After a wanted man was nabbed by police who tracked him down via his cell phone, a federal appeals court has rejected his claim regarding the validity of his arrest and ruled in favor of the use of a stingray, the first time such a ruling has appeared at the federal appellate level.
Damian Patrick was sought by Wisconsin police for a parole violation. Police in Milwaukee used a stingray – a technology which mimics a cell tower to intercept calls and data from cell phones – to locate him in 2013. While the suspect pleaded guilty to the parole violation charge, he argued against the "validity of the location-tracking warrant by contending that his person was not contraband," and thus was off limits to the investigation, according to a court document.
While Chief Judge Diane Wood ruled against Patrick's claim, she expressed reservations about the government's refusal to divulge information about stingray technology. Citing Fourth Amendment concerns, the judge wrote, "It is time for the stingray to come out of the shadows."