All prostitution charges have been dropped against Robert Kraft. If you’re going to be busted for doing something wrong, it definitely helps if one of the folks you got busted with is an ultrarich billionaire who owns a professional sports team. In this case, none of the men will face charges after attorneys for Kraft successfully prevented evidence from the state’s “sneak and peek” warrant from entering the record. The Florida AG said they will not appeal the decision again.
What is a Sneak and Peek Warrant?
Sneak and peek warrants are also known as “delayed notice” warrants or “covert entry search warrants”. These warrants, which were authorized under the Patriot Act, allow law enforcement to enter a building without the knowledge or consent of the owner, set up surveillance, and then use this surveillance to file charges. Such a warrant would require clandestine breaking and entering.
These warrants have been helpful to law enforcement executing drug warrants, but it wasn’t until 2001 and The Patriot Act that they became standard operating procedure. While there is nothing in the law that prohibits law enforcement from using these types of warrants to conduct misdemeanor investigations, these warrants are generally used for drug or human trafficking and, of course, terrorism and organized crime.
In the Kraft solicitation case, the government used a sneak and peek to charge “Johns” from the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. While sixty men have had their cases dropped, around 55 of those sixty had already completed diversion programs required for their guilty plea.
Sneak and Peek Warrants are Still Legal
Sneak and peek warrants are still legal and many believe that they were used correctly in this case. However, the state government that was executing the warrant must abide by specific rules governing how surveillance is to be executed. These rules generally make allowances for run-off times when supposed criminals are discussing personal issues. In this case, there was no run-off time. The cameras just rolled while the government collected evidence. This would always be illegal. Some of the individuals who were recorded had their privacy violated making the surveillance a Fourth Amendment violation.
The appeals court further ruled that the type of surveillance used in the investigation was “extreme”. The Attorney General said in a statement that she was “disappointed” but would not be appealing the decision with the Florida Supreme Court. If the Florida Supreme Court, the highest court in the state, were to render a ruling on this case, it could end up having broader implications that prevent law enforcement from using these types of warrants in the future.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re facing charges, a skilled West Palm Beach criminal attorney may be able to get key evidence tossed from the trial on procedural grounds and get the charges dismissed. Call The Skier Law Firm, P.A. for more details.