Hypothetically, across state lines, say I, discover that someone in another state is engaging in conspiracy to murder myself and someone else around me, across state lines.

A thought experiment, and here are some more details:

  • It is across state lines so it is a federal issue
  • these people causing problems and sending threats etc. is well documented over many years
  • I do not have any evidence to provide a prosecutor to issue and act on a search warrant
  • even my own family members have acknowledged that they believe something to be wrong about the situation
  • some girls around town were contacted by these people but they may not be willing to testify to it
  • I learned of this through word of mouth
  • There are multiple people involved in this conspiracy
  • I myself believe the word of mouth, and do fear for my life in this experiment
  • The people engaging in conspiracy to murder do have children in their home
  • one of the people own their own company
  • one of them is a leader at a charity
  • one of them is an immigrant
  • also an animal was hurt by someone across state lines in a burglary as a threat of the conspiracy to murder
  • there also appears to be several public instances of these people engaging in conspiracy to murder, doing the same thing to other people (almost like a recipe)
  • there could perhaps be one more person that could testify in my state about being the victim of conspiracy to murder also, but she also does not have proof just knows through word of mouth like myself

I know from gates v. Illinois that all a prosecutor/judge needs to issue a search warrant is a signed affidavit that they feel is credible, even if it does not pan out to an arrest, and that it can be anonymous.

I also have been thinking about other modes of having this reported to authorities across state lines for a search and seizure: such as the fact that teachers are mandatory reporters if they feel a child is in a dangerous environment.

Any thoughts? Any unique ideas of how to trigger an investigation (legally)?

Here are some of the ideas I have explored as possible solutions:





1 Answer 1


You need to convince law enforcement or the relevant prosecutor's office that there is a case worth investigating and that probable cause to issue a warrant is present, and a judge has to agree that probable cause is present.

There is no magic formula to accomplishing this task. If they aren't persuaded, you can't make them conduct a criminal investigation. Even if you provide the FBI or other law enforcement agencies with unimpeachable rock solid proof, and a court has already issued a protective order for your benefit against the suspects, law enforcement has no legally enforceable duty to do anything. See, generally, Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) (holding that state and local law enforcement has no legally enforceable duty to enforce the law; but the reasoning is equally applicable or more so to federal law enforcement).

If law enforcement does nothing, you can bring a civil lawsuit for a protective order against the suspected conspirators (which may or may not be granted, and may or may not be effective) and you can hire security guards for yourself, and/or take defensive measures to protect yourself.

Of course, most of the time, law enforcement is eager to try to investigate and arrest people that there is strong evidence to suspect are about to murder someone. But, you can't compel them to do so, and they have no legal liability to you if they ignore you in the face of overwhelming evidence.

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