CA9: CSLI warrant was issued without PC, but it wasn’t so lacking that GFE should not apply

The government’s pre-Carpenter search warrant for CSLI was issued without probable cause, but it wasn’t so deficient that the good faith exception should not apply. United States v. Elmore, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 6507 (9th Cir. Mar. 4, 2019):

Following the June 2012 murder of Calvin Sneed, police obtained a warrant authorizing the seizure of Antonio Gilton’s historical cell-site location information. Gilton was subsequently charged with four counts relating to the murder of Sneed. He moved to suppress the location data, arguing that the warrant issued without probable cause and that the officers’ reliance on the warrant was not in good faith. The district court granted Gilton’s motion, concluding that the warrant was so deficient in indicia of probable cause that no officer could have relied on the warrant in good faith.

Although we agree with the district court that the warrant authorizing the seizure of Gilton’s location data was not supported by probable cause, we conclude that the deficiencies were not so stark as to render the officers’ reliance on the warrant “entirely unreasonable.” See United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 923, 104 S. Ct. 3405, 82 L. Ed. 2d 677 (1984). We reverse.

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