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UNITED STATES v. WYNN

April 23, 1986

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
RON WYNN, FORMERLY KNOWN AS RONALD EUGENE DEANGELES, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Roszkowski, District Judge.

ORDER

On January 12, 1985, defendant Ron Wynn was indicted by a federal grand jury in an eight count indictment charging him with violations of 18 U.S.C. § 2512(1)(a), (b) and (c). Count I charged Wynn with a violation of Section 2512(1)(c) for advertising various devices primarily designed for the surreptitious interception of wire or oral communications.*fn1 Counts II, III and IV charge Wynn with violations of Section 2512(1)(a) for mailing various devices primarily designed for the surreptitious interception of wire or oral communications.*fn2 Counts V, VI and VII charge Wynn with violations of Section 2512(1)(b) for selling the various devices of Counts II, III and IV, respectively.*fn3 Count VIII charges Wynn with an additional violation of Section 2512(1)(b) for selling various other devices primarily designed for surreptitious interception of wire or oral communications.

The parties have submitted stipulated facts to this court. While the parties have suggested that oral argument might aid this court in disposition of this matter, a full review of the evidence submitted has proven such a hearing unnecessary; the concise argumentative memoranda presented by the parties adequately substitutes for any additional oral argument. For the reasons stated herein, this court finds defendant Wynn guilty as to all counts.

I. BACKGROUND

The undercover investigation that led to the indictment in this case began in the spring of 1984. The investigation was initiated by Special Agent Kerry Galloway, supervisor of the Technical Investigation Section, Division of Criminal Investigation of the Illinois Department of Law Enforcement.

Posing as Terry Bergschneider a private investigator for ABLE Detective Agency, on April 24, 1984 Special Agent Galloway mailed Wynn a letter requesting that Wynn send him a copy of Wynn's literature and pricing information concerning electronic surveillance equipment. Gov't Exhibit # 1. On May 14, 1984, Special Agent Galloway received an envelope from Wynn containing a publication entitled "Electronic Eavesdropping and Secure Communications."*fn4 This catalog contained seven pages of advertisements for electronic devices. Gov't Exhibit # 3.

The mailing of this catalog forms the basis of Count I.

The next definite contact that Special Agent Galloway had with Wynn was on June 1, 1984. On that day, he placed a recorded telephone call to Wynn in Houston from the Springfield office of the Division of Criminal Investigation.

Galloway identified himself as being with the ABLE Detective Agency in Springfield, Illinois. Galloway told Wynn that he was interested in a Model PT-103 Drop-In Telephone Microphone. Galloway told Wynn that he would be using the PT-103 in a "business complex" and was concerned with the range and security of the signal. Wynn informed Galloway that the signal from a PT-103 could travel up to five hundred feet and that unless the building had solid steel walls, the presence of some steel construction would not interrupt the signal. As to the "security" of the signal, Wynn told Galloway to "put a note" in his order to specify T.V. band. That way, people within the business complex with FM radios would not pick up the signal. Gov't Exhibits # 5 and # 6.

During this conversation, Wynn also explained that the only difference — other than price — between the PT-103 and the PT-101 Telephone Wireless Microphone. Wynn stated that the PT-101 needed to be wired in while with the PT-103 "you just unscrew the cap and replace the cartridge." Id.

Galloway and Wynn also discussed the purchase of a model SR-1000 receiver/recorder. Wynn explained that the SR-1000 "goes on when the phone is picked up" so that the device would only record during conversations. The SR-1000 had the receiver and recorder contained in one unit. Wynn explained that the receiver needed "puttin together" and informed Galloway that he could have it by the end of the next week. Id.

Wynn suggests that he first received a telephone call from a man named "Terry" sometime in May of 1984. Wynn recalls that Terry told him he was a licensed private investigator or detective working with or for ABLE Detective Agency in Illinois. Wynn also recalls that Terry told him that he had a client who had either a company or corporation and that the case involved "security." Wynn recalls Terry saying that ABLE did a great deal of industrial security work. This alleged telephone conversation went unrecorded and took place some few weeks prior to the June 1 recorded conversation. Wynn's recollection as to the substance of this unrecorded call matches the substance of the June 1 recorded call.

In any event, on June 4, 1984, Special Agent Galloway mailed Wynn a confirming letter for the purchase of the PT-103 transmitter and the model SR-1000 receiver with recording capability. This letter informed Wynn that "as we discussed, the telephone conversation to be listened to must not be overheard by anyone other than myself. This is absolutely imperative. You suggested that I remind you to have the equipment work on the T.V. band." The letter also stated that the "equipment must be capable of recording telephone conversations when I am not present with the tape recorder." Gov't Exhibit # 7. Special Agent Galloway enclosed a bank counter check for $600 made payable to Wynn Engineering Company signed by Terry Bergschneider, Galloway's undercover identity. Gov't Exhibit # 8.

On July 3, 1984, Special Agent Galloway again telephoned Wynn in Houston, this time to check on the status of his order. Wynn informed Galloway that the order had been delayed due to the time associated with clearing the check. Gov't Exhibits # 9 and # 10. On July 5, the $600 check arrived back in Springfield at ABLE, stamp endorsed by Wynn Engineering Company. On July 23, Special Agent Galloway received (in care of ABLE) a package from Wynn Engineering Company containing one model PT-103 drop-in telephone microphone (Gov't Exhibit # 12) and one model SR-1000 receiver with recording capability (Gov't Exhibit # 13). The package also contained a handwritten set of instructions for the proper installation and use of the SR-1000. Gov't Exhibit # 14. The instructions were on Wynn Engineering Company letterhead and were handwritten by Wynn. Id. See Stipulated Testimony of FBI Agent Jon Osgood and unidentified FBI "Handwriting Expert."

Count V is based on the interstate sale of these items; Count II is based on the interstate mailing of these items.

On July 26, Special Agent Galloway placed another recorded telephone call to Wynn Engineering in Houston. Wynn instructed Galloway on the proper placement of transmitters both inside of telephones and at the telephone junction box. As to drop-in microphones, Wynn stated: "just a drop-in is not so easy for `em to find".

Galloway also inquired as to whether Wynn could install a transmitter inside of a clock so that Galloway could overhear conversations in a businessman's private office. Galloway informed Wynn that he wanted a recording system that would activate only on sound. This was necessary he said because he would only have access to the business complex parking lot during the lunch hour and could therefore not change the tape frequently. Wynn told Galloway that he could install a transmitter in a clock so that it would not be noticeable. This clock could thus replace the clock in the businessman's office.

Based on this conversation Galloway ordered one model PT-101 Telephone Wireless Microphone, one model PT-102 Long Range Telephone Microphone, and one model L111 telephone listening device. Gov't Exhibits # 15 and # 16.

As with his first order, on July 31, Special Agent Galloway mailed a letter to Wynn confirming the details of this order. In his letter, Galloway informed Wynn that:

  These devices will be used in conjunction with
  our previously purchased SR-1000 receiver. I
  would request the transmitters again be placed on
  the television band frequency to assure total
  confidentiality of our listening capabilities
  from being overheard by anyone other than myself.

Gov't Exhibit # 17. Galloway enclosed an ABLE check for $300 made payable to Wynn Engineering Company. Gov't Exhibit # 18. This check was received back in Springfield on September 17 stamp endorsed by "Wynn Engineering Company". Id.

On August 28, Special Agent Galloway received a package in the mail from Wynn (Gov't Exhibit # 19) containing the PT-101 (Gov't Exhibit # 20), the PT-102 (Gov't Exhibit # 22) and the L-111 (Gov't Exhibit # 21). The package also contained two pages of handwritten instructions on Wynn Engineering letterhead detailing the proper installation of the PT-101 and the PT-102. These instructions were written by Wynn. See Stipulated Testimony of FBI Agents Osgood and unidentified FBI "Handwriting Expert."

Count VI is based on the interstate sale of these items; Count III is based on their interstate mailing.

On September 14, Special Agent Galloway again placed a recorded call to Wynn in Houston. Galloway informed Wynn that he had decided to use a transmitter hidden in a lamp rather than in a clock. Wynn told Galloway that a lamp would work. Galloway told Wynn that he wanted to place the receiver in a car in the parking lot of the business complex where the lamp was to be planted. Wynn said that he had a transmitter that would transmit 100 yards. Wynn told Galloway that he could place a transmitter in the lamp so as to exactly duplicate the lamp in the businessman's office. Galloway told Wynn he would send the lamp. Gov't Exhibits # 24 and # 25.

On September 17, Special Agent Galloway sent the lamp to Wynn in Houston. In the letter sent with the lamp, Galloway reiterated that the hidden transmitter must transmit audio indefinitely without the need for batteries. Galloway stressed to Wynn the importance of not altering the appearance of the lamp: "(this is imperative) the lamp must not be altered in physical appearance in any manner." In this way, the lamp would be kept identical to the one it would replace and could be substituted undetected. As with the earlier orders, Galloway requested that the transmitter be placed on television frequency for greater secrecy. Galloway specified that the audio be capable of transmitting 100 yards to a receiver in a nearby parking lot. Galloway closed by telling Wynn that he would contact him on September 20 to find out the total cost of the transmitter and altered lamp. Gov't Exhibit # 26.

As promised, on September 20 Special Agent Galloway called Wynn. Wynn told Galloway that he had received the lamp. Wynn stated that the cost of installing the transmitter would be between three and four hundred dollars. Wynn informed Galloway that the transmitter would transmit over 100 yards. Wynn assured Galloway that he would not alter the lamp's appearance and that it would be ready in a week or so. Gov't Exhibits # 27 and # 28.

The next day, Special Agent Galloway sent Wynn an ABLE check for $400. Gov't Exhibit # 30. Galloway stated in the accompanying letter that the $400 was payment for the "design of the necessary modifications to my lamp." Gov't Exhibit # 29.

On October 9, Special Agent Galloway received a package in the mail from Wynn containing the modified lamp. Gov't Exhibit # 31. As requested, Wynn had placed a transmitter inside the lamp without altering its appearance. Gov't Exhibit # 32.

The interstate sale and shipment of this modified lamp forms the basis for Counts VII and IV, respectively.

The undercover investigation of Wynn now began to reach a head. On October 12, Special Agent Galloway called Wynn to tell him that the modified lamp had been received. Wynn stated that he wouldn't do another for $400: "It was a little more work than I thought."

Galloway informed Wynn that he wanted to place a large order for sale to several other people. Galloway then placed an order for 1 model 2000 Cigarette Package Transmitter, 2 model PT-101 Telephone Wireless Microphones, 2 model PT-102 Long Range Telephone Microphones, 7 model PT-103 Drop-In Telephone Microphones ("a big hit"), and 4 model SR-1000 special receivers. Wynn gave Galloway a 10% discount. Wynn advised Galloway that it would ...


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