S.D.Ohio: Nexus shown between Facebook account and offense, despite 19 paragraphs of boilerplate

The government showed nexus between defendant’s Facebook account and the crime under investigation to justify the warrant, despite 19 paragraphs of boilerplate. United States v. Mize, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166759 (S.D. Ohio Sept. 11, 2020):

This case, and this affidavit, are not similar to Whitt. As Defendant Mize adamantly points out, the affidavit at issue contains the same 19 boilerplate paragraphs describing Facebook as the affidavit in Whitt. But here, the FBI agent took the additional step that Judge Barrett called for in Whitt and set forth specific facts that demonstrate why the FBI believed they would find evidence of the alleged crimes on the Facebook Account. For example, the affidavit details how multiple HCSO deputies disclosed that they had received Facebook friend requests from the Facebook Account, an account which they told the FBI they believed was actually maintained by Jason Mize. The affidavit also describes a third deputy who showed the agents screenshots of a Facebook direct message in which “Jason Mike” contacted a witness and specifically discussed the alleged use of force incident. An FBI agent then viewed the Facebook Account and, based on what was publicly accessible, determined that the individual pictured as “Jason Mike” resembled Defendant Jason Mize.

In other words, the warrant affidavit clearly establishes a nexus between the alleged crimes and the Facebook Account because it detailed how FBI agents learned that an individual who looked like the Defendant, had a similar name as the Defendant, and was believed to be the Defendant, was contacting witnesses to discuss the alleged crime — on Facebook.

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