Back in February, Freddy Martinez, a 27 year old resident of Chicago who works in the software industry, attended a rally in Chicago and noticed what appeared to him to be newly installed cell phone equipment next to unmarked Chicago Police vehicles. He immediately suspected that these were the fabled stingray fake cell phone towers which are being used around the country by law enforcement agencies to secretly intercept cell phone calls and text messages. We have been reporting on the expanding use of these devices nationally. This is the first time that we are reporting that they may be in use in Chicago. In March Martinez filed a Freedom of Information request asking the Chicago Police to provide information regarding whether they are using these stingray devices. He was told that he would be receiving a response within a few days. When he did not receive a response he kept following up without any success. The Chicago Police have not responded to his request. Last Friday Martinez filed a lawsuit alleging that the Chicago Police have willfully disregarded a Freedom of Information request and that they must comply to his lawful request. It is customary for the vendor to include language in sales contracts with cities and law enforcement agencies that they are to keep all information about these devices secret.
We will monitor this case to see if these devices are being used in Chicago.
James Dimeas is an award winning Chicago criminal defense attorney and author with more than 23 years of experience aggressively representing his clients facing criminal charges. If you have a criminal case in Illinois, contact me in Chicago (312-229-5500), DuPage and Kane (630-504-2096) or Lake (847-696-6458) for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal options.
Visit my law firm at our new Google+ page.