GA: Def’s cell phone was seized and downloaded w/o a warrant, but the download wasn’t searched until a SW was obtained; search valid under independent source

Defendant’s cell phone was seized and downloaded, but the download wasn’t searched without a search warrant. The court doesn’t even have to decide whether exigent circumstances permitted the download because the police had seized it lawfully and they have plenty of probable cause to search it. Thus, the search warrant was an independent source. Stephens v. State, 2018 Ga. App. LEXIS 421 (June 27, 2018).

Defendant alleged nothing in his 2255 that defense counsel was ineffective for not challenging NCMEC’s role in the search of his computer. By all accounts, the sources of information leading to the search warrant were reliable citizen informants. Defendant also knew from his plea colloquy that he could challenge the search and didn’t do it before the plea. Millette v. United States, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106285 (D. Me. June 26, 2018).*

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