PA court may rule on warrantless GPS tracking

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 19, 2013 1:05 PM

(Philadelphia) -- A federal appeals court is being asked to decide if the government must obtain a warrant before placing a GPS tracker on a suspect's car.

The case before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals involves three brothers suspected of robbing Philadelphia-area pharmacies. A GPS device led to their arrests in 2010.

Lawyers representing the trio have argued before a three-judge panel that warrantless tracking violates the Constitutional guarantee against unreasonable searches.

But, a federal prosecutor contended that authorities followed relevant legal precedents in attaching the tracker without a warrant. He says authorities had probable cause to suspect illegal activity.

A lower court previously ruled in favor of the brothers. The Justice Department appealed that decision based on a recent Supreme Court ruling. It's unclear when the Third Circuit will rule.

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