Wiretap Report 1998   [open pdf - 642KB]

"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, 1998, and December 31, 1998, and provides supplementary information on arrests and convictions resulting from intercepts concluded in prior years. From 1997 to 1998, the total number of intercepts authorized by federal and state courts increased 12 percent to 1,329, reflecting continued growth in applications involving the surveillance of narcotics operations (up 10 percent). Following a 2 percent decrease in 1997, the number of applications for orders by federal authorities remained essentially stable in 1998, dropping one half of one percent. The number of applications reported by state prosecuting officials increased 24 percent over last year, with more jurisdictions providing reports than in prior years. The number of federal intercept applications authorized has grown over the last 10 years, increasing 93 percent from 1988 to 1998, while state applications have increased 71 percent since 1988. The number of intercepts employed in drug-related investigations also has experienced significant growth. Drug offenders were targeted in 955 of the interceptions concluded in 1998, compared to 435 in 1988, a 120% increase."

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