D.Minn.: Border search of love letter in car led to more inquiries and then finding CP

A secondary search at the border can still be “routine” depending on its intensity. In this district, “routine” deals with searches of the person. Here, it was a search of a letter in the car that was a basically love letter to a juvenile along with clothes for a juvenile female. “In short, Ramsey expressed the Supreme Court’s determination that a search of an envelope and its contents at the border is a routine search for purposes of the border-search exception to the Fourth Amendment. Thus, the search of Blackwell’s envelope and letter was lawful, whether or not the CBP agents had reasonable suspicion of contraband or evidence of criminal activity.” Defendant was attending a function at the Peace Garden at the border, and DHS checked with those in charge there and found there was a juvenile there matching the name of the person in the letter. He refused to talk and they got a search warrant for his stuff, and child pornography was found. United States v. Blackwell, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 217283 (D. Minn. Oct. 30, 2018), adopted, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 216489 (D. Minn. Dec. 27, 2018).

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