United States District Court, D. Nebraska
IN RE APPLICATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FOR AN AUTHORIZING THE INSTALLATION AND USE OF PEN REGISTERS AND TRAP AND TRACE DEVICES
J. CONBDY Assistant U.S. Attorney
MICHAEL D. NELSON United States Magistrate Judge
United States of America, moving by and through Martin J.
Conboy, IV, its undersigned counsel, respectfully submits
under seal this ex parte application for an order pursuant to
18 U.S.C §§ 3122 and 3123, authorizing the
installation and use of pen registers and trap and trace
devices ("pen-trap devices") to record, decode,
and/or capture dialing, routing, addressing, and signaling
information associated with each communication to or from the
cell phone No. described in Attachment A to the proposed
Order. In support of this application, the United States
is an application, made under 18 U.S.C. § 3122(a)(1),
for an order under 18 U.S.C. § 3123 authorizing the
installation and use of a pen register and a trap and trace
an application must include three elements: (1) "the
identity of the attorney for the Government or the State law
enforcement or investigative officer making the
application"; (2) "the identity of the law
enforcement agency conducting the investigation"; and
(3) "a certification by the applicant that the
information likely to be obtained is relevant to an ongoing
criminal investigation being conducted by that agency."
18 U.S.C. § 3122(b).
undersigned applicant is an "attorney for the
government" as defined in Rule 1(b)(1) of the Federal
Rules of Criminal Procedure.
law enforcement agency conducting the investigation is the
Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA").
applicant hereby certifies that the information likely to be
obtained by the requested pen-trap devices is relevant to an
ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by the DEA.
Court is a "court of competent jurisdiction" under
18 U.S.C. § 3122(a)(2) because it "has jurisdiction
over the offense being investigated," 18 U.S.C. §
Other than the three elements described above, federal law
does not require that an application for an order authorizing
the installation and use of a pen register and a trap and
trace device specify any facts. The following additional
information is provided to demonstrate that the order
requested falls within this Court's authority to
authorize the installation and use of a pen register or trap
and trace device under 18 U.S.C. § 3123(a)(1).
"pen register" is "a device or process which
records or decodes dialing, routing, addressing, or signaling
information transmitted by an instrument or facility from
which a wire or electronic communication is
transmitted." 18 U.S.C. § 3127(3). A "trap and
trace device" is "a device or process which
captures the incoming electronic or other impulses which
identify the originating No. or other dialing, routing,
addressing, and signaling information reasonably likely to
identify the source of a wire or electronic
communication." 18 U.S.C. § 3127(4).
the traditional telephone context, pen registers captured the
destination phone No. of outgoing calls, while trap and trace
devices captured the phone No. of incoming calls. Similar
principles apply to other kinds of wire and electronic
communications, as described below.
Internet is a global network of computers and other devices.
Devices directly connected to the Internet are identified by
a unique No. called an Internet Protocol, or "IP"
address. This No. is used to route information between
devices. Generally, when one device requests information from
a second device, the requesting device specifies its own IP
address so that the responding device knows where to send its
response. An IP address is analogous to a telephone No. and
can be recorded by pen-trap devices, and it indicates the
online identity of the communicating device without revealing
the communication's content.
network is two or more computers or other devices connected
to each other that can exchange information with each other
via some transmission method, such as by wires, cables, or
radio waves. The equipment that connects a computer or other
device to the network is commonly referred to as a network
adapter. Most network adapters have a Media Access Control
("MAC") address assigned by the manufacturer of the
adapter that is designed to be a unique identifying number.
An adapter's unique MAC address allows for proper routing
of communications on a local area network and may be used for
other purposes, such as authentication of customers by some
network service providers. Unlike a device's IP address
that often changes each time a device connects to the
Internet, a MAC address is fixed at the time of manufacture
of the adapter. Because the address does not change and is
intended to be unique, a MAC address can allow law
enforcement to identify whether communications sent or
received at different times are associated with the same
the Internet, data transferred between devices is not sent as
a continuous stream, but rather it is split into discrete
packets. Generally, a single communication is sent as a
series of packets. When the packets reach their destination,
the receiving device reassembles them into the complete
communication. Each packet has two parts: a header with
routing and control information, and a payload, which
generally contains user data. The ...