An associate of Jeffrey Epstein – who is facing child trafficking charges – Ms Ghislaine Maxwell, was tracked down by the FBI using the data from her mobile phone.
Shortly, the 58-year-old woman was arrested in her secluded mansion in New Hampshire on July 2 during a raid. The operation happened a day after a request was made for a search warrant “to determine with precision the Target Cellular Device’s location”.
However, upon arrest, she pleaded not guilty in helping Epstein recruit and groom underage girls for sex, and not guilty to perjury for having denied involvement under oath.
As first reported by The Daily Beast, the newly unsealed document revealed that Ms Maxwell was located using GPS and “stingray” technology to pinpoint a phone she had registered under the name “G Max”. This phone had been used to call her lawyer, sister and husband.
Ms Maxwell had been hiding out in the $1.3 million home following the arrest and subsequent death in prison of Epstein, with whom she had a relationship with in the 1990s. Currently, she is being held in detention in New York City ahead of her trial, which is set to begin in July.
In the court documents disclosed, details of her arrest including the request of a “GPS warrant” to locate Ms Maxwell were revealed, which allowed them to track Ms Maxwell’s whereabouts to an area of about 2.5 square kilometres.
Another warrant was requested for the use of a “stingray” device to narrow the search.
According to the second application, “The location data is insufficiently specific to allow the FBI to identify the particular building in which the Target Cellular Device is currently located.”
The device used to trace Ms Maxwell’s exact location inside her mansion is defined in the warrant as a device “capable of broadcasting signals … in some respects like a cellular tower”.
In addition, prosecutors said Ms Maxwell had used her New Hampshire home, which officials said she purchased in December 2019 in cash, as a hideout.
Her husband, on the other hand, whose name was redacted from court papers, argued that Ms Maxwell moved there to protect her safety and escape the media frenzy, not to dodge from capture.
Her record shows that she was denied bail twice, most recently on December 29 on a judge ruling as Ms Maxwell posed a “flight risk” despite her proposed $37.5 million bail package.
As predicted, Ms Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted at her scheduled trial in July 2021.
(Image source: ABC News)