In a November 13, 2013, federal public defender Steve Kalar noted:
The NSA obtained cell-site location data, without probable cause, in twenty criminal cases in the massive C.D. Cal. By contrast, it appears to have tracked 40 criminalcases without P.C. in the much-smaller ND Cal! (IncludingUnited States v. Raymon Hill, a routine S.F. gang case).
Who in the ND Cal was so infatuated with cell-site location data, and how did they dodge P.C. requirements in so many cases?
We, of course, are interested in the use of this data in developing federal asset forfeiture investigations. Since federal civil forfeiture can be initiated independent of any criminal investigation, it is an attractive vehicle for deploying intelligence analysis based on NSA collection, and would of course allow US attorneys to virtually guarantee that their offices made a healthy profit from their enforcement actions.