S.D.N.Y.: SW over use of Instragram justifies SW for cell phone as source

Defendant’s alleged use of Instagram justifies a search warrant for his cell phone as the source of the usage. United States v. Sosa, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58467 (S.D. N.Y. Apr. 5, 2019):

Defendant challenges the Court’s probable cause determination as to the LG Phone on two grounds. First, he argues that the LG Warrant Application failed to allege facts connecting the relevant Instagram communications with the LG Phone, instead “rel[ying] heavily upon the affiant investigator’s generalized professional experience that individuals use Instagram on their cellphones.” … In so arguing, defendant ignores the practical realities of how users are likely to engage with social media platforms such as Instagram. It is not only consistent with the affiant investigator’s experience but also common sense that these communications – which included messages in which the Renter and defendant coordinated the acquisition of the drive-by vehicle – would be found on a mobile phone in possession of defendant at the time of his arrest. And the mere fact that the LG Warrant Application relied on practical considerations and law enforcement’s expertise as one of the links in the chain connecting the subject property to the alleged criminal activity does not vitiate this Court’s probable cause finding.

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