A South Floridian– Terrace Brown, 40,–who is accused in a series of bank robbery attempts is hoping the recent revelation that the federal government is secretly keeping millions of U.S. phone records could help his defense.
Brown is one of five men on trial in federal court in Fort Lauderdale on charges they conspired to hold up armored trucks making cash deliveries to banks in Miramar and Lighthouse Point in 2010. All the men allegedly involved have pled not guilty.
Another man, alleged co-conspirator Nathaniel Moss, 34, is serving life in federal prison after admitting he shot and killed Brink’s truck guard Alejandro Nodarse Arencibia, 48, during the final break in on Oct. 1, 2010, outside the Bank of America branch at 7950 Miramar Parkway.
The FBI and federal prosecutors are using cellphone records in court to try to prove that the five accused men were all nearby when the robbery attempts and planning occurred, as Moss, who at the moment is cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office testified in court.
The prosecution had told defense attorneys that they were unable to obtain Brown’s cellphone records from the period before September 2010 because his carrier, MetroPCS, had not held on to them. However, Brown’s attorney Marshall Dore Louis argued in court documents filed in Fort Lauderdale that the incident happened days after the National Security Agency surveillance program was revealed last week after Edward Snowden, a former employee at an NSA contractor, leaked classified information about the program to a newspaper and alleged it may be an illegal government invasion of privacy.
Louis argued in court Wednesday that the government should be forced to turn over phone location records for two cellphones Brown may have used because it could prove he was not present for one of the attempted bank robberies, on July 26 on Federal Highway in Lighthouse Point.
U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenbaum agreed to give prosecutors an extra week or two to respond fully after they said they needed more time.
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