An Act Relative to the Interception of Wire and Oral Communications


This legislation strikes from the wiretap law the current limitation which precludes a court from issuing a wiretap warrant unless the offense under investigation is being committed "in connection with organized crime."  A Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court recently recognized that "[b]y limiting electronic surveillance to designated offenses 'in connection with organized crime,' § 99 prohibits electronic surveillance from being used to investigate designated offenses, including murder, that are committed by disorganized criminal gangs or even by organized street gangs that do not engage in supplying illegal goods and services, such as narcotics.  The consequence is that electronic surveillance is lost as a tool to investigate and prosecute a substantial share of the murders and shootings that occur in this Commonwealth."  Commonwealth v. Tavares, 459 Mass. 289, 303-04 (2011) (Gants, J., concurring).