C.D.Ill.: SW could permit adding breakaway filaments to package for anticipatory warrant

It was not unreasonable nor a violation of the Fourth Amendment for a warrant to permit officers to add breakaway filaments to a package as a triggering notice for an anticipatory warrant. United States v. Halliburton, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17908 (C.D. Ill. Feb. 5, 2018):

Further, that law enforcement officers also obtained a warrant to add breakaway filaments to the packages does not automatically make the opening of the package a condition precedent to the anticipatory warrants. There is nothing in the affidavits or the warrants to support this argument. The affidavits’ only reference to the devices is a statement that “a GPS and/or a remote device will be placed inside of the subject package with the cannabis and will be tracked via computer and/or cellular telephone device. The remote device, upon opening the package; will set off an alarm/pager device that will be monitored by United States Postal Inspectors.” Gov’t. Resp. Ex. D, “Complaint for Search Warrant” (d/e 21-4). As Magistrate Judge Long found, while “this provided the judge with information about how the agents will monitor the package once it is delivered, the tracking device was not tied to the anticipatory nature of the warrant in any way.” Report and Recommendation at 7 (d/e 27). The Defendant argues that “[c]ommon sense would dictate that the purpose of including the breakaway filaments in the packages was, so they could ultimately be used to determine when the packages were opened.” See Defs. Objs. at 4 (d/e 29). However, even though opening the package was not a condition precedent to executing the warrant, the breakaway filaments still served an important purpose: upon opening the package, the GPS devices would most certainly be discovered and officers would know that they needed to execute the warrants immediately or risk the evidence being discarded or destroyed. As the two conditions precedent to the warrant, delivery of the packages to the specified address and acceptance of the packages by an adult on behalf of “Lisa Lawis,” occurred before the officers conducted the searches authorized by the warrant, the searches were lawful and did not violate the Defendant’s Fourth Amendment Rights.

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