DEA GPS Tracking
Law enforcement and government agencies are very familiar with the advantages GPS tracking technology can provide over criminals. With passive and real-time tracking systems now being a staple law enforcement tools, men such as Andres Hernandez Vargas will be finding it much more difficult to succeed in their criminal activities in the future.
Vargas was a Washington resident who was believed to be a drug trafficker of methamphetamine. After the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) received a tip about Vargas’ criminal enterprise they began monitoring his movements with a tracking system that recorded specific information about his traveling activities. After reviewing the data from the tracking system the DEA discovered the following information:
GPS Tracking Data
- October 17th (Morning): Vargas left Washington heading southbound toward California.
- 8:00 p.m.: Vargas arrived in North Highlands, California
- 10:15 p.m.: Vargas stopped in Sacramento, California, and headed back northbound to Washington
Once the real time GPS tracking system confirmed the DEA’s suspicions that Vargas was indeed picking up drugs and then traveling with them across state lines, the DEA contacted law enforcement officers to set up surveillance along a portion of Interstate 5, the highway Vargas was traveling. When Vargas drove through the surveillance area driving 70mph in a 60 mph zone he was quickly pulled over by police.
The on-site officer asked for Vargas’ driver’s license and explained that he had information believing that there was a drug trafficking/ distribution situation going on in the local area. Vargas explained he had no idea what the officer was talking about and provided him with a license that had the name “J. Jesus Lopez”. Vargas, who was discovered to be an illegal alien, was arrested for providing false documentation, and his vehicle was taken to a nearby weigh station where drug-sniffing dogs helped authorities discover 436 grams of “speed” in the truck.
After Vargas was arrested for possession and intent to distribute, he fought the charges stating that “the search exceeded the scope of his consent” when the police used drug-sniffing dogs and gave his vehicle a thorough inspection.
The court ruled in favor of the police using a live GPS tracker to monitor Vargas, and drug-sniffing dogs in the search of Vargas’ vehicle.
Law enforcement continues using police GPS trackers for surveillance.
Ryan is a freelance writer who is passionate about technology, music, photography, and decentralized finance.