Court documents have revealed Ghislaine Maxwell, an associate of Jeffrey Epstein facing child trafficking charges, was tracked down by the FBI using data from her mobile phone.
Ms Maxwell, 58, was arrested during a raid on her secluded mansion in New Hampshire on July 2, a day after a request was made for a search warrant “to determine with precision the Target Cellular Device’s location”.
She pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and groom underage girls for sex, and not guilty to perjury for having denied involvement under oath.
The newly unsealed documents, first reported by The Daily Beast, revealed that Ms Maxwell was located using GPS and “stingray” technology to pinpoint a phone she had registered under the name “G Max” that 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 in the 1990s.
She is currently being held in detention in New York City ahead of her trial, which is set to begin in July.
‘Stingray’ device used to narrow search
The court documents show that to locate Ms Maxwell, the FBI had first requested a “GPS Warrant”, which allowed them to track Ms Maxwell’s whereabouts to an area of about 2.5 square kilometres.
A second warrant was requested for the use of a “stingray” device to narrow the search.
“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 second application said.
The device used to pinpoint Ms Maxwell’s exact location inside her mansion is described in the warrant as a device “capable of broadcasting signals … in some respects like a cellular tower”.
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, whose name was redacted from court papers, had said Ms Maxwell moved there to protect her safety and escape the media frenzy, not to elude capture.
She was denied bail twice, most recently on December 29 when a judge ruled Ms Maxwell posed a “flight risk” despite her proposed $37.5 million bail package.
Ms Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted at her scheduled trial in July 2021.