When state Rep. David Taylor proposed a bill that would change how police seek permission to use a controversial cellphone surveillance device, an Arizona resident took note.
Since then, Daniel Rigmaiden has helped refine the bill’s definition of a cell site simulator, a device commonly called by its brand name, Stingray. The bill reached its latest milestone Monday, when state senators passed it out of the Law and Justice Committee.
If anyone knows how a cell site simulator works, it’s Rigmaiden. He is best known for exposing the existence of Stingrays while defending himself in federal court against 73 counts of fraud, identity theft and conspiracy for filing fake tax returns and depositing hundreds of thousands of dollars in Arizona bank accounts.
In reviewing his case, Rigmaiden discovered the FBI had used the device to find him in his northern California apartment in 2008. He alleged the electronic intrusion into his apartment was an illegal search. A judge ruled against him.
Last April, Rigmaiden pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud and was sentenced to 68 months in prison — the time he served while awaiting trial.