M.D.Fla.: Def had officer’s card and could have revoked consent to search cell phone by telephone call or letter

When officers took defendant’s phone by consent and one left his card, he could have revoked consent by calling and leaving word with his office or writing a letter. United States v. Butler, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51782 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 13, 2020), adopted, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50713 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 24, 2020):

Defendant now contends that he had no way of contacting the agents to seek the return of the smart phone because he was in custody since his arrest on May 2, 2018. As an initial matter, the undersigned is unpersuaded that a person with Defendant’s intelligence and experience would not know how to reach the agents. See Emanuel, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150346, 2010 WL 11507306 at *9 (“Given this Defendant’s education and intelligence, the Court finds that if he had wanted to revoke his consent, he could have found a number of ways to do so including, but not limited to calling a receptionist and asking for Detective Allen, or sending a letter.”). Moreover, there was testimony at the April 9, 2019 hearing that the FBI agents gave Butler a card with their contact information and informed him that if his mother wanted her smart phone back, she could contact them. (See Doc. 56 at 29 n.25 (citing II Tr. 61).) Defendant apparently forgot this detail.

However, even accepting Defendant’s contention that he had no way of reaching the agents, Defendant still does not (and cannot) argue that he could have used the device while in custody.

That’s assuming that a jail call would be accepted by the DEA. Do they even do that? What if an inmate wants to make a proffer or be a CI and doesn’t yet have a lawyer? It’s extremely doubtful to me that (1) the DEA would take a collect jail call, or (2) the inmate would have money on his or her books within a week in a county jail. But maybe I’m wrong. That’s just based on experience here.

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