Requirements for Review of Wiretaps, effective 8/1/08|
Electronic Surveillance Unit
- The Electronic Surveillance Unit (ESU) of the Criminal Division's
Office of Enforcement Operations will conduct the initial review
of the necessary pleadings for proposed applications
(collectively, "the Packet") for electronic surveillance, which
a) A complete affidavit;
b) The application by the Assistant United States Attorney to the
c) The proposed order(s).
USAM 9-7.110, Format for the Authorization Request.
- The Packet must be submitted by the USAO to ESU electronically
via email[FN1] to
ESU.Requests@usdoj.gov. The Packet must be submitted
in PDF format.[FN2]
Individual ESU attorneys will no longer accept
applications through their individual DOJ email accounts.
- The following will not be accepted for processing:
- "draft" affidavits or packets;
- packets submitted by law enforcement agents without the review of
- packets which are not submitted in PDF format;
- stale packets, meaning original and spinoff packets which do not comply
with the following two rules:
- 21-day rule as to toll hits of "dirty calls"As to applications for a new
facility, the affidavit must show a "dirty" hit within 21 days
of the date on which the Department authorizes the filing of the
application.[FN3] A "dirty" hit is one
which indicates that the
facility is being used in furtherance of the offense conduct.
- 10-day rule as to current toll/pen analysisAll applications must
include current phone records, meaning records current
within 10 days prior to submission to ESU. One purpose of this
requirement is to discern whether the facility is still active,
e.g., that the phone has not been dropped.[FN4]
- Non-compliant or stale packets will not be accepted. This
provision is not meant to encompass minor deficiencies or
typographical errors, but rather, packets which are facially
deficient in material respects. ESU will provide notice to the
USAO when a packet is not accepted. If amended by the USAO to
correct such deficiencies, the packet will be placed in the back
of the queue for processing following their compliant amendment.
This provision does not apply to emergency applications, which
are addressed in paragraph 5 below.
- Applications which present true emergencies, e.g., those which
address situations involving immediate danger of death or serious
bodily injury and the like, will continue to be processed
FN 1. Just as with any email
communication to the usdoj.gov system,
applicants must take special care not to type "usdoj.com", as
all email sent to that domain name is delivered to a private party
unaffiliated with the Department.
FN 2. Some smaller districts,
particularly those which maintain what
amount to temporary satellite offices in rural areas that are
staffed only on certain weekdays by AUSAs based in other cities,
have expressed concerns about transition to an electronic system
given that such offices may not have JCON service continually
available. To serve the needs of such districts, and only in
circumstances where JCON is unavailable, packets may be faxed to
(803) 726-2180. This number will automatically convert the packet
to a PDF format and place it within the email account identified
The 21-day rule is longstanding and the purpose behind it is
described in Section 29 of
the Criminal Resource Manual.
Obviously, USAOs cannot be expected to determine beforehand when the
Department will authorize the filing of the application. This rule simply
underscores the fact that the facility-related information contained in the
packet should be as recent as practicable, and always within 21 days of the
date of submission to ESU.
FN 4. 0f course, there may be
circumstances in which the phone is not
active for ten days, but other available information demonstrates
that the phone may soon become active again. For example,
information obtained through a CI, or via intercepts, may
demonstrate that the target is temporarily overseas.
[updated March 2009]
Criminal Resource Manual 89]