E.D.Tex.: Cell phone + drug case = PC to search cell phone

Drug dealers commonly use cell phones to ply their trade, and that was stated in the affidavit for the search warrant. The USMJ signed the warrant for cell phones, too. Accordingly, the search warrant was executed in good faith. United States v. Smith, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186550 (E.D. Tex. May 27, 2015):

The warrant affidavit, incorporated into the warrant by reference, does particularly describe the premises and location of the search, and states that there is marijuana and methamphetamine at the suspected place. The affidavit also states that, in the affiant’s experience, “drug dealers maintain, possess, utilize, and/or own various electronic communication equipment, including… mobile and/or cellular telephones.” The affiant notes that drug dealers keep their phones where they have ready access to them, and often use their cell phones to record transactions with customers, keep accounts related to their deals, and frequently change telephone numbers and phones. The affidavit further states that in the affiant’s experience “electronic communication equipment, including but not limited to … cellular telephones … are capable of storing information received by them and that this information may be retrieved by manipulating external controls of the devices.” The affiant states that cellular telephones are routinely used by individuals to conduct illegal drug activity, and that the information obtained from a cell phone could provide evidence of other individuals involved in drug activity. At the bottom of the affidavit, it states:

WHEREFORE, AFFIANT asks for issuance of a warrant that will authorize him to search said suspected place and premises for said property and seize the same and to arrest each said described and accused person.

The affidavit is signed by the affiant and magistrate.

Accordingly, the Court finds that the officers executing the warrant acted in good faith reliance on the search warrant. …

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