Friday, May 19, 2017

Federal Agents Are Now Using ‘Stingrays’ to Track and Capture Undocumented Immigrants

In March, US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deployed a cell-site simulator, often colloquially referred to as a “Stingray,” to track a Michigan man in the country illegally, according to recently unsealed court documents reported first by The Detroit News.

The local news outlet reported Thursday evening that a team of FBI and ICE agents in Detroit used a cell-site simulator to locate Rudy Carcamo-Carranza, a restaurant worker from El Salvador who had twice entered the country illegally. The 23-year-old reportedly accused of driving drunk and being involved in a hit-and-run crash.

This represents the first known case of such a device being used to hunt down an undocumented immigrant. Nathan Wessler, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union and widely recognized expert on cell-site simulator use, told the Michigan paper that he had never before seen a warrant approved in an immigration enforcement operation.

The use of cell-site simulators is a closely guarded secret among US law enforcement, typically bound by a nondisclosure agreement between agencies, the FBI, and the Harris Corporation, a US-based company which produces the “Hailstorm” model, an advanced version of the more widely known “Stingray.”

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