The government convicted the defendant of fraud, based on evidence secured through a wiretap. The conviction was reversed on appeal because the wiretap violated federal law. At the second trial, the government did not introduce the evidence from the wiretap. However, the defendant was again convicted. On appeal, he argued that the trial court should have suppressed much of the evidence against him, because the government would not have learned about it but for the fact that they had performed the original illegal wiretap.
Whether courts must exclude all evidence that the government gained directly and indirectly from an illegal search?
No. If the government performs an illegal search, and the information learned eventually led it to other evidence, that evidence may still be introduced, if the connection between that evidence and the illegal search is distant and tenuous.
If the only reason that the government has a particular piece of evidence is that it performed an illegal search, then a court will exclude evidence. However, if the trial judge determines that its connection to the illegal search is remote, the evidence may still be admissible.
308 U.S. 338, 60 S. Ct. 266 (1939)