In the US, you're gonna need a search warrant first:
If they planted the device without a warrant, I guess that wouldn't hold up. If he had GPS tracking "on" for his cell phone and they tracked the phone, that might hold up.
I'm glad the courts upheld his rights, even if the guy is involved in drug trafficking. Too many cops think they are above the law and can do whatever they want. They need to learn this is not a police state and need to obey the law themselves.
Now, because of their screwup, a criminal might get away.
A similar case was argued in New York (http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/05/victory-location-pri).
Seems that it wasn't just the fact that a warrant wasn't obtained that led to a reversal but that, more importantly, there is a time restriction on surveillance under a warrant. At least that's what I interpret based in conjunction with this related article: http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2009/09/state....
Note that with a warrant police can break into a suspect's vehicle to secretly install a tracking device.
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