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United States v. Banks

United States District Court, D. Kansas

August 29, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ALBERT DEWAYNE BANKS et al. Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

DANIEL D. CRABTREE, District Judge.

Defendants Taylor, Thompson, and Makdins have filed motions to suppress intercepted text messages, and other defendants have joined their motions (Doc. 351, 356, 375). Defendants argue, among other things, that the Court must suppress text message evidence because investigators intercepted them pursuant to orders, which, on their face, authorized interception of wire communications only. For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies defendants' motions to suppress text message evidence on this basis.

Background

Investigators obtained wiretap orders in the final months of a thirteen-month investigation into a suspected narcotics-trafficking conspiracy. The investigation was a joint effort by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation ("KBI"), the Junction City Police Department, the Geary County Sherriff's office, and the Riley County Police Department. Beginning in March of 2013, investigators submitted applications for wiretap orders to Judge Platt, a judge in Kansas' Eighth Judicial District. Judge Platt issued a total of eight wiretap orders under the authorization granted by the Kansas wiretap statute, K.S.A. § 22-2514 et seq. The dates of issuance and expiration of each of the orders are set forth below:

• Thompson Order #1 (1783) - Issued March 5; Expired April 4.[1]
• Banks Order #1 (6704) - Issued March 5; Expired April 4.[2]
• Ivory Order #1 (7176) - Issued April 2; Expired May 2.[3]
• Ponds Order #1 (0088) - Issued April 2; Expired May 2.[4]
• Thompson Order #2 (1783) - Issued April 4; Expired May 4.[5]
• Ivory Order #2 (7015) - Issued April 12; Expired May 12.[6]
• Banks Order #2 (9771) - Issued April 12; Expired May 12.[7]
• Thompson Order #3 (2893) - Issued April 16; Expired May 16.[8]

Each order provided authorized interception of "wire communications." See, e.g., Doc. 379-1 at 3. No orders authorized interception of "electronic communications." Nonetheless, investigators believed that the orders permitted the interception of text messages, and service providers in fact intercepted text ...


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