S.D.N.Y.: Inventory of duffel bag in hand on arrest was reasonable under FBI regs

The FBI inventory of defendant’s duffel bag on his arrest was reasonable under FBI regulations. Search warrants were used for cell phones found inside. United States v. Ellis, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 215725 (S.D. N.Y. Nov. 17, 2020):

Here, the arresting agents seized the items in Defendant Mallory’s possession and inventoried them, including the contents of the duffel bag. Declaration of Isaac Mallory (“Mallory Decl.”) (ECF No. 101); FBI Record. DIOG Section 19.7.3 instructs agents that inventory of the personal property of arrested subjects “must include both the container and the contents of such container taken into police custody” and must be recorded on appropriate forms. DIOG Section 19.7.3. Special Agent Fisher completed both form FD-302, describing the arrest and inventory, and form FD-597, Receipt for Property. FBI Record. FD-597 describes the items seized, including the items located within Defendant Mallory’s duffel bag. Id. Because the search complied with DIOG Section 19.7.3 and there is no suggestion that the search was anything other than a routine inventory search, it was permissible under the inventory search exception to the warrant requirement. See, e.g., Lafayette, 462 U.S at 647 (“[E]very consideration of orderly police administration benefiting both police and the public points toward the appropriateness of the examination of respondent’s shoulder bag prior to his incarceration.”); United States v. Gorski, 852 F.2d 692, 695-96 (2d Cir. 1988) (upholding inventory search of bag as a proper incident of lawful arrest and detention).

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