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american lawyer media news service New york-Video surveillance conducted by an invited visitor may be used at trial without violating the Fourth Amendment, the 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. Extending the “firmly established” rule that audio recordings do not run contrary to the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures, the court said that the same rationale applies “with equal force” to video surveillance. U.S. v. Davis, No. 02-1569. Leon Davis, also known as Flash, claimed on appeal that Southern District of New York Judge Colleen McMahon should have suppressed the evidence obtained against him by a confidential informant working for the Drug Enforcement Administration. The informant, Edwardo Lorenzo, had come to Davis’ residence in Spring Valley, N.Y., and recorded his own purchase of 9.5 grams of cocaine using an audio transmitter and a portable video camera concealed in his jacket. Davis claimed that the use of the video camera violated the Fourth Amendment because it was a “sense-enhancing technology” that is “not in general public use.” McMahon denied the motion to suppress. Davis was found guilty following a four-day trial and was sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison. Writing for the 2d Circuit, Judge Robert Katzmann said that “a defendant does not have a privacy interest in matters voluntarily revealed to a government agent, including a confidential informant.”

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