Documents detail how federal agents monitor local inmates' phone calls from jail

Officials: Inmates made aware of monitoring

INDIANAPOLIS - Newly filed court documents spell out rare specifics about how federal agents record and gather evidence from inmates, sometimes months after they are booked in to the Marion County Jail.

Sheriff's department jail leaders told Call 6 Investigators that all inmates are informed that their calls are monitored, both with signs posted near the jailhouse phones and through a handbook that is passed out to all newly arriving inmates.

This week's case centers around seven people who were arrested on credit card fraud charges on June 28, 2012, around Interstate465 and Washington Street. 

State troopers reported that they found the suspects in a car with nearly 200 fraudulent gift cards, which had been altered by re-encoding the magnetic stripes or changing account numbers.

The U. S. Secret Service then got involved since credit card or "access device" fraud is a federal crime.

Federal charges were filed against Devon Robinson, his wife, Kenya Robinson, and five other people who were all booked into the Marion County Jail, and this month's court filing spells out how agents looked for additional evidence based on phone calls that at least one of the inmates made from jail.

In a search warrant filed this month in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Secret Service agents wrote that they obtained a compact disc containing audio recordings of telephone calls made by Devon Robinson from behind bars. 

In one call on June 29, just days after his arrest, agents write that he punched a unique code in to place a call to the mother of one of the other men arrested with him.

In that phone call, agents write that Robinson can be heard mentioning his email address to the mother of co-defendant Deon Crenshaw.

This search warrant now allows agents to obtain emails and other data from the Internet provider responsible for hosting that email account.

:"It's an investigative technique that we use, and I really shouldn't talk about it," Special Agent in Charge of the Indianapolis Secret Service branch, Roger Goode, told Call 6 Investigators

The Marion County Sheriff's Office provided excerpts from the handbook passed out to all inmates that spell out phone monitoring. 

The policy spells out that, "Telephone calls are subject to monitoring and may be recorded."

On a Page 26 entry in the policy manual, inmates are informed, "The telephones at this facility track and log each call made. The use of these telephones constitutes consent for the tracking and logging of any call made using them. By using the telephones you imply consent for this facility to receive details from the telephone company concerning numbers called, times at which the calls were placed, and the duration of calls."

The policy then states that those calls may be monitored and recorded, with the exception of calls to inmates' attorneys. Those attorneys are able to submit their phone numbers so that those privileged calls are not monitored.

In the credit card fraud case, federal court records show that Crenshaw agreed to plead guilty to the federal charges against him on Jan. 3. Another co-defendant, Brandi Baxter, filed a similar agreement to plead guilty Thursday.

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