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Judge OK’s DHS Tracking Plane Because It Left L.A., a ‘Source City’ for Drugs, Going to Philly, a ‘Destination City’

The following excerpt is from an article that originally appeared on Hit and Run Reason

Police may have reasonable suspicion to track individuals if they are behaving strangely while traveling or using unusual means of travel, even if the behavior or means of travel are legal, Chief Judge David Brooks Smith ruled (pdf) in a case in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals involving the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tracking a plane from Los Angeles to Philadelphia because the former was a “source city” for drugs and the latter a “destination city,”—demonstrating the vagueness of the concept of reasonable suspicion and the problem with criminalizing actions and products that are inherently non-violent.

In 2015 the pilot and passenger Raul Rosales, who brought the challenge to the court, were apprehended in Pennsylvania, where authorities found them in possession of several duffle bags’ worth of cocaine. Rosales was sentenced to five years in prison and was appealing a lower court’s ruling that evidence obtained based

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