Criminal Investigation and Evidence Handling

A criminal investigation deals with seeking, collecting, and gathering material evidence for a specific case or particular purpose. The duty of criminal investigation is to look for evidence and valuable clues regarding the happening of a certain crime. In this case, the duty of a police officer in the task force is to investigate the cases of drug trafficking operations in the country. Although investigations may be broad in nature, at times, the investigators concentrate on a single person or a small group of people to who most evidence points to (Rossman, 2008).

Criminal investigation applies the use of various research and evidence mining techniques. As in the case above, the judge allowed the use of a wiretap. The wiretap is a method used to log into all the calls of the owner of the wiretapped phone. The use of the wiretap method is controversial though. The reason for the controversy surfaces from the fact that the phone logs all the communications around it regardless of who speaks. As highlighted, the wiretap on the suspect’s phone helped in the acquisition of evidence relating to other kinds of criminal investigation activity.

The above seems perfect for nailing the suspect on more than one point of view. However, remembering the basics upon which fruitful investigation finds its foundation is essential. Research calls for the collection of relevant and reliable evidence. In light of this, the investigators are called upon by the procedures governing investigation to avoid diversions by any extraneous information. As a result, in the pursuit of maintaining a focused investigation and evidence collection, sticking to the original plan is an essential requirement. In this case, the evidence on other unrelated criminal investigation activities could easily jeopardize the collection of evidence for drug trafficking. As a result, to fully establish proof and facts on the drug trafficking criminal investigation on the suspect, it is important to exclude that new evidence relating to unrelated criminal activities (PInow, 2015).

There is no provision strictly refusing the arrest of other individuals associated with the additional evidence acquired through the help of the wiretap on the suspect’s phone. However, it is important to make sound considerations of what may happen to any future evidence obtained from the wiretap. Arresting the other individuals will jeopardize any future evidence from the wiretap in a great way. The reason behind that assumption is simple. The legal system requires police officers to enlighten suspects of their crimes during their arrest. If not, they should be notified a short while after they are arrested, that is, at least during the pretrial stage (Bacigal & Tate, 2014).

From a rational point of view, the individuals are closely related to the drug trafficking suspect. Additionally, the suspect will be left at large in the pursuit of collecting more substantial evidence on his principal case. The suspect will most likely trace back the reasons behind the arrest of his associates. The above affects future evidence in various ways. First, the defendant may become aware of wiretap and use it to his advantage. If he suspects a wiretap, the suspect may play along and keep it but ensure that he makes conversations that give totally incorrect information. Secondly, due to the fear of ending up behind bars like his associates, the suspect may completely change his routine life. The above means changing residential locations, changing contacts such as the phone number, as well as the communication gadgets. Although he may do that purely as a precautionary measure unaware of the presence of the wiretap, future evidence will end up so hard and expensive to acquire. It may require starting the entire wiretapping process from scratch again.

With respect to the provisions of not jeopardizing future evidence due from the suspect’s phone, one alternative is failing to accuse the other individuals whose evidence of criminal activities was acquired through the help of the wiretap. Apparently, this would help to give more time and scope to get as much evidence as possible without interfering with the key criminal investigation. However, the failure to arrest the other individuals bears potential risks. That decision imposes quite a number of direct as well as indirect risks.

To start with, it is highly possible that the other criminals will end up carrying out their other criminal related activities. It is very likely that the other illegal activities are more severe that the drug trafficking crime for which the criminal investigation on the primary suspect is based upon. From another perspective, it is a well-known fact that drug trafficking crimes are not individually pulled crimes. They are mostly carried out in cartels. With reference to the high degree of the drug trafficking crime, most drug trafficking patrons maintain a very high profile private lifestyle.

The above requires them to discuss crime related information with only people they can trust. As a result, it is correct to conclude that the other individuals whose evidence of criminal activities is available as well are close confidants and associates of the primary suspect in the drug trafficking crime under investigation. Failure to arrest those criminals means that the drug trafficking crime will continue to take place until the criminal investigation of the primary suspect is complete.

References

Bacigal, R., & Tate, M. (2014). Criminal Law and Procedure: An Overview. Mason: Cengage Learning.

PInow. (2015). Criminal Investigation. Retrieved April 8, 2015, from pinow.com: http://www.pinow.com/investigations/criminal-investigations

Rossman, D. (2008). CONDITIONAL RULES IN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE: ALICE IN WONDERLAND MEETS THE CONSTITUTION. Retrieved April 8, 2015, from bu.edu: https://www.bu.edu/law/faculty/scholarship/workingpapers/documents/RossmanD090208.pdf

 

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