The nation's first use of a "roving wiretap," a tap on multiple phones that led to the indictment of San Diego businessman Richard T. Silberman, was legal, a federal judge in San Diego ruled. U.S. District Judge J. Lawrence Irving, the first judge in the country to consider the legality of a new law under which FBI agents carried out the wiretap, said defense contentions that the taps violated the Constitution were without merit. Instead, Irving said, the Constitution is a "living document" that enables police and prosecutors, through the roving wiretap law, to keep pace with sophisticated criminal suspects who might use various telephones to try to avoid detection.
From Times staff and Wire reports
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