Daniel Rigmaiden escaped a lengthy prison sentence on tax fraud charges after he filed a series of motions raising privacy concerns. He was the subject of the last two episodes of the Netflix series, Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet.
Rigmaiden was charged with 74 counts of mail and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy, according to court documents. He filed motions to suppress evidence gathered against him, saying his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when police used a Stingray device to locate his apartment. You can read the order filed in United States v. Rigmaiden here.
Rigmaiden was introduced as a controversial figure on the show who says he committed crimes because he didn’t agree with the system. He explained in the series that he filed tax returns for deceased people and collected money sent by the government. Through his movements, surveillance tactics that provide information about innocent people to law enforcement officers trying to apprehend criminals were exposed, activists on the show said.
This is what you need to know:
Rigmaiden was sentenced to 68 months in prison and now works as a consultant
Rigmaiden works in Pheonix, Arizona today and consults with the ACLU on the use of Stingray devices.
“When state Rep. David Taylor proposed a bill that would change the way police seek permission to use a controversial cell phone surveillance device, one Arizonan took notice,” The News Tribune wrote. Since then, Daniel Rigmaiden has helped refine the bill’s definition. The bill reached its latest milestone on Monday, when state senators approved it out of the Law and Justice Committee.”
Campbell was sentenced to 68 months in prison. He was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service, return money he illegally acquired and submit to three years of supervised release, according to the US Justice Department.
A US district judge denied Rigmaiden’s motion to suppress the case, but said her motions were “thoroughly investigated and factually detailed.”
Rigmaiden filed “hundreds of pages of motions and exhibits” to argue her case, which reached United States District Judge David Campbell in United States v. Rigmaiden. Campbell denied the motion to suppress evidence but discussed the investigation and details in court documents.
“Although Defendant Rigmaiden represents himself and has no formal legal training, his motions and memorandums are thoroughly investigated and factually detailed,” Campbell wrote in his order.
The judge wrote that the court cases referenced in the motions did not relate to the search warrants. Rigmaiden and the ACLU argued that the methods should have been more clearly explained in the warrant application.
“Defendant and the ACLU insist that because cell site simulators are new and potentially invasive technology, the government was required to include a more detailed description in its warrant request,” Campbell wrote. “The ACLU cites cases in which a magistrate denied a government request to use a cell site simulator, but in each of those cases the requests were made pursuant to statutory authority and not, as here, pursuant to a law. order based on probable cause.
The defendant has not shown that he had a legitimate expectation of privacy in his apartment or laptop. The defendant has not shown that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated or, if a violation occurred, that suppression is the appropriate remedy. The good faith exception applies to contested areas of the government investigation, including your use of the mobile tracking device pursuant to a Rule 41 court order.
The defendant has filed literally dozens of motions in this case, many of which seek suppression or some other form of sanction against the government. The Court has patiently tried to address each motion filed by Defendant pro se, but the time has come to resolve the government’s claims on the merits. The defendant should not file further motions to suppress or for sanctions based on the government’s searches in this case or its pretrial production of discovery for the defendant.