral, or Electronic communications. In particular, 18 U.S.C. §2518 – Procedure for Interception of Wire, Oral, or Electronic Communications sets forth stringent mandatory requirements for the Application, Authorization, Interception, and Post-Interception processes by the United States. As such, any violations of these stringent statutory requirements by the United States, particularly during the Application and Interception processes, create actionable prospects for Suppression of any and all Evidence derived from the unlawful Interception of Wire, Oral, or Electronic Communications to include potential Suppression of Evidence resulting from subsequent Applications and Interception of Wire, Oral, or Electronic Communications, Search Warrants, Seizure Warrants, Arrest Warrants, and other investigative measures that resulted in acquisition of evidence.
Since 2009, Kendal Johnson has been appointed by Federal Courts and/or hired privately in over 170 Drug Trafficking Investigation Cases which predominantly composed of Complex Wiretap, Conspiracy, and/or Criminal Enterprise Investigations, and which specifically comprised over 60 different Complex Wiretap Investigation Cases that involved over 295 various Wiretap Pleadings (Applications, Orders, and Affidavits) that were comprehensively analyzed and researched and Expert Witness Reports of Findings and/or Consultant Reports of Findings were prepared by Kendal Johnson for attorney and attorney firm clients.
For example, from 2000-2001, Special Agent Kendal Johnson, as the lead Case Agent, conducted a large complex Wiretap Investigation in New Mexico, California, and Mexico which resulted in the arrests of over 200 Defendants based on Federal Drug Trafficking Charges and State Drug Trafficking Charges. Notably, the primary targeted base of operations was a smaller rural area of New Mexico that had been ravaged by high drug-related crimes and violence for many years, and the this highly successful Wiretap Investigation effectively eradicated the Drug Trafficking Organization operating in the area as well as in California and Mexico.
In another example, in 2016, Kendal Johnson thoroughly analyzed and conducted detailed research regarding numerous Wiretap Pleadings and Discovery in a Synthetic Marijuana (i.e., “Spice”, “Cannabinoids”, and “Analogs”) Manufacture and Distribution case in New Mexico and Arizona in which the expertise and vast experience in Wiretaps and Drug Trafficking Investigations of Kendal Johnson resulted in systematic demonstration (through a Consultant Report of Findings to the clients) that Misrepresentations, False Statements, Material Omissions, and Erroneous and Misleading Investigative Conclusions existed in the Wiretap Pleadings. As a result of the Consultant Report of Findings regarding significant suppression issues, the lead Defendant (through his attorneys) leveraged a sentence from a Minimum Mandatory United States Sentencing Guideline Range of 360 Months (30 Years) to Life Imprisonment to an agreed upon sentence (through a Rule 11(c)(1)(C) Plea Agreement) of 48 Months (4 Years) – a reduction in sentence of 24 Years as well as effectively preventing a Life Sentence of Imprisonment.
In an additional example, in 2017, Kendal Johnson carefully analyzed and conducted exhaustive research regarding numerous Wiretap Pleadings and Discovery in an International Methamphetamine and Heroin Conspiracy, Importation, and Distribution case in New Mexico and other states in which the expertise and vast experience of Kendal Johnson concerning Wiretaps and Drug Trafficking Investigations resulted in a methodical demonstration (through Consultant Report of Findings to the clients) that a particular Wiretap Application did not establish Probable Cause to intercept both Electronic and Wire Communications (human voice communications). Rather, the Wiretap Application established Probable Cause to intercept Electronic Communications but the Wiretap Application failed to establish separate Probable Cause to intercept Wire Communications in the sense the Application relied solely upon culpable electronic text messages to and from the user of the target telephone and did not demonstrate the user of the target telephone also used Wire Communications to facilitate drug trafficking crimes – as required under 18 U.S.C. § 2518 and Department of Justice Criminal Resource Manual CRM1-99, Section 28. Importantly, 18 U.S.C. § 2510 also defines Electronic Communications as wholly separate from Wire Communications and therefore, independent Probable Cause must be established to intercept Electronic Communications and separately, independent Probable Cause must be established to intercept Wire Communications. Although the presiding United States District Judge disagreed with the Defendant’s argument in the Motion to Suppress interceptions of Wire Communications in this case, the matter has been appealed to the Tenthth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Defendant is presently awaiting a decision.
As a further example, in 2019, Kendal Johnson comprehensively scrutinized nine (9) Wiretap Pleadings and Discovery in an International Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Marijuana, and Heroin Conspiracy, Importation, Distribution, and Continuing Criminal Enterprise case in New Mexico and other states in which the expertise and vast experience of Kendal Johnson concerning Wiretaps and Drug Trafficking Investigations resulted in a systematic demonstration (through Consultant Report of Findings to the clients) that a specific Wiretap Application requested to intercept Electronic Communications only and the Wiretap Application did not request (and did not present Probable Cause) to intercept Wire Communications. However, the Wiretap Order issued by the United States District Judge authorized interception of both Electronic Communications and Wire Communications, and the government subsequently conducted interceptions of both Electronic Communications and Wire Communications. The Suppression Motion issue was recommended to Counsel based on this noteworthy novel issue that if the United States specifically does not request (and does not present Probable Cause) to intercept a particular form of communications (e.g., Wire Communications) in a Wiretap Application but the District Court nevertheless authorizes interception of the particular form of communications in the Wiretap Order and the Government subsequently conducts interceptions of the particular form of communications (for which the Government had not requested to intercept in the Wiretap Application and had not presented Probable Cause to conduct such interceptions of the particular communications in the Wiretap Application) – are those particular communications unlawfully intercepted.
As a DEA Special Agent, Kendal Johnson routinely conducted complex Wiretap Investigations and related investigations that involved vast numbers of targets comprising large scale International and Domestic Drug Trafficking Organizations, extensive and wide-ranging Conspiracies, violent and murderous Street Gangs, and prolific Local Drug Dealers. The investigations composed an immense array of drugs including (but not limited to) Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Crack Cocaine (Cocaine Base), Marijuana, Heroin, Synthetic and Prescription Drugs, and other Controlled Substances. During these Wiretap Investigations and related investigations, Kendal Johnson initiated and managed all aspects of these operations and cases that resulted in arrests of hundreds of Defendants throughout the years as well as effectively dismantling International and Domestic Drug Trafficking Organizations.
For example, from 2000-2001, Special Agent Kendal Johnson, as the lead Case Agent, conducted a large complex Wiretap Investigation in New Mexico, California, and Mexico which resulted in the arrests of over 60 Defendants based on Federal Drug Trafficking Charges and the arrests of scores of Defendants based on State Drug Trafficking Charges. Notably, the primary targeted base of operations was a smaller rural area of New Mexico that had been ravaged by high drug-related crimes and violence for many years, and the this highly successful Wiretap Investigation effectively eradicated the Drug Trafficking Organization operating in the area as well as in California and Mexico.
In another example, in 2004, Special Agent Kendal Johnson, as the lead Case Agent, conducted a large complex Wiretap Investigation in New Mexico that targeted a well-known and infamously violent street gang involved in a large number of homicides. The Wiretap Investigation pursued all members of the notorious street gang and within several months of the operation, all members of the street gang (with the exception of a few members that were already incarcerated on unrelated charges) were arrested based on Federal Drug Trafficking Charges and 4 members of the top leadership were also charged with Murder in Furtherance of a Drug-Related Crime, Capital Murder, and Conspiracy to Commit Murder (based on 4 drug-related homicides) and the leader of the street gang was further charged with operating a Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE). Notably, the 4 members of the top leadership were charged as Death Penalty eligible but all 4 Defendants pleaded guilty to the Drug-related Murders and were sentenced to Life Imprisonment.
3As amended by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)(Pub. L. 99-508; 10/21/86), the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA)(Pub. L. 103-414; 10/24/94), Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“Antiterrorism Act”) (Pub. L. 104-132; 4/24/96), USA PATRIOT Act (Pub. L. 107-56; 10/26/01), USA PATRIOT Additional Reauthorization Amendments Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-178; (3/9/06), FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Amendments Act of 2008 (Pub. L.110-261; 7/10/2008), FISA Sunsets Extension Act (Pub. L. 112-3; 2/25/11) PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011 (Pub. L. 112-14; 5/26/11).