Federal Judge in Kentucky Says Prosecutors Can't Use Evidence Gained through GPS

May 23, 2012

A federal judge has ruled that investigators illegally placed a GPS tracking device on a Kentucky man's car. As a result, prosecutors won't be allowed to use 150 pounds of marijuana as evidence against the man.

U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar of Covington, Kentucky says the Drug Enforcement Administration and Kentucky State Police found the marijuana in Robert Dale Lee's car because they used the GPS tracking device without a warrant.

The 49 year old defendant's car was found near Lexington last September, and he is awaiting trial on a charge of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. 

In January the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the use of Global Positioning Satellite tracking devices by police, unless they have a warrant. Since this case pre-dated that ruling, the issue had been in question until Judge Thapar issued his decision.