Prosecutors in a Los Angeles suburb say they have dramatically scaled back a vast and legally questionable eavesdropping operation, built by federal drug agents, that once accounted for nearly a fifth of all U.S. wiretaps.
The wiretapping, authorized by prosecutors and a single state-court judge in Riverside County, alarmed privacy advocates and even some U.S. Justice Department lawyers, who warned that it was likely illegal. An investigation last year by The Desert Sunand USA TODAY found that the operation almost certainly violated federal wiretapping laws while using millions of secretly intercepted calls and texts to make hundreds of arrests nationwide.
Continue reading: Prosecutors halt vast, likely illegal DEA wiretap operation
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