E.D.Ky.: Ten months of Facebook seizure was way overbroad, but the govt gets the benefit of the GFE

Knowing that defendant and his confederates talked about drug transactions on Facebook messenger, the limited search warrant for that was based on probable cause, and a message was recovered referring to acquiring a “ball” and it was almost certainly an “eight-ball” and not sports equipment. Here, however, the search warrant was way too overbroad under United States v. Blake, 868 F.3d 960 (11th Cir. 2017), seeking the entirety of the account for 10 months. “The search warrant that was issued in this case essentially allowed law enforcement to ‘rummage’ through Buck Hamilton’s entire digital life on Facebook, limited only temporally. The Sixth Circuit has not addressed this issue specifically. Based on case law from other circuits and Fourth Amendment case law generally, however, the Court concludes the search warrant at issue here lacked particularity.” A computer search warrant can be broad because of hiding files, but that’s not even an argument with a Facebook search warrant. Still, the good faith exception saves this warrant. It sure wasn’t bare bones going in. United States v. Hamilton, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159077 (E.D. Ky. Aug. 30, 2019).

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