How To Catch Poachers
Jared Beal and his defense are making yet another attempt to have GPS tracking system evidence withheld, hoping their efforts will result in the 12 counts of destruction of protected wildlife Beal is facing are dropped. Beal was investigated for over a year by the Department of Wildlife and police authorities for falsifying documents to get permits in family member’s names in order to hunt more bobcats than the state permitted. Authorities had concrete evidence, thanks to a GPS tracker for poachers, that recorded Beal’s movements and showed that he frequently visited over 35 different trapping sites. When he was arrested at his Utah home, Beal was in possession of over 30 bobcat pelts.
Poaching has become an increasing problem for wildlife authorities to handle, especially when animal skins are reaching record highs in value. An individual bobcat pelt can sell for as much as $1500.
The Utah Department of Wildlife services followed protocol and state guidelines appropriately by obtaining a warrant before placing a GPS tracker upon Beal’s vehicle. After the GPS vehicle tracking unit was installed to the vehicle, investigators than spent over a year gathering evidence to build a case against Beal. Having already made 3 attempts to find a loophole in state and federal laws, Beal and his defense attorneys are now contending that the GPS tracker violated his state constitutionally protected rights. Beal’s lawyers maintain that the new motion to have the GPS device data suppressed is based upon the Utah constitution, a document that tends to favor individual liberties more than the federal constitution drafted by America’s founders.
GPS vehicle tracker technology has grown in popularity with numerous law enforcement departments because of their ease of use and scientific information.
The new motion filed by the defense to have the GPS tracker data thrown out is presently being reviewed by the Utah judicial system.
Although no one from the Department of Wildlife confirmed the information, it is believed that the police tracker used in the investigation was either a real time GPS or car tracking device with no subscription fees.
Did the GPS Result In Privacy Rights Violation
Regardless of the outcome of the newest motion filed by the defense, the prosecution’s evidence is very strong and points toward Beal’s guilt. Not to mention, the house warrant that was issued, based upon the GPS monitoring system evidence collected, uncovered that Beal was in possession of over 30 bobcat pelts.
Even though wildlife authorities followed proper guidelines before placing a GPS device upon Beal’s vehicle, were his rights violated?
Should the data from the satellite tracker be thrown out of court?
Should law enforcement or other government agencies be allowed to use GPS systems to record potential criminal’s movements in the future?
Are GPS tracking systems invading people’s privacy more than surveillance cameras that surround us everywhere?
Ryan is a freelance writer who is passionate about technology, music, photography, and decentralized finance.