Scruggs Case – Today’s bribery rulings crucial

Key to the Scruggs-Backstrom defense is suppression of the information from wiretaps and searches supervised by FBI Agent William Delaney, who may have run slightly afoul of Biggers’ favor when he testified last week he withheld some statements from the judge that may have influenced whether Biggers approved subsequent wiretaps and searches.

The defense team’s point: If the original wiretaps were illegal, the information gained from them cannot be used at trial. The same goes for subsequent wiretaps and their yields, which their attorneys claim would never have occurred if not for the first wiretaps. And so on.

Delaney said he didn’t think the statements were relevant or significant.

Key to the government’s argument: A reasonable belief – “probable cause” – that a crime was being committed via telephones by Balducci and Patterson, and by the three defendants.

In its memorandum filed Monday, the government also insists it’s not necessary to show that each defendant was going to commit, or had committed, a crime for the wiretap information to be retained.

NE MS Daily Journal
2/26/8