In the past, and at the request of the U.S. Marshalls (sic), the investigative means utilized to locate the suspect have not been revealed so that we may continue to utilize this technology without the knowledge of the criminal element. In reports or depositions we simply refer to the assistance as ‘received information from a confidential source regarding the location of the suspect.’ To date this has not been challenged, since it is not an integral part of the actual crime that occurred.
Sgt. Kenneth Castro
North Port (Florida) Police Department
This is from an article in Wired’s Threat Level. There is now, in Florida at least, proof of law enforcement agencies using parallel construction to obfuscate the sources of information used in criminal investigations.
I am not an attorney so I don’t know how this affects a criminal defense case. I can say that if you are being lied to by a prosecutorial agency about how they came about the information they intend to use against you, then you are definitely at a disadvantage. Add to this that if LAW ENFORCEMENT officials are willing to lie to the courts, what else are they willing to lie about and to whom?
If this were limited to one or two officers, then that police agency would have a problem on its hands. When multiple agencies are coordinating efforts to hide their techniques and methods, I think we safely call it conspiratorial.