Average Cost of Wiretaps in the US

"Table 5 provides a summary of expenses related to wiretaps in 2019. The expenditures noted reflect the cost of installing intercept devices and monitoring communications for the 1,715 authorizations for which reports included cost data. The average cost of an intercept in 2019 was $75,160, up 13 percent from the average cost in 2018. The most expensive state wiretap was in Georgia, where costs for a 178-day wiretap conducted to investigate an offense in the narcotics category resulted in 17 arrests and 1 conviction, totaled $1,920,777. For federal wiretaps for which expenses were reported in 2019, the average cost was $94,872, a 40 percent increase from 2018. The most expensive federal wiretap completed during 2019 occurred in the District of Maryland, where costs for a 120-day wiretap in a narcotics investigation that resulted in 5 arrests and no convictions totaled $2,511,137."


Administrative Office of the United States Courts, 2019 Wiretap Report (Washington, DC: December 2019).