The big national news item the last few days has been the controversy involving the National Security Agency's surveillance of millions of cellphone users in the U.S.
And while most Americans are outraged at the possible invasion of privacy by the U.S. government, at least one guy is banking on the controversy to keep him our of jail for bank robbery.
Terrance Brown, one of five men on trial in federal court in Fort Lauderdale on charges they conspired to hold up armored trucks in 2010, says the NSA records of his private phone calls will prove he wasn't a part of the robberies.
Federal prosecutors are using cellphone records as key evidence to put Brown, 40, and his alleged accomplices away. The records, they say, prove the five men were near the areas where the robbery attempts and planning happened.
One of the men is cooperating with the U.S. Attorney's Office
However, Brown's cellphone records are nowhere to be found. Mainly because his carrier, MetroPCS, did not hold on to the records that go back to 2010.
So, Brow's attorney, Marshall Dore Louis, is arguing that all this NSA surveillance business will prove his client is innocent -- if Big Brother would only give him his client's phone records.
Louis argued that, sure, it's an invasion of privacy, but it'll also prove that Brown wasn't apparently a part of the robberies. Louis says that the government should be forced to hand over those records.
Obama must step up and free this accused armored truck robber!
"The president of the United States has recognized this program has been ongoing since 2006 ... to gather the phone numbers [and related information] of everybody including my client in 2010," Louis said.
"There are security procedures that must be followed," Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Walleisa said of the special protocols the Department of Justice follows when dealing with information, usually used to identify possible terrorist activity, that may have been secretly obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
All of this might be moot anyway.
According to Brown's wife, who is testifying for the prosecution, Brown never owned his own cellphone, and would borrow hers and family and friend' anytime he needed to make a phone call.
It's a desperate move by the defense, but a ballsy one.
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