S.D.Cal.: Cell phones tool of trade of border smugglers, too

“That drug smuggling operations use cell phones to contact each other, to give direction and instructions, that they use scouts and multiple vehicles to cross drugs, are all well-known strategies. [¶] It is also well-known that smugglers will buy cars and provide them to the drivers who will sometimes burn the plates (e.g., drive the vehicle across the border one or more times without drugs so as to establish a lawful crossing history) before using the vehicle to smuggle the drugs. [¶] Therefore, following the guidance of the Ninth Circuit to use a commonsense approach, draw reasonable inferences, and give great deference to a magistrate judge’s findings, the Court finds the warrant application indicated there was a fair probability that evidence of narcotics trafficking would be found within the memory of the target telephone. Accordingly, Defendant’s motion on this ground is denied.” United States v. Cardona-Lopez, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20376 (S.D. Cal. Feb. 8, 2018).*

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