Feds May Have To Reveal FISA Phone Records In Murder Case

from the well-this-interesting dept

There's been a lot of focus elsewhere concerning the FISA rulings that were leaked, showing that the government is scooping up the details of pretty much every phone call. However, a case concerning some guys who were trying to rob an armored truck may lead to some interesting revelations related to what the government collects. Daryl Davis, Hasam Williams, Terrance Brown, Toriano Johnson, and Joseph K. Simmons were charged with trying to rob a bunch of armored Brink's trucks, in which one of the robberies went wrong and a Brink's employee was shot and killed. As part of the case against the group, the DOJ obtained call records. However, during discovery, the government refused to hand over call records for July of 2010, claiming that when they sought them from the telco, the DOJ was told that those records had been purged. Terrance Brown's lawyer is now claiming that since it appears the NSA has sucked up all of this data for quite some time, it would appear that the government should, in fact, already have the phone records from July 2010, which he argues would show that he was nowhere near the robbery when it happened.
Defendant Brown urges that the records are important to his defense because cell-site records could be used to show that Brown was not in the vicinity of the attempted robbery that allegedly occurred in July 2010. And, relying on a June 5, 2013, Guardian newspaper article that published a FISA Court order relating to cellular telephone data collected by Verizon,1 Defendant Brown now suggests that the Government likely actually does possess the metadata relating to telephone calls made in July 2010 from the two numbers attributed to Defendant Brown.
The court agrees that, under the law, the government may need to produce those records.
Here, Defendant asserts that, under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), due process requires the production of the July 2010 telephone records because they are anticipated to be exculpatory in that they are expected to show that Defendant Brown was not physically located at the scene of the alleged attempted Brink’s truck robbery in July 2010.

In view of Defendant Brown’s Motion and the requirements of FISA, it is hereby ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the Government shall respond to Defendant Brown’s Motion and, if desired, shall file an affidavit of the Attorney General of the United States.
That order was actually issued Monday, only giving the government until yesterday to comply. At the time of posting, the government's reply has not yet shown up in PACER, though it may pop up soon. I'm guessing that they'll try to either get some sort of extension or explain why those records are somehow inaccessible -- but it could get interesting.
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Filed Under: criminal cases, discovery, doj, nsa, nsa surveillance, phone records, terrance brown

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  1. icon
    Rapnel (profile), 13 Jun 2013 @ 9:52am

    Re: Devils Advocate

    It will show activity, if there was any. Will it not? Leading to an exploratory on that activity leading to possible verification that the defendant communicated with or did not communicate with any included contacts where said records correlate times, places and, possibly, individuals.

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