IP Address Linked to a Residence Is Enough to Search

Jesse Featherly challenges the denial of his motion to quash the search warrant that led to the discovery of child pornography on his computer. Featherly was living in a trailer park in Wisconsin when an agent in Oklahoma discovered that Featherly’s Internet-service account was being used to share files containing child pornography. An Agent applied for a warrant to search Featherly’s residence. In an affidavit filed in support of the warrant application, the Agent stated he was able to determine the IP address of this …
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Posted in Search and Seizure

Warrants, Illegal Searches and the “Third Party Doctrine”

Someone used the email address gslabs@hotmail.com to contact a Vietnamese website in an attempt to buy sassafras oil—a chemical that can be used to make the illegal drug known as ecstasy.   A key step in the investigation was learning that Caira was the person behind the gslabs@hotmail.com address. The DEA made that discovery by issuing administrative subpoenas to technology companies, without getting a warrant.  Caira moved to suppress evidence obtained through the subpoenas, arguing that the government’s inquiry was an unreasonable “search” …
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Posted in Search and Seizure

DEA’s Use of “Stingray” Device Without a Warrant is Illegal

US v. Raymond Lambis, 15cr734 (SDNY, Judge Pauley, July 12, 2016). In 2015, the Drug Enforcement Administration (the “DEA”) conducted an investigation into an international drug-trafficking organization. As a part of that investigation, the DEA sought a warrant for pen register information and cell site location information (“CSLI”) for a target cell phone. CSLI allows the target phone’s location to be approximated by providing a record of where the phone has been used. To isolate the location more precisely, the …
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Posted in 7th Circuit Criminal Law Alert, Press Releases, Search and Seizure

Search and Seizure Traffic Stop – Suspicion of Texting While Driving Is Not Enough. Case Dismissed.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. PANIAGUA-GARCIA, No. 15-2540 An Indiana statute forbids drivers to use a telecommunications device (a cellphone) to type, transmit, or read a text message or an electronic-mail message, Ind. Code § 9-21-8-59(a). All other uses of cellphones by drivers are allowed.  An Indiana police officer, in the course of passing a car driven by Paniagua-Garcia on an interstate highway, saw that the driver was holding a cellphone in his right hand, that his head was bent toward the phone, and that …
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Posted in 7th Circuit Criminal Law Alert, Search and Seizure

Search and Seizure Traffic Stop by Police: Officers Mistake Regarding Illinois Turn Signal Law Leads to Suppression of Evidence

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, v. LESHAWN STANBRIDGE, No. 15-2686. LeShawn Stanbridge appeals his conviction for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). The drugs had been found in Stanbridge’s car after police in Quincy, Illinois, detained him on the ground that he committed a traffic offense by not signaling continuously for 100 feet before pulling alongside the curb to park. That understanding of Illinois law was wrong, but the district court decided that the mistake was reasonable and denied Stanbridge’s motion to suppress the drugs. …
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Posted in 7th Circuit Criminal Law Alert, News, Search and Seizure