Arizona's Wiretapping Rate Among the Nation's Highest

Categories: News
Dave Dugdale

Wiretapping rates in Arizona are among the highest in the nation.

The Pew Research Center ranked the states where the most wiretap authorizations were made last year, finding that Arizona's had the fifth-highest rate in the country.

According to the data, reported by the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, 9.5 wiretaps are authorized for every 500,000 Arizonans.

That trails only Nevada, Colorado, California, and New York. Nevada led the pack by far, as there were more than 38 wiretaps per 500,000 citizens in that state.


According to Pew, "The report suggests that nearly 90% of the wiretap authorization requests cited criminal drug-related offenses; the rest ranged from smuggling to homicide cases."

The stats from the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts show that Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's office led the way for wiretaps in Arizona, with 21 wiretaps. According to the statistics, those wiretaps led to the arrests of 201 people.

Nine more wiretaps came from the federal government in Arizona, while five came from Maricopa County, and three came from Yuma County.

Pew also mentions reports that indicate some federal agencies circumvent standard court procedures when setting up wiretaps, so these numbers may be low.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

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George Farkas
George Farkas

Not a surprise with all the wingnuts that collect here.

Tim Fitchner
Tim Fitchner

No maybe about it...of course they are.ferckin durh dee durh

Jona Henry
Jona Henry

At least we're not first in this, for a change


Cool. I sure love where everything is headed and has been headed. I love knowing that I pay for services with zero privacy.

Joe Rollins
Joe Rollins

They have been since the patriot act. Who cares.

Kevin Jay Clapper
Kevin Jay Clapper

Just speak in complete sentences and use polysyllabic words. They won't understand a thing you say.

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Allow me to speculate. NV and NY because of the heavy concentration of organized crime in those states. AZ and CA because of the high volume of illicit drugs being brought in from Mexico. CO, I have no idea. That NV leaves every other state in the dust? That is pretty astounding. Could it have something to do with Cliven Bundy and the militias? Naw, that can't be.

valleynative topcommenter


No, I think it's more likely that the number of taps per capita isn't really the right way to visualize these numbers.  If you tap every suspected mob connection in Nevada, that's a lot more per 500,000 people than the same number of taps would be in New York, because of the difference in population density.

An absolute count by itself wouldn't be very useful, either.  I think you need to see both types of charts.


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