Michigan State Police uses cell phone tracking devices to investigate crimes, documents say

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DETROIT (AP) — Documents say Michigan State Police have had cellphone tracking devices for nearly a decade that were bought to fight terrorism but instead are used to investigate other crimes.

The Detroit News reports more than 250 pages of emails, invoices and other documents show state police in 2006 acquired cellphone simulator technology, which lets them collect large amounts of data including the location of users.

The equipment was upgraded in 2013 and an internal memo indicates it was used last year on 128 cases including burglary and fraud, but not terrorism.

State police 1st Lt. Christopher Hawkins says the agency secures warrants or court orders before using the devices except in “exigent circumstances” such as kidnappings.

The American Civil Liberties Union acquired the documents using the Freedom of Information Act.

Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/

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