The search warrant for defendant’s computer was essentially based on a hunch that it contained evidence in a homicide case, but the affidavit fails to state what. In a lengthy analysis, the court finds the computer warrant lacking in probable cause. The officer testified to certain beliefs at the suppression hearing, but they weren’t put into the affidavit. This is the broadest search warrant this USMJ has ever encountered. It could not objectively be relied upon by the officer. United States v. Cobb, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175297 (N.D. W.Va. Oct. 11, 2018):
While the exclusionary rule should be applied only for the most egregious of cases, this search warrant is among the broadest and most general warrants that have been reviewed by the undersigned. The judicial stamp of approval of this type of warrant would validate a general search of equipment that stores the most personal and private information in a person’s life, without delineating any limits. A validation of this type of warrant sets precedent for further search warrants that: when an investigation has uncovered relevant and pertinent information, police officers through negligent drafting, can disregard this information to the point of allowing a search for information for which there was no probable cause.