Wiretap Report 2004   [open pdf - 839KB]

"The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 requires the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO) to report to Congress the number and nature of federal and state applications for orders authorizing or approving the interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications. The statute requires that specific information be provided to the AO, including the offense(s) under investigation, the location of the intercept, the cost of the surveillance, and the number of arrests, trials, and convictions that directly result from the surveillance. This report covers intercepts concluded between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2004, and provides supplementary information on arrests and convictions resulting from intercepts concluded in prior years. A total of 1,710 intercepts authorized by federal and state courts were completed in 2004, an increase of 19 percent compared to the number terminated in 2003. The number of applications for orders by federal authorities rose 26 percent to 730. The number of applications reported by state prosecuting officials grew 13 percent to 980, with 19 state jurisdictions providing reports, four fewer than in 2003, but equal to the number for 2002. Wiretaps installed were in operation an average of 43 days per wiretap in 2004 compared to 44 days in 2003. The average number of persons whose communications were intercepted increased from 116 per wiretap order in 2003 to 126 per order in 2004. The average percentage of intercepted communications that were incriminating was 21 percent in 2004, compared to 33 percent in 2003."

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