Police Used 'Fake Bomb Threat' to Install Hidden Cameras at Florida Massage Parlor

Chris Menahan
Apr. 04, 2019

Florida police used a "fake bomb threat" to clear out and install hidden surveillance cameras at the massage parlor where Patriots owner Robert Kraft and 24 others were busted for allegedly receiving sexual favors for cash.

From Boston Globe:
The details surfaced in a memo that lawyers for Kraft, 77, filed Tuesday in Palm Beach County, Fla., in support of their motion to toss the video evidence. The high-stakes motion, if successful, would bar prosecutors from showing the video footage to jurors at trial.

Kraft faces two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution inside the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla., in January. Through representatives, he’s pleaded not guilty, denied engaging in illegal activity, and demanded a jury trial.

Jupiter police got a warrant to install the cameras, and Kraft’s lawyers wrote in Tuesday’s motion that police convinced a judge to sign off on secret filming with a claim, “founded on a fiction,” that human trafficking was suspected at the spa.

Kraft and the other men accused of receiving sexual favors at the business have not been charged with human trafficking.
This is pretty insane overreach for mere prostitution. This was done using the PATRIOT Act.

More from Reason:
Police were able to secretly install the surveillance cameras thanks to a sneak-and-peek warrant. Such warrants were sold after 9/11 as a way to stop terrorism, but in practice they've mainly been used in investigations of drug crimes.

Of the more than 11,000 such warrants issued in 2013, for instance, only 50 were related to terrorism; 9,401 were parts of drug investigations. In 2011, 5,093 of 6,775 requests for sneak-and-peek warrants were related to drug cases; just 31 were related to terrorism. "Exactly what privacy advocates argued in 2001 is happening: sneak and peak warrants are not just being used in exceptional circumstances--which was their original intent--but as an everyday investigative tool," the Electronic Frontier Foundation warned five years ago.

Now they're being used to stop prostitution under the guise of busting up international slavery rings.

[...]As with so much of this case, that claim looks strange in light of the fact that the authorities spent months visiting and watching these businesses but not rescuing the women that they now say they suspect are trafficking victims. "Why would you allow an investigation to go on...and allow human trafficking?" defense attorney Marc Shiner asks in the Sun-Sentinel article. "That's like being raped on a daily basis. Why would the police condone such behavior?"
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