LINCOLN — Note to Nebraska drug dealers: Your cellphone calls outside the state can be used against you.

On Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld a drug conspiracy conviction, ruling that authorities did not overstep their bounds by listening to wiretapped conversations that were made outside the state.

Curtis Brye Jr., 43, appealed his 2018 conviction for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. Douglas County District Judge Gary Randall had sentenced Brye to 20 years in prison.

Brye’s attorney, Stu Dornan, argued that a Nebraska court order allowing an FBI task force to tap his phone only allowed listening to cellphone conversations in Nebraska, where the court had jurisdiction. He called for Brye’s conviction to be tossed out because some of his monitored conversations were in Texas.

But the Nebraska Supreme Court rejected that, citing a federal court ruling concerning a Missouri wiretap that determined that because the “listening post” was in that state, conversations in nearby Illinois also could be used as evidence.

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Reporter - Regional/state issues

Paul covers state government and affiliated issues. He specializes in tax and transportation issues, following the governor and the state prison system. Follow him on Twitter @PaulHammelOWH. Phone: 402-473-9584.

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