Nevada ruling: Police have power to intercept cell calls

Posted on June 5, 2015

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Nevada State Personnel WATCH

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court said Thursday that the state’s wiretap law permits the interception of cellphone calls and text messages even though it has not been updated since 1973.

The ruling, written by Justice Mark Gibbons, was the result of an appeal by Phillip Sharpe of his trafficking in a controlled substance conviction out of Lyon County.

In 2010, police began investigating Sharpe after receiving information he sold methamphetamine. Officers obtained a warrant authorizing a wiretap to intercept communications on two different cellphone numbers attributed to Sharpe.

Due in part to the wiretap information, police arrested Sharpe and confiscated 3.25 pounds of meth from his vehicle.

Sharpe sought to suppress the wiretap evidence but a judge denied the motion. He then pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility after 10 years.

On appeal Sharpe…

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