Arizona's Wiretapping Rate Among the Nation's Highest

Wiretapping rates in Arizona are among the highest in the nation.

The Pew Research Center ranked the states where the most wiretap authorizations were made last year, finding that Arizona's had the fifth-highest rate in the country.

According to the data, reported by the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, 9.5 wiretaps are authorized for every 500,000 Arizonans.

That trails only Nevada, Colorado, California, and New York. Nevada led the pack by far, as there were more than 38 wiretaps per 500,000 citizens in that state.

According to Pew, "The report suggests that nearly 90% of the wiretap authorization requests cited criminal drug-related offenses; the rest ranged from smuggling to homicide cases."

The stats from the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts show that Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's office led the way for wiretaps in Arizona, with 21 wiretaps. According to the statistics, those wiretaps led to the arrests of 201 people.

Nine more wiretaps came from the federal government in Arizona, while five came from Maricopa County, and three came from Yuma County.

Pew also mentions reports that indicate some federal agencies circumvent standard court procedures when setting up wiretaps, so these numbers may be low.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

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Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

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