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Feds' Undercover Ruse Could Defy the Constitution

Earlier this year, during the World Cup, federal officials began to suspect that Chinese tourists were running an illegal sports book out of a suite at Caesars Palace. According to defense attorneys, they cut off the internet signal, then posed as repairmen to gain access and gather evidence.

Then they hid the ruse from federal judges and had the men indicted. But defense attorneys say all the evidence seized in the search should be thrown out because the search itself is unconstitutional. Law enforcement officials must either have a warrant or the consent of the suspects in order to conduct a search -- and these agents had neither.

According to the NPR story, once inside, the agents wandered around the premises as they  took photos, witnessing a group of men watching the soccer game and looking at betting odds on their laptops — all perfectly legal in Las Vegas. What else the agents saw is not entirely clear a, but when they left, they seemed satisfied they had enough to get a search warrant.

What is at stake with this case? How much deception can law enforcement officials use to gather evidence?


David Chesnoff, attorney for the defendants
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