Baltimore Police Often Surveil Cellphones Amid US Secrecy - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Baltimore Police Often Surveil Cellphones Amid US Secrecy

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By JACK GILLUM and JULIET LINDERMAN
Associated Press

BALTIMORE (AP) - A police officer says the Baltimore Police Department has used secretive cellphone surveillance equipment 4,300 times and believes it is under orders by the U.S. government to withhold evidence from criminal trials and ignore subpoenas in cases where the device is used.

The unusual testimony in a criminal case marks a rare instance when details have been revealed about the surveillance devices, which the Obama administration has aggressively tried to keep secret.

Baltimore police officer Emmanuel Cabreja testified Wednesday that his technical unit has deployed the device, called Hailstorm, about 4,300 times since 2007.

Cabreja said under questioning from defense attorneys that he did not comply with a subpoena to bring the device to court because of a nondisclosure agreement between the Baltimore police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

 

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