D.Kan.: Description of thing to be seized as a firearm wasn’t fatal where weapon of mass destruction was being sought

A Facebook warrant wasn’t overbroad because it involved a conspiracy and it was thus more difficult to describe what exactly was sought. As to a dwelling warrant, an error in the description of the thing to be seized as a firearm when it was really a weapon of mass destruction being sought wasn’t enough to exclude. A second warrant wasn’t based on the product of the first, and thus the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine doesn’t apply. United States v. Allen, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60247 (D. Kan. Apr. 10, 2018). As to the firearm description:

Thus, the only deficiency with the first Facebook warrant was the simple fact that Attachment A identified the information to be seized by the Government as evidence of a firearms violation, instead of the crime for which there was probable cause to search—conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. As explained above, this inadvertent error, by itself, does not amount to a Fourth Amendment violation—flagrant or otherwise. Even if it could be considered a constitutional violation, this error is not the type that would invoke the exclusionary rule. “[I]t is the duty of an issuing magistrate to ensure that a warrant corresponds to the content of the supporting affidavit.” The exclusionary rule, however, is designed to deter future police misconduct; it was never meant to “punish the errors of [issuing] judges and magistrates.” The Supreme Court has found no reason to believe judges ignore the Fourth Amendment or “that exclusion of evidence seized pursuant to a warrant would have a significant deterrent effect on [them].” Thus, the single violation identified by the Court is not sufficient to trigger the exclusionary rule.

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