S.D.N.Y.: Govt subpoena to photograph gang tattoos of incarcerated def not violation of 4A or 5A

The government seeks a subpoena to photograph defendant’s tattoos in an effort to corroborate gang membership. The motion to suppress is denied. “The Court is persuaded that the Government search contemplated by the description in the August 7 Letter is reasonable and permissible. Photographing Owens’s face, arms, torso, hands, and lower legs is a minimal invasion of privacy for a currently incarcerated individual like Owens. Moreover, the Government represents that it has reason to believe that the photographs will be probative of the violations it seeks to prove at trial. Therefore, the subpoena does not violate the Fourth Amendment.” It also doesn’t violate the Fifth Amendment. United States v. Owens, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138392 (S.D. N.Y. Aug. 8, 2019).

Defendant wasn’t prejudiced by defense counsel’s failure to file a motion to suppress that would not have been granted. The search warrant was for marijuana and firearms. Following up on the CI’s report, officers saw marijuana there. Six assault weapons were also found, and defendant argued unfair prejudice from that because only a handgun was cited in the gun specification. Even if there was, it was harmless on this record considering the drug evidence and handgun came in. State v. Riffle, 2019-Ohio-3271, 2019 Ohio App. LEXIS 3362 (8th Dist. Aug. 16, 2019).*

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