D.Minn.: IP address and alleged crime was sufficient nexus to def’s electronic devices

Somehow linking defendant’s address to an IP address in an investigation of use of the internet is nexus if there is otherwise probable cause to search electronic devices at defendant’s address. (How it was obtained isn’t all that important. The real question is whether it’s likely correct.) United States v. Granley, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1763 (D.Minn. Jan. 5, 2017):

The alleged deficiencies Granley identifies with Investigator Benson’s affidavit do not undermine that probable cause determination. The absence of precise detail on how the IP address was acquired does not undermine the application since Investigator Benson’s affidavit adequately describes learning the IP address through an investigation completed by Detective Dunn. Nor is the probable cause deficient because of the absence of dates as to when the two conversations occurred. While ascribing dates to criminal activity protects against issuing warrants based on outdated and stale information, “[t]he passage of time is not necessarily the controlling factor in determining staleness, as other facts, such as ‘the nature of the criminal activity involved and the kind of property subject to search,’ must be considered.” United States v. Maxim, 55 F.3d 394, 397 (8th Cir. 1995) (quoting United States v. Rugh, 968 F.2d 750, 754 (8th Cir. 1992)). Judge Brisbois correctly observed that an individual participating in the production and distribution of child pornography, crimes that the issuing judge could infer Granley was engaged in, commonly collects and stores illegal material on electronic devices, tools inherently capable of preserving evidence over long periods of time. Accordingly, due to the nature of the criminal activity—child pornography—and the kind of property to be searched—electronic access and storage devices—the lack of specificity as to when the two conversations occurred does not negate a finding of probable cause.

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